A Mad Doctor, Mad Plans and… – Teenage Zombies (1958)

It is easy to see why this Jerry Warren product was shelved for a couple of years, yet in the grand scheme of things, Teenage Zombies was not all that bad. Was it made on the cheap? Sure, just like every other Warren picture, but at least this one tended to be somewhat coherent in nature which is more than some of his films can claim to be. There is no horror to be found of course, even if the movie was touted as a horror feature. The zombies are laughable and while there are a few Warren movies that featured monsters that actually looked half-decent, this film did not.

For this picture, Warren writes the script in addition to his duties as director and as the title states, he brings in a group of teenagers who eventually meet up with some zombies. All of this happens upon an island which is run by a mad scientist, this time being played by a woman in Katherine Victor who wants to turn everyone in the United States into zombies. Ridiculous of course, but it is entertaining to see the teens get captured and face not only a couple of human zombies, but a zombie gorilla who sort of helps the kids to escape towards the end of it all.

With little to no budget, the zombies are simply regular guys pretending like they are hypnotized and for the most part, it manages to work. These are the types of zombies that were usually featured in the horror films of old – mindless beings who did whatever they were called upon to do by their masters and though not as fun as the brain-eating kind, they still had a charm about them. The most enjoyable part of it all was not the terrible acting or the hammy script, but the hypnotized ape who took his revenge in the end. Though it might have faults, more than a few even, Teenage Zombies is not the worst feature film that Warren would ever produce, yet neither would it be the best.

2 out of 5

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