Year Released: 1966
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 88 minutes
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Actually, Jesse James never meets Frankenstein’s daughter. He meets Frankie’s granddaughter, the wild and wicked Dr. Maria Frankenstein, who along with her sissy older brother Rudolph relocated from Old Vienna to the Old West with their monster-making machinery.
That’s actually the least bizarre aspect of this crazy little 1966 turkey, which finds Jesse and his musclebound sidekick Hank Tracy teaming with the Wild Bunch (all three of them) to hold up a stagecoach. When the plan goes awry and Hank is shot, Jesse is directed by a spicy Latina named Juanita to the castle (actually an abandoned mission) of Maria Frankenstein, who turns Hank into a zombie named Igor as part of her brain transplant experiments.
Confused? You are not alone. “Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter” feels like a B-Western shoehorned into a B-horror flick, and the endless B-stings can leave one numb to the niceties of logical and coherent storytelling.. The cheapo filmmaking gives low-budget a bad name and director William Beaudine (who directed Mary Pickford in silent movies) is so oblivious to the idiocy he created that the film winds up as a minor camp endeavor.
While the pneumatic John Lupton as Jesse James and the hammy Narda Onyx as Maria Frankenstein are the nominal stars, the real gems here are a pair of supporting players: Estrelita Rodriguez as Juanita plays her role with eye-rolling and eyebrow arching overkill that suggests a Carol Burnett parody of the stereotypical spicy Latina, while big Cal Bolder (a former Marine and L.A. cop) more than fills the screen as Hank/Igor. It appears that while Maria Frankenstein changed his brain, she neglected to change his shirt and thus Hank/Igor walks around in a zombie state with a bare torso showing off his considerable pecs and biceps – proving, it seems, that one can be undead and still keep a buff physique.
Posted on October 31, 2005 in Reviews by Phil Hall
If you liked this article then you may also like the following Film Threat articles:
- THE LIFE AND TIMES OF HANK GREENBERG
- EDISON’S “FRANKENSTEIN” SPOTTED IN NEW JERSEY
- THE NISEI FARMER
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