(1966) dir. William Beaudine
A straggler film on my queue as part of my little Jesse James film series (see: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), Jesse James (1939), I Shot Jesse James (1949), The True Story of Jesse James (1957), The Long Riders (1980), and The Return of Frank James (1940)), Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter is a rather obvious digression from the traditions of the Jesse James myth. But it’s also part of the largesse of the Jesse James myth. Oddly enough, it was on a double bill with director William Beaudine’s Billy the Kid versus Dracula (1966), which is tempting enough to want to rent for some aspect of closure.
According to Netflix, this film was honored as one of the worst films ever made, the original “Golden Turkey” awards. Which is indeed odd, because while no one would argue that this was not a pretty bad film, it’s far, far, far from the worst I’ve seen, even of the classic bad low budget flicks. The film is not without its charm.
Narda Onyx, the titular Frankenstein’s Daughter, who turns out to actually be Frankenstein’s Granddaughter, is both lovely and fairly strong as the vamping scientist, longing to revive her grandfather’s experiments. There is a wonder to the bizarro combination of the Western and the Horror film, and it’s almost genius. No, really. It’s so camp, and low-budget (Beaudine was nick-named “One Shot” for his notoriety for never doing more than one take of a scene), but not so hilarious to have you rolling on the floor, nor so compelling that it’s not occasionally dull.
I guess I liked it, though.