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MOVIE REVIEWS

Teenage Zombies (1959)


TAGLINE
See Teenage Girls Thrust Into the Weird Pulsating Cage of Horror!
A Fiendish Experiment Performed with Sadistic Horror!

Teenage Zombies on DVD
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Attention insomniacs! A new breakthrough cure has been found to rid you of the sleepless nights you've been suffering through! It's called...Teenage Zombies. Pick your copy up today and never suffer through a sleepless night again!

I really do think that this film could be an amazing untapped cure for insomnia. And while I haven't watched it a second time, I think the potency of it's sleep-inducing power could be multiplied tenfold upon repeated viewings. Teenage Zombies is without a doubt, one of the most boring movies I've ever seen.

The agonizing storyline (I use the term "storyline" loosely) surrounds a group of teens out for a day of water-skiing on the lake...or ocean...or some type of body of water. I was trying so hard to stay awake I can't recall. They plan for lunch on an island apparently none of them has ever been on before. Curiosity gets the better of them, and they wander around. Unluckily for them, they catch sight of a bunch of men walking single-file, up to who knows what, and are described by one of the teens as looking "doped up...or dead or something". At this point the movie's turned into a really bad Scooby-Doo episode.

Upon opting to run back to the boat and get the heck outta Dodge, they find that the boat is..."Dum, Dum, Duuuum!"...gone. Now the audience is treated to five minutes of them quietly walking the shoreline looking for their boat. Horrible. To make a long story short (too late!), they run into an attractive female mad scientist, Dr. Myra, who proceeds to capture the four of them to use in her diabolical lab experiments. It seems she's helping two generic foreign agents from the "East" in developing a gas that mentally enslaves those exposed to it. There's your zombie connection if you were wondering. They want to drop the gas on the United States for unknown reasons. I wonder if it was religious fanaticism? Who knows, they never give us any reasons behind all this. Character motivation was noticeably absent.

The rest of the film plods slowly along into a mishmash of chemical testing, horribly choreographed fight scenes, a man in a gorilla suit, and other such silliness. It's around this time that you feel that your time hasn't been completely wasted. While the characters onscreen are rolling around on the floor in some of the most drawn-out, ridiculous fighting you'll ever see, you'll be rolling around too...on the floor...laughing. And just when you think you've laughed enough, the guy in the gorilla suit (which I'm pretty sure is supposed to be a real gorilla) jumps into the fray and it starts all over. I can only describe it as looking like a very competitive game of Twister that got way out of hand. If only the first 50 minutes could have been this amusing.

The teens are finally able to thwart the evil terrorists and save the day. They would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn't been for those darned kids! The ending conjures up even more memories of the 'ole Mystery Machine while we listen to some military official tell the teens that they've just saved America from the "largest menace to U.S. security". Wow...if that's the "largest menace", then it's an incredible insult to all the other menaces to U.S. security.

The music isn't worth mentioning, sounds like library stock that they must have gotten on the cheap. There's no special effects to speak of, unless you count the gorilla suit. I'm certain that you've been to Halloween parties and seen a more realistic gorilla. The acting is quite poor, and is magnified by a very weak script. Jerry Warren's directing is bland and monotonous, and the cinematography is very uninspired. Honestly, I'm thinking hard and I can't come up with a single redeeming thing about the film. Even the film transfer itself was terrible. I knew I was watching a movie over 40 years old and it looked every bit that old, if not more. From what I hear, there's not a good print left of the movie. They probably tried to destroy all of them. I can't say I blame them.


RATING

(Out of 5)
DVD RELEASE DATE
November 19 2002
REVIEW POSTED
July 14 2003


DEAD KEV'S ADVICE
A snoozefest to the extreme. Watch it only if you're having trouble getting to sleep.
ZOMBIE LESSONS LEARNED
1. Never leave your boat unattended when visiting a strange island you've never been to before.
2. Never let the gorilla out of your sight.
FAVORITE QUOTES
-"They look doped...or dead or something."
-"Look, what kind of creep joint is this?"
-"If we hadn't walked around so much, we could have built a raft."
-"I swear Skip, sometimes you remind me of a walking comic book."


DIRECTOR
Jerry Warren (Frankenstein Island)
WRITER
Jerry Warren [as Jaques Lecotier]
PRODUCER
Jerry Warren
CAST CHARACTER
Katherine Victor Dr. Myra, Mad Scientist
Don Sullivan Reg
Paul Pepper Skip
Mitzie Albertson Julie
Brianne Murphy Pam
Chuck Niles Ivan the Zombie
J.L.D. Morrison Older Foreign Agent
Steve Conte Younger Foreign Agent
Jay Hawk Morrie
Nan Green Dotty
Mike Concannon Sheriff
Mitch Evans Gorilla
PRODUCTION COMPANY
GBM Productions
STUDIO
Governor Films Inc.
Gotham Distribution (DVD)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
United States
RUNNING TIME MPAA RATING
73 mins (B&W) Unrated


INTERESTING TIDBITS
Actress Brianne Murphy married director Jerry Warren and became the first woman director of photography at a major studio.
AROUND THE WEB
Bob Clark on Jerry Warren's "Petrified World" - The Astounding B Monster


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