#MonsterMovieMonday: “It Came from the Malt Shop” Double Feature in Shock-o-Rama!


“Today we are concerned with juvenile delinquency – its causes – and its effects. We are especially concerned when this delinquency boils over into our schools.The scenes and incidents depicted here are fictional. However, we believe that public awareness is a first step towards a remedy for any problem.”

The previous quote comes from the opening text of 1955’s The Blackboard Jungle. That film features very little in the way of fangs and gore, but it does highlight one of the primary fears of the 1950s: teenagers.

Ho-rrible, ain’t they? The adults of the time thought so.  There was a widespread fear of juvenile delinquency, with “experts” claiming that post-WWII children were lazy, spoiled, reckless, disrespectful, violent, and just plain rude. Because of this, teenagers and youth culture were demonized and maligned to an extreme. Horror, being the genre that deals the most with society’s fear and anxiety, took this growing issue to the logical next step and made literal monsters of teenagers.


With the success of I Was a Teenage Werewolf in the summer of 1957, a horde of adolescent abominations invaded cinemas for the next few years. The next two teen terror tales to take the theaters were I Was a Teenage Frankenstein and Blood of Dracula, both films being part of a double feature in the November of 1957. While we couldn’t possibly top the drive-in eXXXperience, we are presenting the gruesome twosome here in this very post!
The monsters in both features are among the very best of ’50s schlock. I Was a Teenage Frankenstein‘s tit-ular ghoul looks very much like an apple sculpture shrunken head, and the teen vampire in Blood of Dracula looks like a creation from Dick Smith’s Do It Yourself Monster Make-Up. Both are utterly fantastic.

While Teenage Frankenstein is the clear winner here, both deliver on the teen thrills and chills.  My only complaint with Blood of Dracula is the title. How does the same studio behind the other two I Was a Teenage… miss out on the opportunity to call their vampire film I Was a Teenage Dracula?! Perhaps if they had done that, we’d be listening to Cramps song with that title…

For all you Hepcats and Kittens out there, here’s the double feature:

 

Slasher Theater: Slaughter High (1986)


April Fools, you fabulously frightful fear freaks! Today on KH, we’re living in a prankster’s paradise! To honor this day of jokes and japes, we’ve got one from the vaults. Starring Caroline “Forever Goddess” Munro and a not-so-jolly jester, it’s 1986’s Slaughter High.

Slaughter High began life as April Fool’s Day, but was forced to change its title to avoid confusion with Paramount’s April Fool’s Day, which was released the same year. Our plot concerns a group of friends reuniting at their old high school. The sins of their past come back to haunt them in the form of Marty, a former classmate left disfigured by a particurlary cruel April Fool’s prank the students played. In classic slasher fashion, Marty dons a jester mask decides it’s time to knock his former classmates dead in a very literal sense. Despite the clownish mask, Marty certainly isn’t fooling around.

Slaughter High is sleazy schlock… and we love it for that! Filmed at derelict school, the film has wonderfully dirty, grimy vibe that only adds to the fun! Harry “Friday the 13th” Manfredini contributed the score, so you know you’re in for some prime musical horror. For lovers of slasher mayhem and sharp implements of terror, this film will have much to tickle your fancy. Axes! Acid! Hooks! Lawnmowers! Javelins! Electrocution by jumper cables! It’s all so horribly wonderful!

Weirdly enough, Slaughter High is a British picture masquerading as an American one. At one point, a character says, “If we wait til noon, April Fool’s Day will be over and he won’t kill us.” In the UK, April Fool’s Day ends at noon and if one plays a prank after noon, they are deemed the “fool.” Apparently, the filmmakers were unaware that we Americans do not follow that tradition. Adding to this, the cast is a British as steak and kidney pie, but they all attempt an American accent. The results are, as you may imagine, are quite mixed. However, it does give the film a distinct flavor. None of the performers are particularly brilliant, but it’s always lovely to see Caroline Munro.

For all you April Fools out there, we present Slaughter High in its entirety, No foolin’!

Happy April Fools’ Day!