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Enrique López Eguiluz
When Dr. Frankenstein is killed by a monster he created, his daughter and his lab assistant Marshall continue his experiments. The two fall in love and attempt to transplant Marshall's brain in to the muscular body of a retarded servant Stephen, in order to prolong the aging Marshall's life. Meanwhile, the first monster seeks revenge on the grave robbers who sold the body parts used in its creation to Dr. Frankenstein. Soon it comes after Marshall and the doctor's daughter. Written by
Mel Welles, you might remember him as Mr. Mushnick in Roger Corman's Little Shop of Horrors, directs this somewhat interesting yet wholly twisted tale of Dr. Frankenstein's daughter carrying on her father's work after his death and creating a creature not for its intellectual ability or its likelihood to be/do good but rather for its sex appeal. You see, Tania Frankenstein, though a doctor and scientist in her own right, is concerned with really nothing more than satiating her primal desires for the stable boy and making some super sex slave by using his body with the excellent brain of a man she does not love. The story is tissue-thin here, and one gets what one might expect: lots of leering and suggestive comments(surprisingly most from the female lead), special effects that are not so special, acting that lacks depth of characterization, and not really much action or suspense. And while this film is almost barren in regards to good storytelling, Lady Frankenstein does oddly have some aspects which make it watchable - not highly watchable but watchable nonetheless. Italian actress Rosalba Neri AKA Sara Bay/Bey plays the Baron's daughter with some aplomb and lots and lots of sex appeal. She oozes desire and seduction quite well. Her performance is pretty one-dimensional, but she is quite lovely and plays over-the-top a little too well. She is also very open with her performance if you catch my drift. Poor Joseph Cotten, now regulated to European horror films for money, plays the father in a brief yet competent performance. He is the star attraction but gone before the film really kicks into a gear. As for the rest of the cast, Paul Muller is somewhat effective as Dr. Charles Marshall, the baron's assistant and an admirer of the daughter for some time. As crimes and missing persons begin to unfold in the village, policeman(I wasn't buying this)Mickey Hargitay starts to pump Tania for answers - despite what you might think not to her satisfaction. Where the movie really loses credibility is in the final third of the film where the suspect script, weak performances, and lackluster direction all head further South. The creature is revealed and looks quite ridiculous. The film ends somewhat abruptly with one of the hasty resolutions very common in the 1970s. While not nearly as bad and repulsive as some might want you to think, Lady Frankenstein is indeed a very flawed film with some perverse albeit intriguing overtones.
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