By Steve D. Stones
If you thought Ed Wood made ridiculously bad films, it’s likely you’ve never sat through a Jerry Warren Z-movie bomb. VCI Entertainment and Kit Parker Films teamed up in 2013 to release six Warren classics on two DVDs. Each DVD has three films with trailers, deleted scenes and interviews with cast members – such as Katherine Victor and Geraldine Brianne Murphy – the women who wore the Yeti costume in Man Beast (1956).
Volume One contains The Wild World of Bat Woman (aka She Was A Hippie Vampire - 1966), Curse of The Stone Hand (1964), and Man Beast (1956). Volume Two contains Attack of The Mayan Mummy (1964), Creature of The Walking Dead (1965) and House of Black Death (1965) – starring horror icons Lon Chaney and John Carradine.
Three of the films on both volumes are chopped up Mexican imports that Warren cut then added scenes with padded, long dialog and boring voice-over narration. The added scenes combined with the existing Mexican footage are confusing and do not add much to the finished product. Attack of The Mayan Mummy, Curse of The Stone Hand and Creature of The Walking Dead are all examples of this. Creature of The Waking Dead is the most watchable of the three, but may still test your movie watching attention span.
Warren makes better films when he does not rely on cutting existing footage from imports. Man Beast is a good example of this. The film has a simple, easy to follow plot concerning an expedition that sets out to find the existence of Yeti creatures in the Himalayan Mountains. The film may look cheap, but at least it does not confuse the viewer, as his chopped up Mexican imports do. It may be his best film ever.
I’m hopeful that VCI Entertainment and Kit Parker Films will release a third volume on DVD of Warren’s films that includes three more of his beloved drive-in fodder classics– such as The Incredible Petrified World, Teenage Zombies and Invasion of The Animal People. Let’s keep our fingers crossed. Happy viewing.