• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Teenage Zombies

TITLE: Teenage Zombies

YEAR: 1959

GENRE: Horror

When one attends a horror convention it becomes pretty obvious that older films are still well loved by the die-hard horror sect. Merchandise of Universal Monster movies, Hammer Film productions of the 1970’s, and memorabilia of stars such as Bela Lugosi and Vincent Price are pretty common in the dealer’s room and are sought after by collectors and fans alike. However, every horror fan will openly admit that not every old horror flick is a classic and that there are a significant amount of titles that are not memorable on any level and without continual efforts by Z-grade distribution houses certain god-awful titles would be mercifully forgotten. This is the case with the 1959 stinker Teenage Zombies, one of the twenty worst movies ever made on any level.

Teenagers Reg (played by Don Sullivan), Skip (Paul Pepper), Julie (Mitzie Albertson), and Pam (Brianne Murphy) are out on Reg’s boat when they discover an uncharted island just a few miles offshore. While exploring the island they discover a compound owned by Dr. Myra (Katherine Victor), a beautiful scientist in an evening dress. Dr. Myra is experimenting with a type of gas that turns unsuspecting humans into slaves more than willing to do her bidding, and the four teens are captured. Convicts and drunks have been used as test subjects, but now it is time to test the gas on more normal subjects and the four teens are the guinea pigs! Once the teens are late with a lunch meeting with Morrie (Jay Hawk) and Dotty (Nan Green) the twosome become suspicious and meet up with the town’s sheriff (Mike Concannon). Morrie, Dotty, and the sheriff venture out and discover the island, but little do the teens know that the sheriff is in cahoots with Dr. Myra and in reality is delivering the two teens for her diabolical experiments. Can the six teenagers escape and stop Dr. Myra before she turns the entire country into mindless slaves.

It must be noted that the term “zombie” was commonly used in various ways inHollywood—ghouls, brainwashed individuals, and hypnotized individuals—before George A. Romero forever redefined the term in Night Of The Living Dead in 1968, so Teenage Zombies is not referring to gut munching lumbering undead horror fans know and love today. Despite this, there is really no redeeming qualities of Teenage Zombies on any level. Mismatched stock footage of motor boating and 1950’s style malt shops are used and are not as good of quality of the actual film footage, the music does not fit the scenes on many occasions, the acting is the quality one would expect at a community college play, and the special effects are non-existent. Dr. Myra has a gorilla locked up in her compound for some reason, and it is obvious that it is a guy in a monkey suit that has no clue how to act like a primate. Teenage Zombies is indeed awful, but it also lacks the qualities such as over the top situations or terrible dialogue to make the film a great laugh at a party with adult beverages and sarcastic friends. Teenage Zombies is just there in its uninspired state and is not even worth the time to laugh at as it is more pathetic than unintentionally comical.

The amazing part of Teenage Zombies is that director Jerry Warren made horrible movies right up until 1981 and is responsible for the epic 1966 stinker The Wild World Of Batwoman. Teenage Zombies was originally filmed in 1957 and was not released until late 1959, and by then the teenage sci-fi/horror movie craze had pretty much ended. Teenage Zombies lives on through various DVD releases, and unfortunately should be dead and buried along with poodle skirts and beehive hair-dos.

*

–Mark

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