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Lady Frankenstein
Lady Frankenstein
Actors: Joseph Cotten, Mickey Hargitay, Rosalba Neri
Director: Mel Welles
R     2002     1hr 23min

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Movie Details

Actors: Joseph Cotten, Mickey Hargitay, Rosalba Neri
Director: Mel Welles
Studio: DVD Movie
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 02/02/2002
Theatrical Release Date: 00/00/1972
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 23min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)

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Movie Reviews

Baron Frankenstein, you've got a lovely daughter
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 09/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Lady Frankenstein, somewhat to my surprise, comes off as the most creative if not the best retelling of the done-to-death Frankenstein theme I have ever seen. It has its logical inconsistencies, at least one annoying and irrelevant character, and a thoroughly cheesy-looking monster, but I cannot but love this movie. Maybe it's the European ambiance that appeals to me so much; maybe it's the interesting little parallel contradictions (a term that makes little sense, I admit, but seems to encapsulate my thoughts) with Shelley's story and the original 1931 movie version. Probably, though, it is Rosalba Neri (going by the name of Sara Bay) in her role of Frankenstein's daughter. I don't have to tell you that I never really expected to find myself watching a Frankenstein movie with the words "Man, she's hot" constantly forming on my lips. As you might have guessed by the lead actress' name, Lady Frankenstein is an Italian horror film released in 1971 with the title La Figlia Di Frankenstein. Its look and feel is very much in line with the Hammer horror films that were all the rage back then. I'm still a little unsure how Joseph Cotton found his way in the picture, but maybe it had something to do with the American director Mel Welles. In any event, the casting of Cotton in the role of Dr. Frankenstein is a little weird, but he does a fine job in the role.

Forget some of what you know about the Frankenstein legend. In this film, Frankenstein, assisted by the non-hunchbacked Dr. Charles Marshall (Paul Muller), gives life to his monster only days after his daughter (Rosalba Neri) has returned home with her own surgical degree and "radical" medical ideas. Naturally, the monster kills Frankenstein right there in the lab and escapes into the night. The monster, incidentally, is quite silly-looking, looking like nothing so much as one of the Metaluna creatures from This Island Earth whose face, unfortunately for him, sort of caught on fire during the lightning strike that gave him life (not to mention super-human strength). Since his criminal brain sadly has a damaged hypothalamus, there is really nothing for him to do but wander the countryside killing people, especially if he catches them fornicating in the woods, before settling down to even the score with the men responsible for his new despicable life.

Daughter Tanya will not let her father's lifetime dream end in such a dishonorable way as this, so she claims her father was killed by a robber. Her idea is to create a second monster to be the executioner of the first monster, but then love and sex and just a little bit of beautiful evil fall in the mix, setting the stage for a conclusion that augurs well for no one. Torch-bearing villagers naturally demand their rightful place in the denouemont, and the ending, when it comes, is quite sudden and quite tragic, at least to my Rosalba Neri-enchanted eyes. There is some nudity in this picture, which is surely something you don't see in your average Frankenstein movie, and I for one definitely have no problem with it, especially since it plays delightfully off of the somewhat Victorian Gothic Euro-horror look and feel of the movie. This is basically a four-star movie that more than earns its fifth shiny star from this reviewer as a result of Rosalba Neri's captivating performance."
Intersting to horror buffs or exploitation fans.
R. Christenson | Pine, CO USA | 09/12/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Lady Frankenstein is certainly interesting to horror fans, but not suitable for the whole family. Joseph Cotten (Shadow Of A Doubt, Niagra, From The Earth To The Moon, etc.) plays Frankenstein in the first half of the film. After his monster kill him, his daughter takes over, planning to create a husband with the brain of her father's assistant, who loves her, in a more masculine body. It's very R-rated, not as bad as Flesh For Frankenstein, but with significant nudity and gross gruesome morbid monster assembly. The VHS version incorrectly listed "James Cotten" on the box; perhaps Joseph Cotten wouldn't mind."
"Lady Frankenstein" is the BEST version of Frankenstein I've
- Durrkk | Ohio/PA border USA | 06/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I admit that I'm not a big fan of Frankenstein. The idea of a mad scientist creating a living human creature from spare body parts of corpses never fascinated me. Over the years I've seen various Frankenstein films or, at least, clips and the story just never did anything for me. That is, until I recently saw the 1971 Italian film "Lady Frankenstein" starring Rosalba Neri (AKA Sara Bey) in the title role of Tania Frankenstein, the beautiful daughter of Baron Frankenstein.

So what sets "Lady Frankenstein" apart from all the other Frankenstein incarnations? Well, the film starts out as a standard Frankenstein flick with Dr. Frankenstein and his assistant Charles Marshall trying to create life from the body parts of recently dead corpses. A new element is introduced in this story and that, as expected, is Frankenstein's daughter Tania. Tania has just graduated medical school as a surgeon and reveals to her father and Charles that she knows what they're trying to achieve and wants to assist them in their gruesome work. Before they agree to her partnership they successfully give life to a hideous monster. The monster kills Dr. Frankenstein and proceeds to go on a killing spree in the country-side.

Meanwhile Tania and Charles come up with a mad scheme to create another "monster" that will have the same super stength necessary to slay the original creature that murdered Tania's father. Ultimately it is revealed that Charles profoundly loves Tania, even though he's much older than her. Tania admits that she loves Charles' mind but he's physically too old and feeble to stir her carnal passions. Their insane answer to this predicament is to murder the local retarded hunk and replace his brain with Charles'!! Only then will Tania have her cake and eat it too -- the perfect brain with the perfect body!

As you can see, "Lady Frankenstein" takes the done-to-death Frankenstein story and gives it a much-needed new twist, a highly intriguing twist, I might add. Even though this is so, the film would have failed if it didn't have the right person in the titular role. All I can say is Rosalba Neri (credited as Sara Bey) is magnificent as Tania Frankenstein. It's more than just her obvious physical beauty, highlighted by those big cat-like eyes, it's the utter passion and seriousness she puts into the role. Tania fully realizes the womanly power she holds and expertly utilizes it to easily put Charles into a love-trance so profound that he's actually willing to have his brain transplanted for her. I would have done the same thing, of course; what red-blooded man could possibly resist her?

The American version is only 85 minutes, cut down from the original 96 minutes. I'm gonna be on the look out for the longer version, but the 85 minute version is fine as is. Trust me, Rosalba is fully shown in all her luscious glory in this short version. Interestingly, even though this is so, the film powerfully illustrates that sexuality and true beauty are far more than a matter of simply showing skin as Rosalba expertly oozes beauty and sensuality in every blink, eye movement, word and motion!

In addition, you get everything else you'd ever want in a Frankenstein picture -- sincere but sincerely mad "scientists," dungeons, monsters on the rampage, beautiful damsels, horse-drawn carriages and torch-carrying village mobs out for blood.

Make no mistake, this is a powerful horror film about the insanity of obsession (for achievement, honor, love, loyalty, lust, money and revenge) and its consequences. It's as good or better than just about any Hammer film. I should add that "Lady Frankenstein" is not goofy, campy or comedic as the cover art of some of the DVDs would suggest; this is a serious take on the Frankenstein story. Highly recommended."