Thursday, October 16, 2008
31 Days of Halloween - Day 16 Movie 2
American history buffs will no doubt be aware of the events which are depicted in "Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter" (1966), but for you non-western enthusiasts, here's the story. With his gang reduced to just himself, and big dumb sidekick named Hank (Cal Bolder), Jesse James (John Lupton) participates in a stagecoach robbery, which was in fact a trap meant to capture him and another gang, the wild bunch. Hank is shot, and Jesse, with the aid of a Mexican girl (Estelita Rodriguez) takes him Maria Frankenstein (Narda Onyx) and her brother Rudolph (Steven Geray) for medical assistantce. The Frankenstein's do heal Hank, but the Maria transfers an artificial brain into his head, changes his name to Igor for some reason, and exerts mental control over him via a link she established using a couple of striped army helmets decorated with neon lights. The law closes in and Maria loses control of Igor.
To call this movie execrable might be going too far when there are movies out there like "The Beast of Yucca Flats," but the above photo alone should warn you off from this movie. With the exception of John Lupton as Jesse James, every performance in this movie, especially the two women, is abominable. The laboratory scenes are ridiculous, and this movie only strays into something watchable whenever it reverts to the standard Western portions of the plotline.
Director William "One Shot" Beaudine has developed a reputation as a really crummy director, and while he has made some truly dreadful movies (this being one of them) among his roughly 350 motion pictures, he's also exhibited quite a bit of skill on others, as well as some of his television work.
If you are considering watching this movie I recommend you put your eyes out instead.