on June 25, 2004
This movie defines the word "malodorous." I award it three stars wholly on the basis of a mathematical average system: if you want to see a genuinely spooky, scary, or entertaining movie, this film would get one star (less would be preferable); if you want a horrible camp classic from the genius responsible for such cinematic mayhem as "The Wild World of Batwoman" and "Frankenstein Island", this is an oft-overlooked five star rarity.
Jerry Warren, my personal touchstone as the worst director in history, is paired up again with star Katherine 'Batwoman' Victor this time in a story of alleged international intrigue. It all involves Victor, a mad scientist, making some mind control capsules on an island which despite being clearly visible from shore, is unknown to everyone but the bad guys. Teenage heroes inadvertently foil the caper and defeat evil in a manner which is comical, yet difficult to comprehend. (When is it a good idea to break INTO jail?) Please also enjoy the ongoing verbal jousting concerning the relative merits of horseback riding versus water skiing! What does this have to do with the plot? Who knows! How prominent is this debate in the film? Very!
The print of the film itself is in fairly awful condition, with many scratches, occasional sound dropouts (not that that really detracts), and many splices. It also has three little transfer marks that dwell perpetually near the top of the frame, yet move around and flicker annoyingly.
If the plot weren't silly enough, the acting and dialogue take this one over the top. The film is very short, and while not as entertaining as some Warren classics, this is an excellent opportunity to see a very bad movie at a very low price.
on April 11, 2002
Some of Jerry Warren's films are so bad, they are barely watchable. This is exactly the case for Teenage Zombies. Give credit to Retromedia for doing a good job on this release. The bonus materials are good. There are interviews with Ivan the Zombie and Dr. Myra (Katherine Victor). The rerelease trailer (Teenage Terror) is included, which is cool. Fred Olen Ray does a cool intro to the movie, although keep the kids away (nudity).
The movie transfer itself, however, is disappointing. The original used for the transfer could have been in better shape. There are some annoying vertical lines in the early part of the film. The sound is poor, but this is a problem with the original film and not the DVD. It's irritating, but then so is watching this film (blame Jerry Warren). I probably would not buy again. It would have been better if with its original doublebill, The Incredible Petrified World.
on April 5, 2002
2 stars for being so bad, it's good. I have only seen this on video but the movie is so bad---it's funny. There are a great deal of sequences involving walking through semi-woods on an island. There are also a great deal of boat sequences. A character gets shot and gives a standout performance of, well, "play dying" and there is an unbelieveable fight sequence at the end which looks more like the characters are play wrestling with each other. The sound is awful but the movie was made that way. The sound echoes around in many scenes but one scene in the lobby of someone's house (?) has the worst sound of any movie ever. This movie begs to be put on MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATRE if they were still making those, which they should.
on March 26, 2003
A group of teenagers happen upon an island inhabited by Katherine Victor as the sociopathic, Vampira-esque mad scientist "Doctor Myrna"; and her zombie horde. The kids have stumbled into a subversive plot to turn the world into a planet of zombie slaves! Evil Dr. Myrna has concocted a gas that turns people into cabbage-heads. The teenagers show up just in time to mess things up royally! Don (Giant Gila Monster) Sullivan is the only teenager with gray matter in his skull. Thank God he doesn't sing or play the "banjo-lele" in this one!! Anyway, together, the dopey teens escape, and with the help of a man in an ultra-cheap gorilla suit, Dr. Myrna is vanquished. A personal favorite...
This film is a waste of the plastic it was printed on. It is so bad that no one took the time to remaster it.
However I must say if I am going to be a zombie for any one it would be Dr. Myra played by Katherine Victor. Katherine Victor, of "Mesa of Lost Women" (1953) fame, after being in this dog of a movie went on to make 20 more notable movies as "The Cape Canaveral Monsters" (1960), and "The Wild World of Batwoman" (1966).
Teenagers discover an uncharted island with a secret. Can you in your wildest imagination guess what that is?