I Was a Teenage Frankenstein

Tagged: Film

US film (1957). Santa Rosa Productions/American International Pictures. Executive producers Samuel Z Arkoff, James H Nicholson. Directed by Herbert L Strock. Written by Herman Cohen, Aben Kandel. Cast includes Whit Bissell, Robert Burton, Phyllis Coates and Gary Conway. 74 minutes, cut to 72 minutes. Black and white, with colour finale.

Professor Frankenstein (Bissell), seemingly an ordinary college professor in an unnamed US town, is a descendant of the nineteenth-century doctor from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818; rev 1831). With help from reluctant accomplice Dr Karlton (Burton), he is secretly continuing his ancestor's efforts to create artificial life in a laboratory beneath his home, complete with an alligator pit for disposal of spare parts. He collects material from an aeroplane disaster and an automobile accident, the latter conveniently taking place almost on his doorstep. He succeeds in giving life to a facially hideous young Frankenstein Monster, and attempts to civilize him; predictably, though, his creation soon goes on a killing spree. Frankenstein's fiancée Margaret (Coates) becomes too suspicious for her own good about the nature of his experiments, and is rapidly introduced to the alligator pit. The Monster is then upgraded with the face of killed teenager Bob (Conway), but Frankenstein loses control of it and joins his late fiancée in said pit. Karlton fetches help in the form of the police, and the creature is electrocuted during a confrontation with law officers. The film switches from black-and-white to colour for the grisly concluding sequence. An average Horror in SF film of the period, aimed at a teenage audience, it was quite popular at the time. [GFi]

see also: Frankenstein; I Was a Teenage Werewolf.

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