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I Was a Teenage Frankenstein

(I Was a Teenage Frankenstein)

April 08, 2010

Herr Dr. Frankenstein (brilliantly played by the always excellent Whit Bissell) visiting the states has a chance to prove his critics foolish. So with a car crash just right next door and a plane crash killing excellent specimen, he and his assistant decide what the heck, let's whip together a monster. In spite of Frankenstein fiance's skulking (Phyllis Coates), he does a fine job. In case of foul-ups there's an alligator in the moat beneath the lab to slide the evidence in, or spare parts like a severed leg. It goes swimmingly until the monster escapes and walks among people. Thus scaring the life out of a female or two. Dispatching Ms Coates while Frankenstein observes, "woman thy name is perfidy" (remember this was a '50s horror film for kids) The monster's face may be made of putty and hair hanks and such, but it scared the life out of me when I was 8, and every Halloween it still bothers me. It's fun watching Gary Conway meet himself in monster make-up, and where his head rests until it's put on the monster's neck. It and the companion piece "Teenage Werewolf" are such fun. I have no idea why these are not on DVD. They would make a fortune. This film played a a theater 3 blocks from my house as a kid. On my way home from school I stood entranced looking at the poster, I kept it in my head all that time. I even had an escape route planned if the monster came in my door when I was asleep. I would have been dead. That it was filmed in California, that I loved Whit Bissell so much and that it's simply a well made film. It holds many childhoods together. Beyond all else, it's just scary as hell. The monster pops out of a drawer to scare Phyllis. The bandages are arranged just so on his head. When he grapples with his maker, well I gotta tell ya I don't think I want to have been in that scene with him.

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