Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1957)

Poster for I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1957)I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1957) by #HerbertLStrock
#WhitBissell #PhyllisCoates

Professor Frankenstein creates a hulking teenager from the body of an accident victim – and it goes on a killing spree.

“Body of a boy! Mind of a monster! Soul of an unearthly thing!”

#Horror #SciFi

As I may have mentioned before, I’m a big fan of Blood of Dracula (1957). Not sure why it appeals to me so much, but it does. Nostalgia plays a big part, I’m sure. But there’s also something about it that just works for me. It was made very shortly after I Was A Teenage Werewolf (1957), and was meant to cash in on the former movies’s success. Well, guess what? I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1957) was also rushed into production because of I Was A Teenage Werewolf, and both movies were produced by Herman Cohen. They were also sent out together as a double feature. So how is it that I never saw I Was a Teenage Frankenstein before last Friday?

I Was a Teenage Frankenstein is about a guest lecturer from England named Professor Frankenstein who dreams of assembling a living person from parts taken from multiple cadavers. He enlists the help of a local, Dr. Karlton, and his secretary Margaret (with whom he is in love, or maybe she is in love with him, or… they get engaged at some point, but he is very quick to turn on her when… well, you’ll find out when you watch the movie). 

When a terrible car accident involving teenagers occurs in front of his house, Professor Frankenstein steals a body (!) for use in his experiments. Later, he steals the face (!) of a teenager on lover’s lane to replace the badly scarred face of his monster. Call me crazy, but it seems to me that the flaw in this plan is that people might RECOGNIZE the face of the dead teenager on the body of this other guy when he tries to assimilate into society. But maybe Professor Frankenstein doesn’t actually plan to let his teenage monster rejoin the normal world…

I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1957) is a lot of fun. It rates a 5.1 on the IMDb, which is better than many of the movies I have talked about here recently. The original I Was A Teenage Werewolf (1957) also gets a 5.1. On the other hand, Blood of Dracula (1957) – which is still my favourite – only gets a 4.6. I guess there’s no accounting for taste…

Another movie I talked about a while back is How to Make a Monster (1958), and it’s a sequel to both I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1957) and I Was A Teenage Werewolf (1957). Gary Conway, who plays the monster in I Was a Teenage Frankenstein, reprises the role in How to Make a Monster.

I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1957) is exactly the kind of #NotQuiteClassicCinema that I grew up watching, and I would have loved it back then. How I missed it all these years is beyond me, but I’m glad to have finally seen it. And I will undoubtedly be watching it again on some future #FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn.