Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter
Carroll Case for Circle Productions, Embassy
directed by William Beaudine
starring John Lupton, Narda Onyx, Estelita Rodriguez, Cal Bolder, Jim Davis, Steven Geray, Rayford Barnes, William Fawcett, Nestor Paiva, Roger Creed, Rosa Turich, Felipe Turich, Fred Stromsoe, Dan White, Page Slattery, Mark Norton
written by Carl K.Hittleman, Frankenstein created by Mary W. Shelley, music by Raoul Kraushaar
Jesse James, Frankenstein
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When they are holding up a stage tgether withthe Wild Bunch,
Jesse James (John Lupton) and his accomplice Hank (Cal Bolder) are lured
into an ambush, laid by Lonnie (Rayford Barnes) of the Wild Bunch, who has
convinced Marshal MacPhee (Jim Davis) that he wants to go straight
(nothing could be further from the truth ...). During the shoot-out that
ensues, Hank is severely wounded but both he and Jesse escape and make
their way to a lonely house in the desert, which fortunately houses a
female doctor - unfortunately thought hat woman is Maria (Narda Onyx), the
granddaughter of Frankenstein, who has put up shop here with her brother
Rudolph (Steven Geray) because the unique weather (many electrical storms)
will help her continuing ther granddad's experiments - and in Hank, she
thinks she has found the perfect subject to experiment on, while she has
chosen Jesse James to be her mate.
Maria has little problems performing brain surgery on Hank and
subjecting him to her will - and calling him Igor afterwards - but Jesse
just won't fall for her because he has lost his heart to a local Latina,
Juanita (Estelita Rodriguez), who is actually in the Frankenteins' employ.
When Maria can't get Jesse though, she tries to lure him into a series of
deadly traps, and eventually Jesse ends up strapped to her operating table
with Igor looming over him threatening to kill him - but somehow, Igor
remembers Jesse from way back when he was still Hank, and refusess to kill
him ... and before long the Marshal stops by as well to arrest Jesse.
In the finale, naturally both Maria and Igor die while Jesse is
arrrested by the law ... with Juanita promising him to wait for him.
Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter is often slammed as
being one of the worst movies ever - which is a tad unfair, there have
been way worse (and funnier) bad movies around (but then again most
critics who mercilessly slam that movie base their criticism on the sole
argument that the film is actually abouth Frankensteins granddaughter
and not his daughter ... I mean, please).
Now don't get me wrong, Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughteris
a bad movie alright, and on a story level it is just as silly as the title
suggests, and unfortunately it's not quite as (unintentionally) funny as
the title suggests ... but if you love bad movies (like I do) you will
still find the ocasional chuckle in the film's proceedings, the blend of
Western and gothic elements is still qquite amusing, and coe of the film's
inherent cheapness (like the Frankenstein's house just being a badly done
painting in the long range shots) is simply endearing.
Of course, the film could have been better, but it also could have been
worse, and it could have been so much better if it was much worse ... but
it's worth a laugh or two nevertheless.