Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Revenge of the Virgins and Teenage Zombies (Vinegar Syndrome DVD) - Drive-In Collection

The Drive-In Double feature this month is a combination of strange exploitation movie and perfectly schlock monster movie. You know how you know Teenage Zombies is schlock… two words… gorilla suit. That’s all you need to know that it’s something that must be seen to be believed. There have been plenty of articles that directly relate to the man in the gorilla suit movies of old. These focus mostly on classic Universal era releases or even talk about Trading Places. This is a whole new level of perfect camp meant for folks who want to be astounded by what can pass for a movie. On the other hand, if the ape man/mad scientist thing isn’t quite your bag, you can always appreciate nudie tribal woman in a battle against some malicious prospectors. I mean that sounds just as gonzo as a rubber, ape monster movie.

You can pick up Revenge of the Virgins and Teenage Zombies in a Drive-In Collection double feature from Vinegar Syndrome now:

You also have the option of purchasing the package deal from them which includes two new Blu-rays and another Drive Collection:

Revenge of the Virgins

From Vinegar Syndrome:

Director Peter Perry’s bizarre nudie western tells the story of a tribe of topless female Indians battling backstabbing gold prospectors. The screenplay was co-written by the blundering master himself Ed Wood and now Vinegar Syndrome presents this early nudie classic newly restored from its 35mm camera negatives in widescreen.
Director: Peter Perry Jr. / 53 minutes / B&W / AR: 1.85:1

Despite my best efforts with Revenge of the Virgins I can’t help but find it to be just completely wacko. One minute we’re in the old west following some particularly heinous fellas engage in prospecting activities and the next we’re following a nearly tribal group of young women, scantily clad or naked, fight them. It’s not quite the feminist rebellion you’d imagine. While it isn’t overly long, the battle seems without fruits though it a true victor emerges by the end of the picture. There’s plenty of simple trickery and “battle techniques”, but this isn’t a violent picture. It isn’t graphic save for some naked bodies. Don’t let that word “revenge” make you think that this is the next I Spit on Your Grave. Pure sensationalistic titling at its best.

The transfer on this is perfectly grindhouse, clear but still containing some of the signs of age from years of wear and tear. It’s what you’ve come to expect from the Drive-In Collection. This type of release is charming. What may surprise you is that this feature is from 1959!

This is the first film from Peter Perry Jr. who would go on to make some fairly notorious movies, solid exploitation flicks that were featured on the Something Weird Catalog. Given the recent interest in SWV and the effort by AGFA to restore the catalog, we may be seeing more from Perry sooner rather than later. 

Teenage Zombies

From Vinegar Syndrome:

A group of teenagers are held captive by a crazed doctor after they discover an evil plot involving fiendish experiments to try to rule the world! Director Jerry Warren was a 1950s B Movie mainstay and his film TEENAGE ZOMBIES has been restored from its original 35mm camera negative!
Director: Jerry Warren / 71 minutes / B&W / AR: 1.85:1

Funny enough, Teenage Zombies also feels like a misnomer as respects the title. This is a really a 50’s mad scientist movie that tries to be a bit edgy but still comes out using the same old tricks that Horror pictures having been using since the 40’s. The best of these is of the course the man in the rubber ape suit. What a humorous treat. If you’re expecting traditional zombies, go find your 100 copies of Night of the Living Dead, colorized, extended, in Japanese. This is really a monster movie with an en vogue name to get young asses in the seats. Again, that’s part of its charm. I’m only truly critical of Teenage Zombies as respects to pacing. The movie drags on with a hefty dose of dialogue (unintentionally humorous of course) rather than focusing on some of the cheap action and “horrific moments”. Fans of movies like The Monsters Crash the Pajama Party need apply.

The transfer is actually quite remarkable for such an obscure movie. While flawed, it presents nicely in black and white.

Jerry Warren goes on to make some crazy movies after Teenage Zombies though definitely in the same vane. A few of the more interesting titles include Frankenstein Island, Terror of the Bloodhunters and Face of the Scream Werewolf. This is the mid-60's camp, Uni/Hammer revival that fueled monster kids.

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