Written by: Carroll Jenkins on November 4th, 2015
Theatrical Release Dates: USA, 1959 (Revenge of the Virgins), USA, 1960 (Teenage Zombies)
Directors: Peter Perry Jr. (Revenge of the Virgins), Jerry Warren (Teenage Zombies)
Cast: Charles Veltmann Jr., Jodean Lawrence, Stanton Pritchard, Hank Delgado, Louis Massad, Ralph Cookson (Revenge of the Virgins), Don Sullivan, Katherine Victor, Steve Conte, Paul Pepper (Teenage Zombies)
DVD Release Date: September 22nd, 2015
Approximate Running Times: 53 minutes (Revenge of the Virgins), 71 minutes (Teenage Zombies)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen (Both Films)
Rating: NR (Both Films)
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English (Both Films)
DVD Release: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Encoding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.98
Revenge of the Virgins is an early sexploitation release and the first nudie western. Also the first film of Peter Perry who later directed one of the more acclaimed nudie cuties, Kiss Me Quick. The vengeful virgins represent the remnant of an Indian tribe where all the men have died off. The six remaining are the ‘guards of the golden hoarde’ plus Yellow Gold, a Caucasian woman who was abducted as a child but spared due to her blonde hair. Their mission is not revenge so much as to ensure the gold stays in the creek where it belongs, though they do punish the encroachers and are insidious enemies, even if they are topless. The members of the prospecting party have differing designs in mind, and if you’ve seen The Treasure of the Sierra Madre you’ll have some idea what those might be.
At first glance this is a sub-standard western with the added gimmick that the Indians are all topless women. That alone is not really enough to save it but the screenplay by Ed Wood Jr. certainly does. No angora (see Bride of the Beast for that) but it does feature a tough brassy blond broad (Jodean Lawrence, ‘The Young and the Restless’), numerous twists, and the dialog is decidedly Woodian. This widescreen print from the original camera negative is beautiful and we can enjoy the panoramic visage of the Indian maidens in all their black and white splendor. There are lots of scenes taken on a small sound stage, but also numerous location shots including all of the Indian footage. The other Wood screenplays not directed by him from his golden era are The Violent Years and Bride of the Beast.
Teenage Zombies is poorly scripted, tediously paced, badly acted, and features crude cinematography and a pathetic gorilla suit. But the worse affront is the cruddy zombie non-makeup with a little black around the eyes. This may be producer / writer / director Jerry Warren’s finest achievement but that’s really not saying very much.
Both features in widescreen from 35mm camera negatives look surprisingly splendid. No subtitles or extras.
Wood and Warren may often be lumped together as bad no-budget directors, screenwriters, and schlocksters, but Wood’s films and scripts are filled with passion and enthusiasm, and his dialogue is not-of-this-world.