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According to the IMDb here, William "One Shot" Beaudine directed no less than 298 films before his death in 1970. In 1966, he brought all his 50-some-odd years of experience in the industry to bear on his final film, "Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter," and the result is one of the more unusual movie concoctions you will ever see. As the title suggests, this film conflates the Western and horror genres, although not so stupidly as 1957's "Teenage Monster." Here, James and his beefcake sidekick, on the lam after a botched holdup, knock on the wrong doctor's door seeking medical assistance. Maria Frankenstein, the granddaughter (not daughter) of the original, and a real chip(py) off the old block, almost leaps for joy when she sees Jesse's hunky pal, and wastes little time transforming him into "Igor," a lumbering automaton with a synthetic brain... Truth to tell, this film isn't nearly as awful as I had anticipated, and certainly exceeded my minimal expectations. Yes, it is a B Western at best, crossed with the usual Frankensteinian hijinks, but is quite entertaining for what it is, and moves along briskly. The film features some passable acting (I've seen much worse), some amusing lines, Injun attacks, shootouts, and all the cool-looking lab gizmos we've come to expect from a Franky picture. On the DVD that I just viewed, one of the extras is a running commentary track by Joe Bob Briggs, and it is both highly informative and extremely funny; better than anything one could hope to hear on MST3K. The man is a real treasure for the "psychotronic" film fanatic, and makes this DVD something special.
Veteran filmmaker William Beaudine, with 256 movies under his belt, directed this dreary, low-budget, drive-in oater without much flair. Beaudine and scenarist Carl Hittleman go to absurd lengths to give the preposterous plot (what if Jesse James tangled with Frankenstein's daughter) a plausible set-up. Our notorious heroine and her elderly assistant have fled Germany to conduct their abominable experiments in the relative isolation of the old Southwest in a converted monastery. Film theorists will have a field day with the metaphorical implications of Frankenstein renovating a Catholic monastery. Maria Frankenstein longs to follow in her dastardly daddy's footsteps, but the Mexican peasants nearby don't make good guinea pigs. They have a nasty habit of dying on her. Interestingly enough, Frankenstein's daughter relocated to the American West to take advantage of the frequency of lightning. Anybody who has heard the commentary track on the Kurt Russell movie "Tombstone" may recall the director commenting on the abundance of lightning on their movie set in Arizona, so "Jesse James" contains a modicum of plausibility. The infamous outlaw is trying to lay low when he hooks up with Butch Curry and the Wild Bunch. (Obviously, Butch Curry is Butch Cassidy, but the producers must have felt that one real-life outlaw was sufficient.)Anyway, Butch's greedy brother Lonny alerts Marshall MacPhee about Jesse's whereabouts. During an abortive stagecoach robbery, Jesse's partner Hank catches a slug in the shoulder, and Jesse takes him to the House of Frankenstein to get patched up. Naturally, evil Maria takes them in, because muscle-bound Hank qualifies as the perfect specimen for her blasphemous experiments. See what I mean about the bedrock of plausiblity? This horror horse opera appears to have been shot on a shoe-string budget, since Beaudine stages the action largely in master shots. A mustached John Lupton makes a bland Jesse James. Other than an accurate alias, Jesse's character has been white-washed beyond recognition, and he utters lines about himself that only a censor would pen to dissuade anybody from following in his footsteps. After Hank's transformation to Igor, the camp factor in the action picks up, but there is simply not enough camp to keep this western fired up. Not as hilariously awful as you might imagine, but nevertheless this hybrid-genre hokum is tame, without fireworks. Maria dons a multi-colored G.I. helmet during the transformation sequences, and her laboratory pales in comparison with even a Hammer entry. At one point in the film, she refers to herself as Frankenstein's granddaughter. The producers really should have made up their minds. If there is anything truly execrable about this superficial, saddle-sore sagebrusher, scrutinize the long shots of Frankenstein's monastery: it's an obvious matte painting! Maria Frankenstein is a hoot as a character. In a lackluster cast, veteran character actor Jim Davis of "Dallas" fame stands out as a stalwart lawman, while long-time heavy Rayford Barnes provides the most excitement as he tries to collect the reward on Jesse's head. Worthwhile only as a curiosity piece, "Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter" (* out of ****)lacks the audacity of "Lady Frankenstein." The year after Beaudine made this nonsense, he helmed "Billy the Kid Versus Dracula."
This is great. The overbearing bitch daughter of Frankenstein wants a strong man for her hideous experiments in human subjugation. Perfectly understandable. Enter Jesse James and his stupid bodybuilding sidekick and you have the perfect setup. There's no need to wonder what Madame Frankenstein would have actually done with the bulging baldy she creates if she was given half a chance. Amazingly, this one gets dead serious after the title card; all part of it's charm. Joe Bob Briggs hosts the DVD presentation, appropriately and appreciatively.
This is one of those movies that "Mystery Science Theatre" was made for (I
don't know if MST3K ever did one on this). All of the fun is asking
questions that nobody who made the movie ever did. Why is there only one bed
in the Mexican household? Who gets to sleep in it? Do they take turns? Why
is Lady Frankenstein's brother so much older than she is? Juanita leaves her
parents in the wilderness and doesn't she ever worry about them? When Jesse
goes to the pharmacist to get some medicine, the pharmacist goes in the back
room and exits out a back door to get the sheriff. When he gets back, he
starts preparing the medicine. What was his justification for going into the
(Perhaps I overthink things. . .)
This is a movie to goof on and in that respect it triumphs tremendously.
With a title like this, the audience is being "put on" before the first frame of the film is seen. And, if you don't like being the brunt of the joke, you ain't gonna have anything good to say about this flick - not that there's anything good to say if it were called Gone With The Wind. But - come on - Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter...what do you expect? We DESERVE a dud if we watch it. Stetson's off to whoever came up with the combination, let alone had the gumption to try to depict the two on the same celluloid - like Billy the Kid and Dracula, which proves that, if you don't get it right the first time, you probably won't get it right the SECOND time, either. If you're like me, you'll take in this movie just to find out HOW the two get together and HOW a monster fits in there. All of the other elements are immaterial, which is important, 'cause they all contribute laughably to this effort. If that's your intention with your dime and your time - and you're easily amused - you MAY be able to tolerate this epic.
I remember seeing it for the first time in 1977,thursday august 5,1:oopm.I was enthralled,terrified and nauseous(especially at the brain in the plastic recipient).And the bloody stitches around the head of Cal Bolder.Other memories of mine include the mat-painting of the "Frankenstein's castle/western farm".I recently had the chance to view it again on a local t.v.station,in the middle of a night.And,lo and behold,i will order a DVD version of it.Because 38 years later,i still have the same reactions i felt about this movie,not hampered after all these years.Come on!It's a piece by veteran horror genre director William Beaudine.John Lupton,Cal Bolder and Narda Onyx did a good acting job in this "not so worst,not so bad,still watchable horror/western classic.
"Jesse James meets Frankenstein's Daughter". Who can resist a title like that? A Frankenstein monster in the old west. You have to wonder how they are going to mesh the two together and what the result will be. The name of this movie tells you right off the bat that you can't really expect much in the way of a very serious movie. I mean, come on, what did you think? The plot has a lot of unanswered questions and a lot of unrealistic scenes, I was fully expecting that. This is the type of movie that you have to go with the flow. Don't ask too many questions. It's not that kind of a film. This was probably been made with kids as the intended audience in 1966. The movie combines cowboys, Indians, old west robbers, a sheriff, Mexican villagers, Jesse James and his partner, a European brother and sister mad scientist team, and a monster. With all that, you should have an exciting although strange movie. That's what I was expecting, a lot of action. That's not what I got. Surprisingly, there isn't that much excitement. The movie moves slowly and is pretty tame. The so called monster is also a bit of a dud. Not that scary and could have been done so much better. Although this film was actually quite bland, I'm still glad I watched it. It's all in the title. I just had to see what this movie was all about. For any fan of the older monster movies, this should be on your list, maybe quite far down on the list, but never the less on the list all the same.
Thought dead, Jesse James joins the Wild Bunch (!) for a stagecoach
robbery. Double crossed, he escapes an ambush and takes his wounded
partner Hank (Harry?) Tracy to the house of Frankenstein's
granddaughter for treatment. She instead plans on turning the hulking
Tracy into the newest Frankenstein monster.
Not for all tastes, this is actually pretty good if you catch it in the right mood and if you have a sense of humor.
Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter is neither the best Jesse James nor Frankenstein movies ever made. However, it's a lot of kookie fun. Also, it's slightly better than the infamous companion film Billy The Kid Versus Dracula.
Under the supervision of of veteran director William Beaudine, this is a pretty even mixture of the old poverty row western and horror films, slathered in a thick coat of 1960's color and shot in widescreen.
Giving credit where credit is due - unlike many other Jesse James flicks, this one actually cast an actor that looks like James!
Of course you can't expect too much from something that proudly presents itself as a low-budgeted hybrid of two entirely different classic film genres and their main icons. Director William Beaudine was clearly exploring the possibilities of exploitation cinema and considered it a great idea to shoot two films back-to-back (the other one being "Billy the Kid Vs. Dracula") that blend legendary horror premises with gunslinger heroes of the Wild Wild West. The result is neither fish nor flesh, but I must admit I expected this film to be a whole lot worse. "Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter" is a bunch of silly nonsense, but it's fairly well made and the acting performances are far superior than you usually see in this type of productions. The title is wrong, for starters, since it isn't really Frankenstein's daughter Jesse James encounters, but his granddaughter. She Maria - emigrated towards the States, along with her cowardly brother, to continue her experiments of resurrecting lifeless human tissue. Their unsuccessful tests already wiped out an entire community of poor farmers that lived around their castle and only the adorable Juanita and her family are left. Meanwhile, the wanted outlaw Jesse James and his strong but simple-minded sidekick Hank escape from an ambush and seek refuge in Lady Frankenstein's castle. She sees in the severely wounded Hank the ideal guinea pig for her demented experiments, while Jesse falls in love with the poor farmer's daughter and battles some bounty hunters. There are absolutely no horrific sequences in the script Frankenstein's victims are resurrected by placing colorful motorcycle helmets on their heads and the western aspects aren't exactly spectacular neither. All of a sudden, Jesse James is a noble outlaw who steals from the rich to give to the poor (give me a break!) and risks his own freedom to go out and buy medication for his dying partner. Right! Narda Onyx is a joy to observe as the mad scientist who clearly has no idea what she's doing and the Cuban born actress Rodriguez is sweet in her role of Jesse James' love interest. She died prematurely in the same year as the film's release.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Well It's Been Quite A While That I Have Reviewed A Movie Here, So Forgive Me If I'm A Little Rusty. The Movie Here Is JESSE JAMES MEETS FRANKENSTEIN'S DAUGHTER, A Movie So Bad That It's Good. Of Course It Is Really Frankenstein's Granddaughter We See Here, But Nonetheless A Cult Classic Like BILLY THE KID MEETS Dracula. The Thing I Liked About This Movie Is How In The Sixties Movies Like This Were Phenomenal and It Was A Hoot To See Jesse James Take On The Monster "Igor" Toward The End. Also, I Like The Fact That This Movie Is A Rare Film To Find In Any Video Store. The film Is About 90 Minutes In Length and Fun If You Like Movies Like This.
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