director Richard E. Cunha
I’m a weirdo. I have very much dug each Richard. E Cunha picture that I have seen. His films don’t get much love. And this would indeed include Frankenstein’s Daughter.
Cunha worked as a photographer in the military and a cinematographer in Hollywood and television post-war. And then in 1958 he busted out four science fiction and horror films, of an originally planned 10 pictures over two years. These included: Giant from the Unknown, She Demons, Missile to the Moon, and Frankenstein’s Daughter. Sure, they’re probably all junk but such fun junk.
“I need a brain!”
The villain of Frankenstein’s Daughter, Oliver Frank/Frankenstein (played with oozy aplomb by Donald Murphy) is a real sleazeball. Insinuated in the laboratory of a well-meaning scientist and his his niece Trudy (Sandra Knight, unleashes a number of prime screams), he’s first ruffying teenage girls with monster serum, getting very fresh to a point close to sexual assault, and eventually running down a girl for her pliable brain.
No jumble of plot points need hinder the movie rolling on because this one is pretty all over the place. Cunha even has time to cram in a performance by the hardly racy Page Cavanaugh and His Trio, plus Harold Lloyd, Jr. coerced into singing along.
The girl monsters are pretty hilarious and it’s true that the final creature, the titular “daughter” of Frankenstein is much like a lip-sticked pig. Still, I’d watch this a dozen times before any number of the movies in the cinemas today.
Trivia: Frankensteins Daughter would go on to Meet Jesse James and versus Santo (I know it’s not the same thing, but still, quite a career.)