Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter (1966)

Now there's an efficient movie title.  Not only does it pretty much tell you the plot of the film ('pretty much', because it is actually Frankenstein's granddaughter that Jesse James meets) but just from reading it you probably already know whether you'd have any interest in seeing the movie.

Filmed alongside Billy the Kid vs Dracula – with which it was shown as a double feature – this movie posits that the descendants of the famous Doctor Frankenstein have emigrated to the United States due to mounting hostility toward their experiments in their native Austria.  Since said experiments involve murdering people in the hope of reanimating them as obedient slaves, it's easy to see why they were no longer welcome in Vienna.

Notorious outlaw Jesse James gets involved when he brings an injured friend – wounded in a robbery gone wrong – to the Frankensteins' new home.  Lady Frankenstein quickly determines that the wounded man is a perfect candidate for becoming her slave, due to his great physical strength.  And as for Jesse James, well she has other more pleasant duties in mind for him.

The outlaw spurns Lady Frankenstein's advances, however.  That's an answer that doesn't sit well with the vindictive woman, of course, and she resolves to get him out of the way and ensure he cannot interfere with her plans for his friend.

The cheapness and quick production time of this film are evident throughout its 85 minute running time.  The interior sets look stagy and are flatly lit, while the acting wobbles between weak and adequate.  Though to be fair it must be hard to bring much life to a script that mostly consists of people telling each other the plot.

The idea of combining classic horror monsters with the western genre is actually a potentially pretty interesting thought.  Alas, the execution fails on every respect.  Heck, even the film's title shows how quickly they gave up on trying.

No comments:

Post a Comment