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Friday, May 10, 2019

Frankenstein’s Daughter (1958)




I already covered I was a Teenage Frankenstein so why not Frankenstein’s Daughter? The movies of the fifties weren’t shy about cashing in on some familiar names by tossing them on a title now and then. But is the movie any good? Let’s check it out.

The first scene of the movie has a blonde girl making out with her boyfriend. After sending him on his way she encounters a monster! Okay movie that was quick. We come to find out that the creature was a girl named Trudy, who has no idea that she was wandering around scaring people. She lives with her uncle who is working on some sort of age reversing formula. Oliver, his assistant, dosed Trudy with some to see what would happen which is why she went all creature. But why would Oliver do this?

The answer is because he is a descendant of Frankenstein and is using her uncle as cover to continue the family business. He wants to use the formula on the creature he is building to prevent it from rotting or aging. That honestly isn’t explained too well. Eventually he finishes his creature, though unlike his ancestors decides to use a female brain. This works out better for him because, and I’m quoting the movie here, “The way the female’s brain is conditioned to a man’s world. …it takes orders where the other one’s didn’t”. See where they got the Frankenstein’s Daughter title? It all makes sense. The rest of the movie follows the familiar storyline with the creature breaking free and eventually attacking its creator.

Monster number 1
I have to admit that I enjoyed this one quite a bit. The dual plotlines of Trudy’s uncle researching his formula and Frankenstein cobbling together his creature makes for a movie that has a lot going on at all times. There isn’t a wasted scene… except maybe for the required musical number. Like many fifties drive-in flicks this a pair of songs being played at a party by a generic rock and roll band. Though I didn’t mind it too much because even here the filmmakers make sure they don’t linger too long on them and get right back to the creature stuff.

Speaking of creatures, we get not one but two! The transformed Trudy and the Lady Frankenstein both are about what you should expect from a movie like this. Simple appliances over top of the performer’s face. Not up to the standards of I was a Teenage Werewolf (love that makeup!) but it is still solid work. The creature attacks are limited to the Frankenstein creature as Trudy doesn’t go full “monster” on anyone and those we do get are pretty tame by today’s standards.

Monster number 2
Just as a side note it wasn’t until I started watching the movie that I realized the cool seventies connection that Frankenstein’s Daughter has. Trudy’s boyfriend is played by John Ashley who did a lot of work in the Philippines during the early seventies, including one of my favorite movies Beyond Atlantis. We also get the late Robert Dix playing a detective. He worked with Al Adamson on a great biker movie from the late sixties called Satan’s Sadists. My inner movie nerd was happy to see them.

This flick is fun. Not perfect or a classic, but just fun. There are much worse ways to spend part of your day then checking out Frankenstein’s Daughter. It is easily found and comes with my recommendation. Check it out I think you’ll have enjoy yourself.


© Copyright 2019 John Shatzer




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