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A typical exploitation sex&horror flick from the early 1970s for the most part, it has one distinguishing quality that elevates it from the usual dross: its leading lady, Rosalba Neri. She has screen presence, she is sexy, strong, sensual, menacing, seductive, independent, radiant. Even in the nude, when other genre actresses go into autopilot, become passive, timid, or giggly, even then she stays in control. I almost forgot to mention that she can act as well. Watching her in films like this I just cannot understand how mainstream cinema could have failed to give her more substantial projects to work on.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
- The movie begins with Dr. Frankenstein buying a corpse from a
grave-robber to use in his experiments. His daughter's arrival puts a
kink in his plans, but he forges on in his quest to create life. When
his monster does come to life, it immediately attacks and kills the
good Doctor. Tania (the daughter) is also a doctor and wants to
carry-on with her father's experiments. So, while the original monster
terrorizes the community, Tania hatches a plan to take the brain from
Marshall, the lab assistant, and place it into the hunky (Did I just
use that word?) body of a retarded servant. Will she succeed?
- What's not to like about a Frankenstein movie where the basis of creating life is sex? Tania doesn't get all philosophical on us and start babbling about discovering the origins of life and the secrets of God. Sure, Tania wants to see her father's reputation restored by proving his theories, but she also wants to create the ultimate lover and isn't afraid to say so. It's as good a reason as any I've heard in a movie for creating a monster.
- I've always thought that Lady Frankenstein was better than its reputation suggests. Oh, it's got problems, but I always have fun watching it. Lady Frankenstein comes across to me as an Italian Hammer-style film - rich, vibrant colors, nice Gothic touches, attention to details, and a lot of fake looking blood. The cast consists of a who's who of Euro regulars. Joseph Cotten, Rosalba Neri, Paul Muller, and even Mickey Hargitay give performances that are as good as most any other Italian horror film of the period. I also like the references to the old Universal film that can be found in Lady Frankenstein. For example, Dr. Frankenstein's line about man being God on earth takes Colin Clive's speech from the original Frankenstein to a whole new level.
This Italian-made Gothic horror movie often gets the short shrift from
fans of the overrated Hammer films of the time. Sure, it has much lower
production values and, sure, Rosalba Neri (aka "Sara Bay")is no Peter
Cushing, but there's no doubt which one of them I'd rather see naked.
Seriously though, Neri shed her clothes so graciously on screen and
looked so appealing doing it that no one ever gave her credit for being
the great actress that she was. She carries this movie pretty much by
herself--Joseph Cotton is good as her father but he is killed off
early, and Mickey Hargitay isn't bad but is horribly miscast as a 19th
century police detective. Probably more than in any other of her
movies, Neri stays dressed here. But the two scenes in which she does
shed her Victorian garments are VERY memorable, and not for the usual
reasons. In one scene she helps her would-be lover kill a handsome but
idiotic handyman by having sex with the guy while her accomplice
smothers him with a pillow, but her evil and lustful character doesn't
let the guy's untimely death interruptus the coitus. The look on her
face as she has "the little death" well after her sex partner has had
the big one (and her poor would-be lover can only watch) is amazing and
very perverse. There's probably not another actress that could have (or
would have) pulled it off. The final scene, if anything, is even more
warped, so much so that it was censored from many prints. Let's just
say that this nymphomaniacal Frankenstein just can't resist
Frankenstein's monster, and the sight of the two of them on the
operating table stops even the rampaging villagers with torches dead in
Is this is a classic Frankenstein movie? Well, no. It resembles the Mel Brooks comedy "Young Frankenstein" more than the Hammer films or the Universal classics, but it is reasonably well-made, definitely pretty entertaining and it is, if nothing else, the sexiest Frankenstein movie ever.
I remember seeing this movie when I was just about 11 years of age. At that time , nothing interested me more than Rosalba Neri's outstanding appeal to the senses , though I was still a young boy - this shows the extent to which Rosalba's beauty could be really something very special.Upon seeing it a second time just a few months ago , I came to discover that it's more than a movie with a really sexy actress in it.What struck me most was the atmosphere of the film , which makes you feel as though you were living in that very village and castle , among those people each of whom seems to want to hide something.The only week point , I found is Joseph Cotten's performance as Baron Frankenstein - maybe because I've seen him in some of his earlier , and much better parts.As for Rosalba Neri , I can simply say that she is incredible .Her strong desire to create a more powerful monster than the one her father did , and her unflinching determination to carry on her task till the end give to the character of Tania a strength that I've never felt in any of Rosalba's many other performances.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The FRANKENSTEIN saga gets an Italian sleaze upgrade in this fun and
highly amusing trash epic that's nowhere near as bad as it's reputed to
be. Top-billed Joseph Cotten doesn't have much screen time as weary
Baron Frankenstein, but that's OK, his beautiful nympho daughter Tania
("Sara Bay"/Rosalba Neri) has just returned from med school eager to
contribute to her father's experiments. After the baron's first
lightning-born creation backfires in a big way (killing him and then
escaping the castle to kill some grave-robbers and a few random naked
women), Tania decides to redeem the family name (and make sure she is
kept sexually satisfied!) by transferring the brain of her obedient,
older doctor lover (Paul Muller) into the virile body of a hulking
Despite the low-grade quality of much of this production, it's still highly entertaining, genuinely fun and is blessed with a fantastic performance by the great Rosalba Neri; an engaging, vicious, demanding, sexy femme fatale who is sick of everyone treating her like a little girl, gleefully attends a public hanging and uses both her brain and her body to manipulate everyone around her to get what she wants. Just as good in a more low-key kind of way is Paul Muller, who manages to actually be sympathetic amid all the sleaze and puts his heart into a role that really deserves much less. The cast includes former Mr. Universe (and Mr. Jayne Mansfield) Mickey Hargitay as a police captain and Euro horror regular Herbert Fux as a grave robber. It's also noteworthy as a precursor to ANDY WARHOL'S FRANKENSTEIN, mixing the gore, camp sensibilities and sex a year earlier.
I gave this a 5 because of Rosalba Neri's wonderful performance as the Lady Frankenstein. Actually she's the daughter of Dr. Frankenstein, played by Joseph Cotten in a routine manner, but routine from Cotten is always good regardless. The flick deserves more than 5 based upon Neri, and decent acting all around, good sets and good atmosphere. It also deserves less than 5 due to a pretty crummy monster, both in appearance and mannerisms. Makes one long for the days of Glenn Strange, or even Kiwi Kingston. It's like everyone went to sleep when it came time to design the monster, because everything else is above average. And way above average is the performance of Neri as a really sexy and domineering lady doctor. She's a 10 in this flick and makes it worth watching.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Joesph Cotton stars as the good doctor who is in the process of
creating his creature when his daughter Tania comes back from college.
The Baron puts the damaged brain of a hanged killer into his creature.
The mad creature proceeds to murder him and set out on a rampage in the
countryside. Tania teams up with Charles Marshall to destroy the
creature. Tania shares her hidden feelings with Charles, she says she
will marry him but only if she puts his brain into the handsome young
The film has some inspired moments but is flawed. Why would Frankenstein put the brain of the killer in the monster in the first place? Why didn't Tania resurrect her father? She says his reputation will be ruined. The monster is corny looking and sex scenes happen when you know no one in their right mind would do it at the time. We also have a bad performance by Mickey Hargitay as Inspector Harris.
The film is able to redeem some of it's mishaps. The mood is set perfectly. Rosalba Neri is stunning as the lead. The all ways talented Joseph Cotton's limited screen time is worth while
Rosalba Neri is very hot indeed as the titular Lady Frankenstein though
she is called Mrs. Marshall throughout the film. After her father's
death, played by Joseph Cotton who must be wondering how the hell he's
gone from Citizen Kane to cheap euro-horror, by the hands of the
Baron's creation with a brain supplied by a man that eerily resembles
Patrick Swayze circa Point Break, the nubile doctor Tania Frankenstein
becomes determined to advance in her father's morbid work. It's a good
thing too because I can't see Joe Cotton pulling off asphyxiation and
orgasms quite like Ms. Neri can. The Baron's assistant Charles has long
been enamored with Tania and wishes to woo her now that her old man is
kaput. Tania loves his mind but can't quite picture jumping into the
sack with the old horny bastard without a serious makeover. That is
where village dolt Thomas steps in as the half-wit has been graced with
good looks and brings the thunder into Tania's private lab if you catch
my drift. Now, all Tania has to do is put Charles's brain into Thomas'
body and voilà! instant marriage material. Too bad Mickey Hargitay as a
persistent police captain keeps inquiring into what exactly her
father's experiments entailed and why did he associate with
graverobbers. Definitely one of the most amusing and downright bizarre
endings I have ever seen. Who knew the sight of a mutilated corpse got
her juices flowing?
I give this film a lot of credit by retelling the story of Frankenstein as apposed to the more faithful to the mythos Hammer films which is geared more for the hard-core euro-horror fans. Rosalba Neri is extremely engaging as the sexy doctor and commands your attention in every scene not just her nude ones. The supporting cast does a great job as well with a special salute to Herbert Fux as a slimy graverobber. My major complaint is that this film looks like it was edited with a samurai sword. Scenes appear for a second then disappear without any reason whatsoever. The version I saw was the 84 minute cut though I wonder what was excised from the film as most of the gore and plenty of nudity still remained. On a side note this is the third consecutive film in the "Chilling Classics" collection that features an adult woman sexually seducing a mentally challenged man/child. This is not a trend I would like to see continue thank you very much. Grab some popcorn and enjoy this guilty pleasure.
After creating life, Baron Frankenstein is murdered by his hideous
creation that heads off to kill those people who were involved in its
resurrection, or who are simply in the way. The baron's daughter,
Tania, who has just arrived from university with the help of his lab
assistant, decides to go on and continue with her father's work. To
keep the high reputation of the family name and to satisfy her lustful
needs. Tania seductively plans to create a perfect being with the
brains of her fellow assistant and the body of the slow-witted servant.
"I am, my father's daughter". She sure is! And a whole lot more! This sleazy Frankenstein imitation (of Hammer's "The Horror of Frankenstein") is beyond warped with its kinky fixations with seedy sex and red paint jobs (gore, of course) within its highly Gothic surroundings, inspires this cheap Italian exploitation picture. Albeit at times quite nonsensical and melodramatic, at least it gave the mad doctor theme a huge revamp with its lewd nature and having a female protagonist who was in supreme control with her manipulative prowess. This refreshing twist was one of the few neat additions to this rough around the edges, but above-average production. Director Mel Welles shuffles around some assured moments of suspense, array of blinding images and builds upon the morbidly vivid atmosphere. Although the creeping sound effects and nagging music score really did give me an almighty headache. The make-up effects were simply okay with the ghastly looking monster going on to aimlessly cause havoc like they mostly do in these stories.
When it came to the performances, one can only say they were quite laboured, despite a few decent turns. The very appealing Rosalba Neri grafts away with her conniving and forcefully voluptuous personality. She was quite hypnotic in the role and looked the part of Tania Frankenstein. Joseph Cotten gives the flick a steady head for the short time he's in it and Herbert Fux makes a more than a good impression as Tom Lynch the grave robber. The raw to-the-bone story and script aren't typically the best with their telegraphed patterns, but it lifted when it needed to by showing how much Tania has taken a shine to her father's aspiring work and there were hardly any dull spots.
"Lady Frankenstein" is an entertainingly tainted exercise on someone who cherishes what they do.
When Baron Frankenstein (Joseph Cotton) is killed by his creation, his
daughter sets out to create her own to bring the killer to justice and to
make herself the perfect mate while she's at it. This one focuses on this
more disturbing aspect of this and does a decent job of exploiting
I was quite stunned to see so many wonderful sets and costumes here, plus a decent atmosphere and lighting too. The film looks better than it is...The Monster may not be up to expectation but the rest delivers better than you might expect.
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