In the words of Bugs Bunny, "Monsters lead such interesting lives." That they do. And when they're not drinking blood, rising from the dead or trashing Tokyo, they seem to be doing what comes naturally: getting hitched and... more » having a crop of kids. In "Frankenstein's Daughter," the Doctor's grandson continues with his infamous grandad's experiments and creates a hideous she-monster, a cross between a sumo wrestler, a porterhouse steak and the "brain" of a blonde bimbo, complete with a permanent wave down to her toes. An exploitation movie milestone in the monster offspring subgenre, "Frankenstein's Daughter" is the third of four drive-in classics crafted by producer Marc Frederic and director Richard Cunha in their late-'50s moviemaking heyday.« less
""Frankenstein's Daughter" is a guilty pleasure of mine. It was shown frequently on the Zacherley-hosted "Chiller Theater" TV show in the early 1960s, and yours truly was actually frightened by it! (I was only about 7 years old at the time) The film is ludricous and cheaply produced, and helmed by Richard Cunha, who also directed "Missile to the Moon" (a remake of "Cat Women of the Moon"), "Giant From the Unknown", and another personal favorite of mine, "She Demons", starring the late Irish "Sheena" McCalla. "Frankenstein's Daughter" has "Oliver Frank", a descendant of Dr. You-know-who, living in southern California! He is assistant to Dr. Carter Morton. Together, they are experimenting with a dangerous drug called DiGenerol. Slimy Oliver uses Morton's niece Trudy as an unwitting guinea pig for the DiGenerol, by way of his homemade "fruit punch". Trudy turns into a crackle-faced demon, prowling around the neighborhood clad in a bathing suit, frightening the neighbors. And that's only the first part of the film! Oliver has also been carrying on in the family tradition, creating his own monster, unknownst to Dr. Morton. All he needs is a brain, and he gets one from Trudy's girlfriend Susie Lawlor, a bleached blonde in a tight black cocktail dress (he runs her over with his car-some date!) The result is the strangest-looking female monster in cinema history. The monster is played by Harry Wilson, who used to bill himself as "The ugliest man in Hollywood". Mr. Wilson's most notable screem appearance (other than this opus) is as one of George Raft's henchmen in "Some Like it Hot" ("Hey! Join us!"). "Frankenstein's Daughter" is typical, 1950s drive-in fare, replete with misunderstood "teenagers", laughable dialogue, tinsel sets, and outrageous monster makeups. The cast is a hoot. Donald Murphy is appropriately smarmy as Oliver (You'd expect to meet him in a "Swingin' Singles" bar), Dr. Morton is floridly overplayed by Felix Locher, father of Jon Hall, Susie is played by Mamie Van Doren clone Sally Todd, Trudy is played by pretty Sandra Knight (the future Mrs. Jack Nicholson), and her boyfriend Johnny is played by the late John Ashley (he was Troy Apollo on "The Beverly Hillbillies", and appeared in numerous beach party flicks). The supporting players include Harold Lloyd Jr., Wolfe Barzell, and Voltaire Perkins (he was the judge on TV's "Divorce Court" in the 1960s). There is also the obligatory "barbecue" sequence, featuring the songs "Daddy Bird" and "Special Date", performed by Page Cavanaugh and his trio. Move over, Bill Haley! The picture quality on the DVD is remarkable, with razor-sharp detail and rich greys (I don't think the restored "Citizen Kane" looks this good!), so you can see the seams in the sets, and the sound is very good. There is also a picture gallery on the disc as an added bonus. "Frankenstein's Daughter" is sweetly dumb, and holds very pleasant memories for me, of a far less complicated, innocent time. A long time ago in a galaxt far, far away..."
Terrific DVD of sleaze classic
Surfink | Racine, WI | 10/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One third of Dick Cunha's holy trinity, along with Missile to the Moon and She Demons (we won't talk about Giant from the Unknown), this has been a perennial late-show favorite of mine. Great D-movie cast including Sandra (then Mrs. Jack Nicholson) Knight, prefab whitebread teen idol John Ashley, Bob Dix, terminally wooden Felix Locher, Wolfe Barzell as Elsu, and John (TV's Folgers coffee buyer) Zaremba doing his sensible detective thing. The real treat, however, has to be Donald Murphy in a hilariously over-the-top performance as the lecherous, sociopathic Dr. Frank. Whatta slimeball! Plus you get three (count 'em) great sick/icky Harry Thomas makeups for the price of one, and some cringe-inducing musical numbers provided by lounge maven Page Cavanaugh and His Trio (reportedly one of the Rat Pack's favorite entertainers). True, when finally revealed, the diminutive monster (looking more like an accident victim in a track suit than the traditional Karloffian creation) isn't very imposing, but there is so much ripe cheese on display that bad film aficionados cannot fail to be entertained.
Image gives us what is certainly the definitive DVD of this film. The source print is absolutely superb! There is some very light, occasional speckling, but otherwise it's gorgeous: sharp and detailed, with excellent tonal scale, no annoying jump cuts or other damage. And, in addition to a fairly clean trailer and chapter stops, you get a photo gallery of behind-the-scenes stills from the set of FD (similar to those on Image's Missile to the Moon disc). A pleasantly unexpected bonus for a set like this. If you've been waiting on this one, wondering about the quality, wait no more. It's unlikely to ever get better than this."
Tell 'em old Frankie is back!
tmp | Solar System, MA USA | 03/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Back in the days when drive-ins still brought in the crowds, you could still make movies for about a buck and a half and have them distributed. Out of that came performers like Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper.Suffice it to say, there ain't nothing like them in here.Frankenstein's Daughter is a very guilty pleasure. Clearly made for the price of dinner for four at Sizzler, this demented flick throws everything it can think of at you- not one, but two monsters, bathing-suit clad teens bopping to the song "stylings" of Page Cavanaugh and his trio, and Harold Lloyd, Jr (who is noted as the liner notes as being a masochist. I heard the boy sing. I am here to tell you, that boy is a sadist.) The idea is that Mr. Frank (enstein, get it?), the infamous doctor's grandson, has weasled his way, lock, stock, and Igor into a plum gig as the assistant for Dr. Morton, who keeps a convenient lab in his west LA home, complete with stadium sized wine cellar and loads of arcing electrical equipment. (The good doc, may not notice all of the bodies being wheeled around behind his back, but won't he notice the Edison bill?) Mr. Frank, you see, is determined to keep up with Grandad's work- he's going to make his own monster, if he can just find a head for it. While he has his version of Igor scuttling about accident sites looking for one, Mr. Frank whiles away the hours by alternately trying to seduce and turing into a monster his employers comely neice. Though the doctor comes across as fey as Liberace, he tries jumping both the niece AND the nieces busty blonde friend. Mr. Frank isn't a guy to take no for an answer- when the niece slaps him, he gives her drugged "fruit punch" turning her into a blue faced unibrowed monster, and when busty rejects him, he mows her down with his car! Making the best of things, he decides to use busty's head to complete his monster, who promptly runs amuk causing much (cheaply done) havok. The Mr. Frank decides the monster can be used to destroy those who oppose him, leading to another one of those "Johnnie, my uncle's been killed by the mad scientist who tried to kill me and killed my best friend who's now a murderous monster and the policemen guarding the house are all missing and the door to the lab is ajar so let's go investigate" Which lets Mr. Frank (now happily calling himself Frankenstein) get to actally say the line "you meddling kids" Which means that he is immediately dispached with a face full of acid- thrown accidentally, of course, so that the monster can mourn his passing (talk about co-dependant!) by catching herself on fire. Which paves the way for another pool party where they can cook more scarily huge kebabs and have a reprise of "Daddy Bird" (aieee!)These down-at-heel shockers are incredibly fun- innocent, schlocky and hammy, they beat hands-down most of the calculated sceamfests foisted on the screen today. Buy this one right now."
"On the credit side, she's now an Olympic weight-lifter."
Matthew Patton | Deltona, Florida | 01/18/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"So, just who is FRANKENSTEIN'S DAUGHTER? Is she the young lady with the uni-brow and the terminal gingivitis who's terrifying a two-block area in Los Angles by running about in her nighties and bikinis? Nah, she's just Frankenstein's Boss' Niece, and her semi-lycanthropic jaunts are a plot point that gets thrown away about 15 minutes into the movie as casually as a used kleenex.
Which allows us to move on the the main event, a creature that Frankenstein's grandson Oliver has been stitching together in his boss' wine cellar (that boss, an elderly scientist with a vaguely Mittel-European accent, is a bit of a loon himself), a creature with the body of a sumo wrestler, the head of the heroine's best friend (run down by Frankenstein in his car, sort of accidentally on purpose), and the heart and soul of every quiet young man who never caused the neighbors any trouble and is later discovered to have the dismembered bodies of 15 missing hitchikers buried in his basement . . .
Needless to say, a number of people get killed, although never the right ones. Still left standing at the end are the heroine, her pointless boyfriend, and worst of all, Harold Lloyd, Jr, who somebody thought could act and sing. They were very wrong.
The final results don't make a single bit of sense, but are entertaining nonetheless, mostly because of the Frankenstein of the title, Donald Murphy, a stage and television veteran and enthusiastic ham. He makes a spectacle of himself, but that means you can ignore the rest of the cast, who either wander through with complete indifference, or are so painfully unfit for public exposure that their very presence on the set of this film is an insult to the movie-going public (yes, Harold, that means YOU)."
Bad horror but great comedy!
Tom Phillips | Holmdel, New Jersey USA | 06/01/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This may not be for everyone but for anyone who likes old B-movies this one has it all. Over acting, stupid dialogue (some of the things Dr. Frankenstien says are hysterical). Don't watch it as a horror film but watch it as a comedy. You'll laugh at this one. For a B movie, the picture quality is one of the best transfers I've seen.Tom Phillips"