Frankenstein Island (1981)

Frankenstein Island (1981) VHS cover

director Jerry Warren
viewed: 02/14/2018

Jerry Warren may be the worst auteur in the American horror canon. Okay, Ed Wood, Jr. is the worst, but the reason that Warren should be considered is because, overall, his movies are typically intensely boring on top of being bad. Wood transcends into levels of joyous inanity. From what I’d seen thusfar of Warren, he could even make Batwomen boring.

Warren made most of his movies from 1956-1966 before suddenly stopping. And just as seemingly suddenly, in 1981, he reappeared with Frankenstein Island, which I would suggest is his Crapsterpiece.

There’s like 3 or 4 movies-worth of nonsense packed in here. And somehow, in Frankenstein Island he makes his bad movie entertaining with incessant weirdness.

Balloonists crash on this island, inhabited by animal print bikini-clad ladies (who turn out to be descendants of extraterrestrials.) There is also Sheila Frankenstein (Warren stalwart Katherine Victor), who is keeping her 200 year old husband, Dr. Von Helsing alive with blood from Cameron Mitchell, while a bunch of bloodless henchmen wander about. And the visage of John Carradine occasionally looms into view.

Warren employs props, such as actual plastic vampire teeth and a plastic novelty devil’s pitchfork.

The ending is the icing on the cake, a bizarre unsettled moment that makes absolutely no narrative sense at all. Now, this is the kind of bad movie that moves into the sublime, strange and comic, and for once…entertaining.



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