I WAS A TEENAGE ZOMBIE (1987) – The Dungeon Review!
The makers of ‘I Was A Teenage Zombie’ seemed to have taken a page from the Troma book of filmmaking. They even make a reference to an employee at the Nuclear power plant named Lloyd Kaufman who falls into a vat of toxic waste. It is highly campy and super low budget but is not without its charms.
A group of high school students are looking for some pot for the spring dance but the town is dry. Meanwhile, drug dealer Mussolini needs to come up with $3000 to pay a debt by the end of the week but all he has to sell is some really bad weed. The two worlds collide and a transaction is made. But when the students give the weed a test run they find it defective and one of them goes back to Mussolini looking for a refund. Mussolini slaps the kid around a bit and sends him on his way. But the kids come back with baseball bats hoping to freak him out but instead he pulls a knife on them. Fortunately for them, he slips on a banana peel and hits his head. Thinking the man is dead; they carry him to the river and are just about to dump him in when he comes to. But all-star hitter Dan gets a homerun off of Mussolini’s head and finishes him off for good, or so he thinks. It turns out the local river is full of toxic waste and it brings Mussolini back more pissed off then ever.
Sadly, I was unable to find a trailer for this film, but I did find this great clip featuring one of my favourite moments. If you find this clip entertaining you won’t be disappointed in ‘I Was A Teenage Zombie’. There aren’t enough of these moments, but when they come they are a treat! The effects, like everything else in this film are low budget, but you have to appreciate their enthusiasm! They really go all out with the gore! There is one of the most bizarre rape scenes I
have ever seen, a tongue ripped out and a hilarious decapitation.
The cast of unknowns aren’t half bad and have some pretty funny dialog to work with. There’s a scene where the brainiac character, Chuck is being interrogated and he just goes on this tangent that just cracked me up. Jock hero and ladies man Dan Wake has one of the best scenes in the film. When Dan has to take out Mussolini with a baseball bat to save his friends he imagines a cheering crowd and suddenly he is in his baseball uniform and is ready to go to bat. This scene is pure brilliance! His best buddy Gordy goes on a few hysterical rants about burning in hell and has to be reminded that he is an atheist. And there’s “The Bird” who’s kind of Fonzi like and nerdy friends Rosencrantz and Lieberman (Lieberman’s featured in the above clip having his face mashed). And of course there is Dan’s love interest Cindy Faithful. But the greatest character is definitely Mussolini, or Moose, like his belt buckle says, played by Ignacio F. Iquino. I looked this guy up on IMDB and couldn’t believe he had 88 directorial credits to his name!! All Spanish language, with the exception of ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents’. I wonder how this group ever found this guy. The character was highly entertaining but not exactly the brightest bulb. When he states he owes $3000 he holds up four fingers and he had a habit of adding an “S” to the end of everything he said. He was just so in to his role! He IS the weedman!
By no means is ‘I was a Teenage Zombie’ a perfect film. You don’t want to come here for a traditional zombie film. There are never any hordes of zombies; in fact the film only features two. The film is clearly meant to be comedy first. The sound on the DVD I rented wasn’t great and for a film that is only 90 minutes long it does have a little more downtime than I thought was necessary. But the film made me laugh numerous times and the gory scenes were really great. Recommended to those of you who aren’t put off by a low budget and like some laughs served up with your gore.
Dungeon Rating: 3.5/5
Directed By: John Elias Michalakis
Starring: Michael Rubin, Ignacio F. Iquino, George Seminara, Robert C. Sabin, Peter Bush, Allen Lewis Rickman, Kevin Nesgoda, Cassie Madden, Ray Stough