Surprise surprise, Teenage Monster is not that awful a movie.
Sure, the teenage monster is laughable: he doesn’t look scary at all (just hairy) and you’re left wondering if Gil Perkins decided to play a monster with a speech impediment or if he’s trying to speak normally and the make-up is making him mumble.
Anyway, the result is pretty hilarious. (I meant to say “scary”, but the only word I could think of was “hilarious”.)
But Teenage Monster is pretty educational: did you know what happens when a meteor strikes a father and his son? Well, I didn’t! Apparently such a meteor strike will kill a grown man, but not a child. However, the child will grow up with an exceptional amount of facial hair.
Okay, so the plot seems to be ludicrous to non-existing at first, but give it a few minutes (not too many, the movie is only just over 60 minutes long) and see how scriptwriter Ray Buffum (the man who also penned Teen-Age Crime Wave, Brain from Planet Arous and Island of Lost Women) adds a few interesting touches to the script: see how the monster’s mother tries to hide her son from the villagers (it doesn’t help that the sheriff is in love with her) and how the monster is abused by another character.
All this may not sound too spectacular (and indeed it isn’t), but do remember that most 50s sci-fi films just offered you a cheesy monster and a dull story: “Teenage Monster”, directed by Jacques R. Marquette (famous for directing Teenage Monster and … oh, that’s it?), at least tries to offer the viewer a compelling story.
Compelling it isn’t, but at least it keeps you from being bored and waiting for the next scene with the unconvincing monster.
If you’d like to have a look at the monster… don’t be scared, here ‘he’ is: