Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: Teenage Zombies (1959)

Poster for Teenage Zombies (1959)Teenage Zombies (1959) by #JerryWarren
#DonSullivan #KatherineVictor

A crazed scientist uses nerve gas to turn local teenagers into slaves.

“See Teenage Girls Thrust Into the Weird Pulsating Cage of Horror!”

”A fiendish experiment performed with sadistic horror!”

#Horror #SciFi

Someone once asked me if Teenage Zombies (1959) is a good movie. I froze like a ghoul in the headlights. Truth be told, Teenage Zombies is a bad movie. A very bad movie. There’s really no way around that. So I looked this person square in the eye and said:

”I like it.”

I DO like it. But I am a fan of bad movies. At least GOOD bad movies. So bad they’re good, one might say. But there‘s a whole range of bad movies out there. Some of them are quite good, perhaps not even deserving the label of “bad movie”. Others, are just plain horrible. No fun at all. A chore to watch. These are the worst kind of bad movies.

But then again, one person’s bad movie is another person’s good movie. And another person’s good movie is sure to be someone’s worst film they ever saw. Not to mention that some good and/or bad movies may seem merely mediocre to some people. There’s just no accounting for taste,

But why am I talking about this?

Teenage Zombies (1959) Is unlikely to make anyone’s top ten best or worst movies list. It’s simply one of the many bad movies that have been circulating on public domain videotapes and DVDs since 1958.

Okay, not quite that long. But I bet it was circulating at drive-ins and grind-houses and even on TV for many years before home video came along.

Writer, director, producer Jerry Warren re-used the plot years later for Frankenstein Island (1981) – which may be an even worse movie. I seem to remember Siskel and/or Elbert picking it as their Dog of the Week way back when. But does that make it more or less enjoyable than Teenage Zombies (1959)? Good question…

So what is Teenage Zombies (1959) about? Well… Some teenagers go boating and stumble onto an island inhabited by weird creatures and a well dressed lady mad scientist who seems to be working for a foreign power that aims to “turn the people of the United States into easily controlled zombie like creatures” (or something like that).

The teenagers get stranded there, locked in cages, and scheduled for zombification. Will they escape? No one knows  – except those brave enough to sit through all 73 minutes of this movie. I’ve done it 3 or 4 times, and I’ll probably do it again someday. Why? Because there’s something about movies like Teenage Zombies (1959) that just appeal to me. They take me back to the days of my misspent youth watching #NotQuiteClassicCinema on Not Quite Classic Theatre on late night TV. Teenage Zombies is much worse than any of the movies I saw on that show, but still… It’s the perfect second or third feature on a #FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn