Frankenstein’s Daughter (1958)
The plight of Richard E. Cunah’s 1958 follow up to the classic mad scientist film Frankenstein, can be summed up in a scene that comes toward the end of this not completely painful movie.
Having developed his own living, breathing, made from scratch man - Dr. Frankenstein’s grandson, Oliver (Donald Murphy), drops in a female brain. And so this squarely, manly, burly figure slowly stalking its way through town is, for no other reason than that gender specific organ, referred to delicately as “she.”
The idea is acute. The execution is a bit discombobulated. The results are monstrous.
Frankenstein’s Daughter is tempting – especially in its first few moments when an odd looking she monster stalks otherwise sexually roused young folk trying to steal a few intimate moments from the seclusion of a tree at night.
This particular she monster looks no more than a woman slightly unkempt, with bushy eyebrows and crazy teeth. All a result of some super secret scary potion Oliver is testing on an unwitting subject.
In one particular scene, Oliver gives his victim too strong a dose – and the make up is perfect – each time the girl is seen her condition worsens until she is walking around with a head that looks surprisingly like something out of Tim Burton’s “Mars Attacks!”
And so anyone watching could prepare themselves for the perfect blend of bad story and bad acting with cult like effects (i.e. nothing special about them) combining for the perfectly concocted monster movie. Frankenstein’s Daughter could have been just that – except for a terribly long running time and an odd out of nowhere 50’s style dance scene with some impromptu singing.
The story drags on for what seems like, forever and Oliver amusingly less a mad scientist and just a pervert with no game who keeps trying to get every female character to make out with him and, when denied, yells at his odd sidekick, the dutiful Elsu.
Fueled by rejection, Oliver is simply more determined to create something to prove his family name not synonymous with the crazies and has no trouble subjecting innocent parties to his evil plan. It is his employer, a scientist who is working on some benign experiment of the utmost importance who unwittingly supplies Oliver with a laboratory and his attractive daughter, Trudy (Sandra Knight) who lends herself to the she monster potion and whose life is threatened when Oliver gets even more out of control.
Thank god there is the studly boyfriend Johnny Bruder (John Ashley) to fight the evil Oliver with dreamy eyes and a pompadour.
It’s a little long, but if you’ve got the time – Frankenstein’s Daughter is a delightful trip back in time and an amusing little monster movie.