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I Was A Teenage Zombie
Ah, the zombie movie. What fertile ground for the horror industry. George Romero's classic Night of the Living Dead spawned countless copists and spoofs. One of my favorites would have to be Return of the Living Dead 3 -- a tender love story about a zombie hottie who gets REALLY into body piercing to quell her hunger for her boyfriend's brains. But let's talk about something you can actually GET on disc, namely, I Was A Teenage Zombie (1986, 91 minutes). Yep, the sub-set of the undead genre, the wacky zombie comedy.
The movie: A gaggle of nerds set out to score some marijuana to help them get their groove on after a high school dance. The grass they buy makes them much-o sicko, so they try to get their money back from a surly dealer called Mussolini (Ignacio F. Iquino aka. Steve McCoy). Things turn bad when he slips on a banana peel and dies. Naturally, the nerds toss his body in the river that's just been irradiated by a nuclear power plant. And bingo! We get Zombie Mussolini! Amid all this, there's the time-tried storyline ... Boy meets girl; Girl does something really naughty to boy underwater; Boy gets killed; Boy becomes zombie; Girl doesn't want to get nekkid with zombie boy anymore. Zombie boy wins girl's heart. My Boyfriend's Back ran with THAT idea, but with a lot more humor. Teenage Zombie is fairly forgettable until its final reel, when it successfully merges the worlds of basketball and the undead. Add it to your next "I Was A Teenage This-or-That" marathon. Suggestions ... I Was a Teenage Frankenstein, I Was a Teenage Mummy, I Was a Teenage Werewolf (Little Joe's first big picture), I Was a Teenage Serial Killer, I Was a Teenage Vampire and I Was a Teenage Teenager (the original title of Clueless).
Notables: No breasts. Seven corpses. Two undead bodies. Gratuitous ballroom dancing. Dope smoking. Banana peel folly. Tongue ripping. Leg snapping. Bright-light interrogation. Undead fly. Neck snapping. Body stealing. Head bashing. Window peeping. Frisbee flinging. Head tumbles. Puking. Face ripping. Knuckle lobotomy.
Quotables: Mussolini growls, "I'm gonna cut and skin you like a greasy pussy cat." A buddy explains to Dan (Michael Rubin) why they stole his corpse and zombified him, "We couldn't just let you be. Don't you see? You're our only hope against Mussolini."
Time codes: Stoner exhibits Duran Duran paranoia (6:40). Zombie diddles a nerd's date ... gets a little carried away (7:45). Drug dealer rises from the murky depths (31:10). Gordy has a full-blown panic attack (53:30). Zombie performs permanent face lift (1:18:45). An outstanding three-point shot (1:25:35).
Audio/Video: Mostly clean fullframe transfer. Dolby digital mono track.
Final thought: Most everyone involved with the flick NEVER worked in movies EVER again. But, still, it has some pretty inspired gross-out scenes. Recommended.
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G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.