Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Odd duo: Gary Conway and Whit Bissell

I WAS A TEENAGE FRANKENSTEIN  (1957). Director: Gene Fowler, Jr.

The descendant of Professor Frankenstein (Whit Bissell) wants to take up where his ancestor left off, but intends to make sure his creature looks normal and can make his way among men. Well... not quite, as he removes the body of a dead teen from an accident and brings him back to life [see photo] looking in such a way that he can hardly enter polite society. The poor thing [Gary Conway of Burke's Law and Land of the Giants] wants more of a social life, so the two drive to lover's lane and drag off another poor fellow [Gary Conway again] for a face transplant so the monster can have a handsome and normal countenance; in other words he becomes a sexy beast. Prof. Frankenstein is almost comically immoral in this. [Oddly, the British Curse of Frankenstein released the same year by Hammer studios also had a murderous and sociopathic Dr. Frankenstein.] Conway and Bissell give very good performances, as does Phyllis Coates as Frankenstein's clueless fiancee. This came out on a double-bill with I Was a Teenage Werewolf. Conway later appeared in How to Make a Monster in which he played an actor playing a teenage Frankenstein.

Verdict: Very entertaining hokum with an alligator pit to boot. ***.

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