Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter
. 1965

Director: William Beaudine

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

Thanks to the standing sets of a movie-town, Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter (1965) has a very convincing old west setting.

Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's DaughterFrankenstein's daughter Maria (Narda Onyx) is the granddaughter of the famous Victor Frankenstein. Having to get out of Europe fast, she comes to a mansion on a hilltop overlooking a town of the American Southwest, because it is a place where electrical storms are common & Maria needs the electricity for her reanimation experiments, assisted by a reluctant Viennese physician, Rudolph (Steven Geray).

Early in the story she reanimates a scrawny pasty nerd, but disapproving Rudolph secretly injected a poison instead of the digitalis (& never mind that digitalis is a poison, the scriptwriter only knew it could be a heart medication), sabotaging her experiment.

Jesse James (John Lupton) & his retarded muscle-buddy Hank Tracy (Cal Bolder) are palling around doing crime when Hank is wounded during a botched stage robbery. Jessie & wounded Hank pick up a seniorita along the way (Estelita Rodriguez) for instant love interest, & she leads them to the lady doctor's mansion since Hank needs medical attention. Oh, & they have a fight with wild Indians along the way.

The western tale itself is totally standard stuff taken from the lowest of B westerns. But when Jessie, Hank, & Juanita arrive at the Frankenstein household, the western ingredient goes by the wayside in favor of even lower shlock horror.

The Frankenstein-monster element of the film is far less convincing than the wild west story, as the western setting at least had those old standing sets where many westerns were filmed over the years. But Maria Frankenstein's "mansion" has nothing better going for it than a hoky laboratory.

Maria Frankenstein is a hoot, grinning with evil delight over her evil experiments. She falls for Jesse but he rejects her in favor of the Mexican girl, which outrages the educated European.

She succeeds at a brain-transplant for Hank, using a purportedly immortal home-made brain created by her late grandfather. It was the very last of Maria's inherited artificial brains, & since the secret to how to grow them was lost, this is her last chance to get the experiment right.

While "programming" Hank, she says cool stuff like, "You are Igor! Do you understand? I will command, you will obey. You are now Igor!"

Well, you get the idea, lots of silliness, & kind of fun for any viewer who enters the thing with a fondness for shlock.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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