Category Archives: Drive-In Movies

FRIDAY NIGHT DRIVE-IN MOVIE
Nude On The Moon (1961)


392px-Nude_on_the_moon_poster_01_Crisco_EditNUDE ON THE MOON (1961) a.k.a. Moon Dolls That’s right… it’s strip club night at the drive-in. You’ll start watching for the mammalian protuberances, but you’ll keep watching for the 60s locales, classic convertibles, unnatural Technicolor, painted eyebrows, playboy types and “acting” that’s more fascinating than it has any right to be. A nuclear physicist comes into some dough and talks his partner into going to the moon. “How could we go wrong?,” he asks with a straight face. Then they have a musical drive, when one guy confesses to spending his last night on Earth at a dirty movie theater (so prominently shown, it’s probably another production from the same company). Then they just unlock a fence, board a new spacecraft (while the dirty movie guy acts like he’s seeing it for the first time) and take off for the Moon. Just like that. Try not to notice how orgasmic their g-force/gravity acting is. For the most part, this is your run-of-the-mill bad sci-fi flick (the space suits will cripple you). Keep watching long enough, however, and you’ll learn what bare-breasted moon babes look like. Well… bare-breasted moon babes in a place that bears a striking resemblance to a nudist colony in Homestead, Florida, anyway. The “scientists” figured it was just a part of the moon no one had seen before. You just know the “actors” are there for the girls, too, so you don’t have to feel that bad about watching it. Look fast for the ancient Royal Castle restaurant. The theme song is sung by Ralph Young, who would go on to form the 60s duo, Sandler and Young. Rumor has it that Tonight Show trumpeter Doc Severinsen did the arranging. Filmed without sound equipment, so the entire movie is (badly) dubbed. Now you know where The B-52’s got the name of their 2CD anthology (HERE). EXCLAMATION-MARKED TAG LINE!: Adults Only! DIALOG ALERT: “Hello… I saw you on the throne before. You must be the queen.” Find Nude On The Moon at Amazon, HERE. New Movies, Fridays ‘Round Midnight.

ARCH HALL, JR. & THE ARCHERS Wild Guitar! (2005) + Watch The 1962 Movie “Wild Guitar”

Wild Guitar! (2005)
Can You Resist? Should You Resist?

The great Arch Hall, Jr. Where to start? Bad B-movie aficionados know Arch from his largely awful oeuvre of early 60s films produced and/or written and/or directed by his dad, Arch, Sr. – including such much-maligned corkers as The Choppers, EEGAH!, Wild Guitar & The Sadist. Most featuring Arch in teen idol mode, often performing original songs, whether the plot involves juvenile delinquency, inadequate monsters or even homicidal maniacs. To be fair to Arch, he wasn’t much worse than many other z-grade acting talents of the time, even though the budget-free, thread-bare productions of his films were among the worst ever made (Dad used two aliases in Wild Guitar alone). Musically, the same sort of definitions apply. Arch’s rockin’ teen combo fare may not have any lasting appeal, but as time capsule exhumations, Arch is a fun escape to a past era of mindless innocence masquerading as rebellion. Enter this 48 track compilation of material featuring music, dialog and trailers from Arch’s early 60s career. You get his sole released 45, “Monkey In My Hat Band” b/w  “Konga Joe” (from 1959), along with tunes featured in his movies, many from Wild Guitar. The cream of this comp’s crop, however, are 12 tracks recorded live at a Pensacola drive-in movie concert in 1962, where you can hear Arch and his Archers performing a handful of originals and period winners like “Hello Mary Lou,” “Susie Q” and “Good Golly Miss Molly,” among others. This set alone will make you actively pine for a time machine, as the band sounds like the wild and horny 19 year-olds they are, let loose on the town. If you wanted to actually critique Arch’s chops and performance, I guess you could, but what would be the point? The fact is, this stuff is thoroughly enjoyable, perhaps as camp fare, maybe as serviceable amateur RnR, or maybe even as a cautionary fable of what happens when your dad bankrolls your quest for fame. But… does it even really matter if you’re having fun? And Arch Hall, Jr. & The Archers are fun. Amazon has it HERE.

The Sadist (0:38)
Dune Buggy (2:02)
Buzzola (0:12)
Konga Joe (2:24)
Theme From Wild Guitar (1:48)
Termites (0:05)
Steak’s Theme (2:06)
Monkey In My Hatband (1:51)
Back In Business (0:11)
Run Vickie Run (1:19)
Mike Calls The Shots (0:13)
Guitar Twist (1:16)
A Date With Eegah (0:27)
Theme From Eegah (3:26)
I’m Growin’ Taller (2:18)
Wild Guitar Trailer (1:27)
Stairfall (0:36)
Twist Fever (2:35)
Publicity (0:08)
Money And Records (0:52)
Steak (1:50)
Eegah Crashes The Party (0:48)
Brownsville Road (1:57)
Vickie (2:38)
Girl Bait (0:06)
Daisy Dance (1:03)
The Kidnappers (1:20)
Judy Poody (2:41)
Organ Twist (1:17)
Bud Smells A Rat (0:22)
Bud And Steak Square Off (1:42)
Pep Talk (0:14)
*LIVE AT TWIN DRIVE-IN, Pensacola, FL – December 7, 1962
*Archer’s Theme (0:56)
*If A Man Answers (3:20)
*Further On Up The Road (4:03)
*Stop Sneakin’ Round (3:04)
*Nancy Czar Interview (2:30)
*Teenage Idol (2:59)
*Good Golly Miss Molly (2:36)
*Wild Guitar (3:01)
*Hello Mary Lou (2:22)
*Susie Q (1:36)
*Yes I Will (2:19)
*Archer’s Theme Outro (0:42)
You Little Punk (0:06)
Watch Your Step (3:56)
Big Boy Pete (2:35)
The Choppers (0:35)

REGARDING ARCH’S MOVIES: Tonight’s Friday night drive-in movie will be EEGAH! (HERE), a truly awful movie featuring Arch in all his glory, and below you can view Wild Guitar, the story of a young teenager making his way into the music business in early 60s LA. But fans of the intense and bizarre need to visit our drive-in archives and watch The Sadist (HERE), a grim, twisted pre-grindhouse grindhouse movie that will surely appeal to Quentin Tarantino fans for its unapologetic homicidal nature. It’s a true classic and not necessarily “bad,” though it is in so many ways. Wiki has more Arch info, with links to most of his movies if you’re the detail oriented type.

The Hypnotic Eye (1960)


hypnotic_eyeTHE HYPNOTIC EYE (1960) Lovingly cynical, 50s-styled look at what’s behind a rash of beautiful women self-mutilating themselves, including a woman who sticks her face into a fan, another who drinks lye, and – in the powerful, get-to-the-point opening scene – a saucy blonde babe who thinks her flaming stove is a sink she’s washing her hair in. It all has an unflappable detective stumped, while the cynicism here is rampant among the professionals – from the doctor (“How do you explain it?,” “I don’t… that’s your job.”) to the psychiatrist, who finds his inspiration for The Journal Of Criminal Psychiatry by throwing darts at a wall full of notes (and sinking one right up the ass of a picture of Jayne Mansfield). The Hypnotic Eye has a number of such entertainingly nuanced details and performances, especially from the suavely pompous stage hypnotist, Desmond (Jacques Bergerac), and his show’s participants and victims. Since the perp is introduced within the first 10 minutes, there’s not much mystery here (except for the whys), but it’s the film’s camerawork, noir atmosphere and 60s babes that combine to make this a blast to view. The beatnik/jazz club scene 40 minutes in is to die for (shades of Mike Myers in So I Married An Axe Murderer), while the final act, designed as a theater participation experiment (possibly the “Hypno-Magic” advertised on the poster), must have been a hoot to movie ushers around the world. The sultry Allison Hayes (Attack Of The 50 Foot Woman) is Desmond’s accomplice and jealous assistant. This one is hosted at Daily Motion, so if you have any viewing issues, you can also watch it at YouTube (HERE, which has unfortunately barred its embedding). EXCLAMATION-MARKED TAG LINE!: Spellbound… You Gaze Into The Depths Of Evil As Beauty Is Hypnotized Into A Thing Of Torture And Terror… The Fate Of Those Who Dare To Stare… At The EYE! DIALOG ALERT: “Sherlock Holmes says they’re stooges.” Find The Hypnotic Eye at Amazon, HERE. New Movies, Fridays ‘Round Midnight.

The Haunted Strangler (1958)


haunted_strangler_poster_02THE HAUNTED STRANGLER (1958) a.k.a. Grip Of The Strangler It’s hard to decide when the great Boris Karloss is creepier, when he’s a monster, or when he’s behaving like a ‘normal’ Joe. Especially when he smiles. This 1958 UK horror/mystery is a top-notch production, with fast pacing and great atmosphere. The print is outstanding – a DVD transfer – so watch it while you can, it may not be up for long. Karloff plays a writer/researcher digging (literally) into the long-settled, Ripper-like murders of numerous can-can girls from a music hall called The Judas Hole (copyrightable band name?). The serial killer was hanged 20 years before, but Karloff has his own theories and works to unearth (literally) evidence to clear the killer’s name. Only to discover… well, you’ll see. The film is both violent and sexually flamboyant, by 50s standards anyway, with colorfully corrupt characters and first-rate acting. The story was specifically written for Karloff, who went so far as to remove his dentures for his fiendish transformations. The Haunted Strangler was shot back-to-back with Fiend Without A Face (HERE) to save money, and the two were shown on double bills together. One of the victims is named… Martha Stewart. EXCLAMATION-MARKED TAG LINE!: Their Wild Beauty Marked Them For Death By… The Haunted Strangler! DIALOG ALERT: “I’m going to find that knife and hold it under your nose and make you apologize.” Find The Haunted Strangler at Amazon, HERE. New Movies, Fridays ‘Round Midnight.

The Vampire (1957)


The_Vampire_1957_posterThe Vampire (1957) A generic, sci-fi update of an old theme. The 50s were full of these kinds of revivals, like 1956’s The Werewolf and 1958’s The Return Of Dracula (HERE), among others. This new vampire variation begins as a result of a researcher’s experimentations with bat blood, resulting in pills that accidentally turn a doctor (with an obviously addictive personality) into a blood-sucker. The end result, however, is somewhat Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde-ish, so the film’s producers are kinda killing two legacies with one stone here. The shadowy B&W imagery oozes TV/film noir, while co-star Kenneth Tobey (The Thing From Another World, HERE) downplays his tough guy/flyboy persona to play a snappily dressed local sheriff. Solid acting – especially from the troubled, pill-popping protagonist, played by John Beal – makes The Vampire a pleasure to watch, despite its scientific approach to the subject matter… not to mention the virtual absence of any of the expected mythical lore. Still… the studio’s make-up department was obviously on vacation during production. Famed TV character actor Dabbs Greer appears (as Dr. Beaumont), as does the recognizably Cronkite-ian, Herb Vigran, as a beat cop. EXCLAMATION-MARKED TAG LINE!: It Claws… It Drains Blood! DIALOG ALERT: “Henry complains a lot, but deep inside he’s a frightened child seeking approval.” Find The Vampire (on a double feature DVD with The Return Of Dracula) at Amazon, HERE. New Movies, Fridays ‘Round Midnight.

Cry Of The Werewolf (1944)


cryofthewerewolf01Cry Of The Werewolf (1944) a.k.a. Daughter Of The Werewolf Little known entry in the longstanding wolf/werewolf-related movie franchises, originally kickstarted by Universal, but picked up here by Columbia Pictures. A recap of the werewolf (& vampire) myth is neatly revisited by a museum tour guide in the movie’s opening 5 minutes. Made in 1944, Cry Of The Werewolf has all of the delicious atmospheric charm of the original (second wave) of monster movies, characterized by dramatic tension, film noir lighting and rousing original (though sometimes recycled) music. There are no real stars in this psychological whodunit, just gypsies, mythology and cinematic suggestion. Hard to imagine all of those Eastern Bloc accents aren’t meant to sound anything but suspicious, especially in 1944. The cigarette lighter-lit hallway scene is a treat. EXCLAMATION-MARKED TAG LINE!: When The Bells Toll At Midnight… Werewolves Prowl The Earth! DIALOG ALERT: “We will now proceed to the voodoo room.” Find Cry Of The Werewolf at Amazon, HERE. New Movies, Fridays ‘Round Midnight.

The Thing From Another World! (1951) + The Original Soundtrack and more…


The-ThingTHE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD! (1951) One of the all-time greats, made in 1951, long before the low-budget, teenage drive-in demographic came to dominate the horror genre. If anything, The Thing From Another World proves just how much fun a simple alien/monster plot can be in the hands of a real director/producer. In this case, Howard Hawks, though the film’s direction is controversially credited to Christian Nyby. Regardless of who’s actually responsible, the film boasts two of Hawks’ most recognizable characteristics – fast-talking actors and overlapping dialog. Some of the personalities still have 50s, old school attitudes, which lends The Thing some campy charm, but the production’s believability and detail is first-rate. Gunsmoke‘s James Arness plays the being, while Kenneth Tobey gives maybe his most memorable flyboy performance as the Captain. Margaret Sheridan is the brainy, no-bullshit babe who – despite being relegated to serving coffee, and the never reliable 50s poster art – doesn’t require saving…for a change. Heck, she’s credited with once drinking the Captain under the table, and even plays a coyish “bondage” game with him. The plot is simple… something crash lands in the arctic ice, gets dug up, then all hell breaks loose. Of course, there are the remakes (not counting all those lesser attempts inspired by this film)… John Carpenter’s The Thing (with Kurt Russell) has always been a personal favorite (but, I’m a Carpenter die-hard), and there’s also the 2011 “prequel” to Carpenter’s vision, starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead. EXCLAMATION-MARKED TAG LINE!: Nothing In This World Can Match Its Menace! DIALOG ALERT: “So few people can boast that they’ve lost a flying saucer AND a man from Mars all in the same day!” You’ll need to boost the volume on the player and your system for this one. Click the HQ for better quality. It takes a few extra seconds to load but it’s worth it. Find The Thing at Amazon, HERE. New Movies, Fridays ‘Round Midnight.

The Thing From Another WorldThe Thing From Another World (1951)
OK, So Here’s The Thing…

Dimitri Tiomkin’s brilliant original score for the 1951 sci-fi classic, The Thing From Another World! – a massively entertaining shot of otherworldly experimental composition that had few precedents when first heard over six decades ago. It’s hard not to compare this soundtrack with another essential 1951 sci-fi film score, Bernard Hermann’s The Day The Earth Stood Still (HERE). Stylistically, each composer has their own characteristics, yet both scores are framed by the use of a futuristic-sounding theremin – coloring the proceedings with an eerie, ominous and downright spooky tension. Tiomkin’s score is dominated by jarring horns and swirling strings, all colliding in a near-chaotic tsunami of sound, cleverly enhanced with a stammering percussive element that suggests a frantic telegraph wire screaming in all directions for help. I heard stuff in this 2005 re-issue (made from Tiomkin’s own acetates) that I never heard before, either because the music is being newly presented, or it was just lost in the tinny 50s film stock we’re all most familiar with. Highly recommended! Find it at Amazon (HERE, paired with another Tiomkin score, Take The High Ground). Hear “Flying Saucer Sequence, Part 1,” below. Track list in comments.

And Another Thing Or Two…
The Thing FrontJohn Carpenter’s The Thing
(The Original Score/The Film Score)
(1982/2011)

While we’re on the subject, here’s a cool fan-made compilation of the Ennio Morricone/John Carpenter score for the 1982 remake, The Thing, starring Kurt Russell. Director/Co-Composer Carpenter is a bit of an acquired taste, what with his use of sensationalistic (but typically unrealistic) bloody gobs of gore. But for fans, it’s all great fun, and his modern re-telling of the doomed arctic encounter with another world The Thing (The Original Score)is a blast. The soundtrack is offered in two versions – the original CD release and the isolated Laser Disc score, which includes the movie’s contemporary songs (Stevie Wonder, Billie Holiday) alongside more of Carpenter’s throbbing, synthetic simplicity – a heartbeat pulse that ties together the atmospheric suspense. Fans of both artists should enjoy. Find the official CD release (pictured on the right) at Amazon, HERE. Hear “Desolation (Main Theme),” below. Track lists are in comments.

Suspiria (1977)


Suspiria SUSPIRIA (1977) Italian horror master Dario Argento’s spooky and visually thrilling 1977 coven-fest, Suspiria. It begins drearily, on a rainy night as an American ballet student arrives to enroll in a prestigious German dance school, only to find… horror. That, and a lot of lavishly colorful sets, creepy foreign dialects and atmospherics, and a diabolically haunting music score by Italian prog-monsters, Goblin. The action is gory, but being 1977, it’s more cinematic than believable, though it’s all still rather brutal and bloody. Funny, depending on your sensibilities, but unsettling just the same. You’ll recognize young Jessica Harper, fresh from Woody Allen’s Love And Death, as the troubled victim-to-be, but it’s the choice camera work and vibrant, eye-candy sets that will sustain you through the creepy lulls. Film nuts will be dazzled by the “imbibition” process, which enhances the Technicolor process. Others will just enjoy the bevy of catty Italian ballet babes. Rotten Tomatoes ranked it #41 on their 2010 list of greatest horror films. In 2008, Natalie Portman (she of Black Swan fame) was slated to star in a remake that never took place. EXCLAMATION-MARKED TAG LINE!: The Most Frightening Film You’ll Ever See! DIALOG ALERT: “Yeah… maybe there’s a hex on the place.” The two-disc special edition of Suspiria features the full, remastered soundtrack by Goblin. It’s at Amazon, HERE. New Movies, Fridays ‘Round Midnight.

BONUS…
SuspiriaGOBLIN Suspiria – The Complete Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2000)
Coventry Bells

2000 reissue of Goblin’s “Complete Score” for Suspiria, with it’s tinkling, Tubular Bells-like main theme and four bonus tracks of outtakes and variations. More or less essential to the film, it’s even better on its own. The track list is in comments. Find it at Amazon, HERE.

I Bury The Living (1958)


i-bury-the-living-1958-posterI BURY THE LIVING (1958) Richard Boone takes over as the director of a cemetery, when a series of coincidences force him to question reality. The push-pin system used for marking graves on a map of the grounds, begins predicting the deaths of plot buyers. Boone begins to believe he’s marking people for death. When it inexplicably continues, even as the cemetery’s unbelieving board members lose their own lives trying to prove his fears are irrational, things get spooky. The longtime caretaker, who’s buried under suspicious looking make-up and a thick Scottish brogue, is none other than Theodore Bikel (Rance Muhammitz in Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels). Dennis The Menace’s dad appears as a news hound. Crisp B&W print. There aren’t any walking zombies in this one, despite the suggestive title and the completely misleading poster art (which is par for the course). It’s a psychological thriller more akin to a reserved Twilight Zone episode. EXCLAMATION-MARKED TAG LINE!: The Most Spine-Chilling Cry That Ever Froze The Blood! DIALOG ALERT: “Oh, darling… you must be dead tired.” Find I Bury The Living at Amazon, HERE. New Movies, Fridays ‘Round Midnight.

Circus Of Horrors (1960)


Circus-of-Horrors CIRCUS OF HORRORS (1960) In post-war France, a discredited surgeon is on the run after hideously disfiguring a woman (and himself), when he stumbles upon a bankrupt circus owner whose precious little girl just happens to be in need of reconstructive surgery. In exchange, the doctor incredulously takes control of the circus and creates a stable of once-disfigured crooks, hookers and ne’er-do-wells for his traveling sideshow, all of whom he blackmails into servitude. The circus is a success, which makes you wonder why he didn’t just go into business and forget about all the diabolicalness. The outline sounds more convoluted that it actually is, as this British-made psychological thriller moves at a fast pace, filling in the absurd plot with quickly developing scenes, padded with big top circus performances and half-naked babes (thrust into sadomasochistic situations). The great Donald Pleasence, as the drunken circus owner, immediately elevates the movie’s quality, but is killed off faster than a guest star on Police Squad (HERE, your obscure-but-essential 80s television reference for the day). Well-known actor Anton Diffring is perfectly cast as the conniving German ringleader, an icy cold character he perfected in numerous Nazi roles over the years. EXCLAMATION-MARKED TAG LINE!: See It And Gasp! DIALOG ALERT: “Rather an interesting face, don’t you think?” Find Circus Of Horrors at Amazon, HERE. New Movies, Fridays ‘Round Midnight.

Night Of The Ghouls (1959)

Night Of The GhoulsNIGHT OF THE GHOULS (1959) The great Edward D. Wood, Jr.’s equally inept follow-up to Plan 9 From Outer Space (HERE), featuring a continuation of characters he first introduced in 1955’s Bride Of The Monster (HERE), with many of his stock company of “actors” – including The Amazing Criswell (get his must-have album, HERE), Tor Johnson, Duke Moore, Paul Marco and a few others. Night Of The Ghouls has a convoluted history, with varying reports unsure if the film was even theatrically released after principal photography in 1957 (under the title, Revenge Of The Dead). Some recollect the movie did get showings in 1959, but at one point, the negatives were held hostage by a film lab until past due debts were settled… in the early 80s, by the film’s eventual owner, Wade Williams. Hysterically amateurish, with comically bad one-take acting, further marred by anchored shots that forced the actors to walk into and out of camera range themselves – giving Night Of The Ghouls all the quality and charm of a high school play. Watch for Wood’s cameo, Alfred Hitchcock style, as Ed – in typically half-assed fashion – simply pastes one of his 8×10 head shots on the wall in a barren room that’s supposed to be the police station. It reads “Wanted.” I guess I could outline the movie’s plot, but what would be the point? This is an excellent B&W print, so fans can enjoy every poorly conceived shot and embarrassing miscue. DIALOG ALERT: “That clapper on the door was meant for announcing visitors.” Find Night Of The Ghouls at Amazon, HERE, though your best buy is The Ed Wood Box (HERE), featuring five films and a feature; Glen Or Glenda, Jail Bait, Bride Of The Monster, Plan 9 From Outer Space, Night Of The Ghouls & The Haunted World Of Ed Wood. New Movies, Fridays ‘Round Midnight.

The Brain Eaters (1958)


The Brain EatersTHE BRAIN EATERS (1958) Low-budget, but relatively sharp story of aliens taking over the minds and bodies of inhabitants in a small Illinois town. One of a dozen variations of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (as well as The Puppet Masters, whose author sued the producers of this movie over similarities), with some interesting camerawork, rousing music (mis-credited Shostakovich) and a few unusually violent scenes for a 1950s cheapie. The shoot-out that takes place when the town’s Mayor goes berserk is highly effective, emphasized by tilted, paranoia-inducing camera angles and uninhibited gun play. Of course, there’s plenty of dumb dialog, plot holes and horribly designed aliens – and the sleep-walking voice-over is nearly a deal-breaker when it comes to deciding whether or not to invest your time here – but the stark cinematography (during the indoor scenes, anyway), competent characterizations and semi-realistic fist-fights make this one a decent view (at least… compared to the era’s really crappy movies). Newbie Leonard “Nemoy” makes an appearance as a professor. Great poster art. EXCLAMATION-MARKED TAG LINE!: Crawling, Slimy Things Terror-Bent On Destroying The World! DIALOG ALERT: “You know why I’m here… and I want action.” Find The Brain Eaters at Amazon. It’s expensive by itself (HERE), but is cheaper in a box set with other sci-fi flicks, HERE. New Movies, Fridays ‘Round Midnight.

How To Make A Monster (1958)


HowtomakeamonsterHOW TO MAKE A MONSTER (1958) With the success of A.I.P.’s I Was A Teenage Werewolf in 1957 (HERE), the company was tasked to deliver two more pictures in the same vein within the next six months. So, using some of the same personnel (and formula) A.I.P. cranked out I Was A Teenage Frankenstein (HERE) and – proving just how quickly Hollywood can run out of ideas when under pressure – this turkey… How To Make A Monster. The plot of the movie is centered around… A.I.P. Studios, who are busy making a teenage Werewolf vs. teenage Frankenstein movie. The madman is the studios’ make-up man, who develops a foundation that, when applied, allows him to hypnotize and control the teens – whom he instructs to kill off the new studio heads, who are busy changing the company’s direction to do away with monsters and, in turn, the make-up man’s job. Embarrassingly under-written and poorly acted, the storyline has more holes than the Albert Hall, though it’s fun to watch the making of… the making of a movie, from behind the scenes settings to old monster props from Invasion Of The Saucer Men, It Conquered The World (HERE) and other b-movies. The movie posters for both …Teenage Werewolf and …Teenage Frankenstein are prominently displayed in one scene, illustrating just how incestuous this production was. And, like you’d expect from in-breeding, the results are unoriginal and retarded. The final reel was shot in color, so the film switches from B&W just in time for the blood and fire, with an ending so quick it looks like they just ran out of time and money. And, despite the poster, there are virtually no women even in the movie, much less a damsel in distress. EXCLAMATION-MARKED TAG LINE!: It Will Scare The Living Yell Out Of You! DIALOG ALERT: “That’s the way the footage cuts.” Find How To Make A Monster at Amazon, HERE. New Movies, Fridays ‘Round Midnight.

I Was A Teenage Frankenstein (1957)


Teenage FrankensteinI WAS A TEENAGE FRANKENSTEIN (1957) a.k.a Teenage Frankenstein – The natural follow-up to last week’s I Was A Teenage Werewolf (HERE), is American International Pictures’ own follow-up – produced the same year, using the same formula, and even one of the same stars, Whit Bissell, the well-known character actor perhaps best known for his role in The Time Tunnel. After I Was A Teenage Werewolf‘s success, no time was wasted in re-working another of Universal’s famed monsters for the drive-in crowd, as Professor Frankenstein, a descendant of the Baron, is again trying to fine-tune the idea of re-animating dead tissue. This time in the 1950s, using a teenage hunk who, right on cue, dies in a car crash just as the professor is outlining his bodily requirements for his experiments. Like Werewolf, Frankenstein is (relatively) well-made, with obvious budget restraints, but with solid direction and (relatively) sensible acting… at least from Bissel. Almost humorously, Bissel’s Professor Frankenstein is a raging megalomaniac, who references his own self-importance enough to make a drinking game out of his pious and ongoing me-myself-and-I proclamations. He blackmails his own assistant and strings along his girlfriend (played by Phyllis Coates, the original Lois Lane on the Adventures Of Superman), before conning his well-meaning “monster” (in the end, a normal kid once his face gets fixed) into killing any and all who get in the way of his scientific greatness. There are even a few surprisingly gory moments for a 50s movie, which gets kinda creepy when the Professor talks about disassembling his living creation to take him on a flight, so he can reassemble him later. EXCLAMATION-MARKED TAG LINE!: Body Of A Boy! Mind Of A Monster! Soul Of An Unearthly Thing! DIALOG ALERT: “Speak! You got a civil tongue in your head, I know you have… because I sewed it back myself.” Inexplicably, I Was A Teenage Frankenstein is only available on VHS at Amazon, HERE. New Movies, Fridays ‘Round Midnight.

I Was A Teenage Werewolf (1957)


I_Was_A_Teenage_Werewolf-posterI WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF (1957) Well-made teenage exploitation flick, starring a number of recognizable character actors who would go on to greater roles, including newcomer, Michael Landon (Bonanza, Little House On The Prairie) as Tony, the hot-head who just can’t keep from fighting; with authority, students, parents, his girlfriend… even himself. You gotta love the bongo-playing teen stereotypes (made when it was all still poppin’ fresh) and the jive-talking high schoolers and their cheesy rock ‘n’ roll. When a psychiatrist-hypnotist-scientist – who’s supposed to be helping Tony with his anger management issues – uses him as a guinea pig for his retrogressive experiments, the plot thickens. As does Tony’s hair… which (to quote Zevon) is perfect. Fine acting and direction, especially from veteran Whit Bissell (you’ll recognize him) as the mad scientist. The beat cop, Guy Williams, went on to head the Lost In Space clan, while the girl playing the screaming teen gymnast was a 1957 Playboy centerfold. Which is pretty amazing when you think about it… a teen movie in the prudish 50s employing a Bunny from Hef’s counter-cultural smut mag. EXCLAMATION-MARKED TAG LINE!: The Most Amazing Motion Picture Of Our Time! DIALOG ALERT: “The only hope for the human race is to hurl it back into its primitive norm, to start all over again. What’s one life compared to such a triumph?” You can’t find I Was a Teenage Werewolf on DVD at Amazon, only VHS, HERE. New Movies, Fridays ‘Round Midnight.