First Impressions: Tim Sullivan’s I Was a Teenage Werebear

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On Saturday, July 9th, Dread Central hosted a sneak peek of Tim Sullivan’s “I Was a Teenage Werebear” from the Chillerama anthology in Metuchen, New Jersey; and in advance of the full film being shown this Friday, July 22, at San Diego Comic-Con, we thought we’d provide you with our first impressions of “Werebear” to help whet your appetites.

First Impressions: Tim Sullivan's I Was a Teenage WerebearAh the 50’s with their beach blanket parties always erupting into song and dance and, later that evening, awkward groping done off camera. After all, this was a “gentler” time and such naughty moments were alluded to but otherwise never seen in public. It is with these images in mind and a great love of John Waters that a man named Tim Sullivan brings us a little film called “I Was a Teenage Wearbear!!”

In high school we all go through that awkward age. For some it is a time of sexual exploration, but for others the days are filled with nothing but confusion. Ricky (Brent Corrigan) is one such troubled youth, constantly pursued by the pesky Peggy Lou (Gabby West), who wields her vagina like a loaded weapon. Just when it seems he will be doomed to bow to the pressures of social conformity, along comes Talon (Anton Troy), the slicked back pretty boy greaser and his mini biker pack (who look more like his backup dancers).

Talon instantly sets his sights on Ricky, but his designs go further than a romp behind the bleachers. Talon is a WEREBEAR, and when he’s aroused, out come his leather chaps, beer belly and all that luxurious chest hair to go with it. It’s as if the living embodiment of the classic Wolfman was gang-raped by the Pink Flamingos gang and their offspring shot out, fully formed from Divine’s nether regions. You’ll have to see it to believe it.

There are also elements of The Lost Boys thrown in. You half expect Talon to remark, “You’re eating penis, Ricky…how does it taste?” But never fear, homophobes. Director Tim Sullivan keeps the cock out of his film. Ironically, there’s probably more penis in the Hangover movies.

The film plays on with regular musical interludes performed with Troma-esque glee in tones that won’t break your eardrums but probably won’t win anyone a spot on “American Idol” either. We can forgive them because the overall effect is priceless. Gold stars for Anton Troy as Talon, who is practically ripped from a vintage episode of “Beverly Hills 90210” and brings a level of charm to the film that is counterpoint to his slobbering, fanged alter ego. Also high marks for Gabby West (winner of “Scream Queens”…for what that was worth to her), who is nothing but hilarious in just about every second she appears on the screen. I also have to throw a tip of the hat to Adam Robitel, who takes over the screen in the few moments his character, Butch, appears to bully Ricky. This guy should really start getting some bigger roles to chew on!

Sullivan goes heavy on the “Splatstick” comedy, which is to say this short film is hysterically bloody and over-the-top in the most excellent of ways. Seeing this with a theater full of horror fans just out for a good time was absolutely the best way to view it, as the hooting, hollering and catcalls were almost an integral part of the soundtrack. This has got to be the first intentionally gay horror film I’ve ever seen (as I’m not counting Powder or Nightmare on Elm Street 2), and I loved every minute of it. In fact, the gay element is not shoved in your face at all. This is simply a movie about a boy who is bit on the ass by a homosexual monster and then has to choose between total carnage or a blissful, if not somewhat awkward co-existence with his former human race. Can’t we all relate to that?

First Impressions: Tim Sullivan's I Was a Teenage Werebear

Click here for our full image gallery from the “I Was a Teenage Werebear” New Jersey premiere, and we hope to see many of you this Friday night at the Chillerama premiere at SDCC (more details here), followed by a Q&A hosted by our own Uncle Creepy!

Produced by ArieScope Pictures and in the spirit of classic “omnibus” films like Dead of Night, Tales From the Crypt, Creepshow and Twilight Zone: The Movie, CHILLERAMA offers something for every bad taste. With titles like “Wadzilla,” “I Was A Teenage Werebear,” “The Diary of Anne Frankenstein,” and “Zom-B-Movie,” CHILLERAMA features appearances by Joel David Moore (Avatar, Hatchet), Kristina Klebe (Rob Zombie’s Halloween), Lin Shaye (Insidious), Ray Wise (X-Men: First Class), Kane Hodder (Hatchet and Hatchet II), Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight, Sharktopus) and more cameos than one can (body) count. CHILLERAMA is a festival of gore, guts, goofiness and good times.

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