I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1957) starring Whit Bissel, Phyllis Coates, Robert Burton, Gary Conway
Frankenstein’s descendant tries creating a creature from teenager body part. With the predictable results, in I Was a Teenage Frankenstein.
In short, I Was a Teenage Frankenstein is a cheesy Frankenstein movie. The only notable difference between it and countless other variations is that this time, the Dr. Frankenstein is using teenage body parts.
The acting, especially by Whit Bissell, is flat. Perhaps they were trying to go for a parody, or spoof. If so, it didn’t work. The only good acting is by Gary Conway, as the initially sympathetic creature.
Cast of characters
Whit Bissell (Creature from the Black Lagoon, Lost Continent) as Professor Frankenstein. Descendent of the original, he’s going to build a new creature, from teenage parts. He just happens to have a fully equipped secret laboratory / morgue. With teenage body parts that he’s been collecting. And, a pit with alligators that he uses to dispose of body parts. Totally normal. In short, he’s a poor imitation of Peter Cushing’s Baron Frankenstein. Amoral, willing to commit murder multiple times. He browbeats the weak-willed Dr. Karlton into helping him. And becomes engaged to his beautiful secretary, to use her in his scheme as well. Until she becomes too nosy …
- Phyllis Coates (Superman and the Mole Men) as Margaret. Frankenstein’s secretary, who becomes his fiancee. But he has no time for her, since he’s all tied up with his mysterious experiment. She wonders what that is … And finds out. Then, she makes the mistake of telling him. And that alligator pit could come in handy …
- Robert Burton (Billy Rose’s Jumbo, The Slime People) as Dr. Karlton. Weak willed easily coerced to help Frankenstein with his experiment. However, he’s unaware of the murders. And, towards the end, he finds his spine, and alerts the police. Apparently, the idea of slicing up the living monster into pieces for easier storage is too much for him.
Gary Conway (Land of the Giants) as teenage Frankenstein monster/Bob. The titular monster. Originally the corpse harvested from an automobile accident, conveniently near Frankenstein’s home/laboratory. After his reanimation, he retains a fear of fire, remembering his death. At first, the disfigured creature is sympathetic. Especially given the cruel way that Frankenstein treats him. But then, he’s easily manipulated into murdering Margaret. And picks the handsome Bob was the “donor” for his new face.