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I Was a Teenage Frankenstein

USA 1957
produced by
Herman Cohen, Samuel Z. Arkoff, James H. Nicholson for Santa Rosa Productions, AIP
directed by Herbert L. Strock
starring Whit Bissell, Phgyllis Coates, Robert Burton, Gary Conway, George Lynn, John Cliff, Marshall Bradford, Claudia Bryar, Angela Blake, Russ Whiteman, Charles Seel, Paul Keast, Gretchen Thomas, Patrick Miller, Joy Stoner
written by Kenneth Langtry (= Herman Cohen, Aben Kandel), based on a character created by Mary W. Shelley, music by Paul Dunlap

Frankenstein

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Rather by chance, Doctor Frankenstein (Whit Bissell) and his assistant Karlton (Robert Burton) get hold of the dead body of a victim of a car accident while discussing the possibility of returning life to the dead (or returning the dead back to life, you choose) - and Frankenstein is not one to miss up on an opportunity, and immediately starts to work on the corpse, even stealing bodyparts from other accident victims as replacements for the damaged parts of his own body. Only the face remains that of a monster for some reason.

Ultimately, Frankenstein and Karlton breathe life back into the corpse via their electrical apparatus, and once brought back to life, they teach the creature (Gary Conway) to speak, teach it manners and basic human values. But the creature has the brain of a young man, and he wants to be among his own, so at the first possibility, he makes an escape and shows up at a nearby dorm where he tries to mingle with the residents - but he only freaks out a young girl (Angela Blake) he promptly kills in response. Remorseful, he returns to the doctor's lab ...

Frankenstein manages to shake the police off his tail, as nobody knows about the nature of his experiments of course, but his fiancée (Phyllis Coates) starts to suspect something - so he lures her into a trap and lets the creature feed her to his pet alligator. Then he gives the creature what it always wanted, a new, human face, lifted from y local youngster picked up at lovers lane. The creatures new face presents Frankenstein with a new set of problems though, as the boy he lifted it from was well-known around town. So he decides to disassemble the creature, ship it to England, reassemble it and then present it to the science world. However, the creature is quick to sense there's something fishy and gets into a fight with its creator, whom it ultimately throws to his own alligator. Karlton has alarmed the police meanwhile who now force the creature back into Frankenstein's electrical apparatus where it electrocutes itself ...

 

I Was a Teenage Werewolf might not have been a very good movie, but as a marriage of old-fashioned horror and teenage topics, it was a small revelation. I Was a Teenage Frankenstein, its companion piece in title mainly, was nothing of the sort, just a weak variation of the old Frankenstein myth played out in contemporary sets and costumes while paying next to no attention to the teenage-portion of its title. Granted, lovers of 1950's horror and science fiction drive in cinema like myself will still find something to like in this movie, including many of its shortcomings, but that said, better not expect something other than a (still likeable) piece of routine schlock when watching this one.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD