Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter DVD Review
Written by Peter West
DVD released by Elite Entertainment
Directed by William Beaudine
Written by Carl K. Hittleman
1966, Region 1 (NTSC), 88 minutes, Not rated
DVD released on July 29th, 2003
John Lupton as Jesse James
Narda Onyx as Dr. Maria Frankenstein
Estelita Rodriguez as Juanita Lopez
Cal Bolder as Hank Tracy/Igor
Jim Davis (I) as Marshal MacPhee
Steven Geray as Dr. Rudolph Frankenstein
Rayford Barnes as Lonny Curry
William Fawcett as Jensen, the pharmacist
When is a movie like Jesse James meets Frankenstein's Daughter worthy of a review? When it's presented as part of Elite Entertainment's new "Joe Bob Briggs Presents" series!
In a small western town, the villagers are leaving and only one family stays behind. Since Maria and Rudolph Frankenstein have arrived and set up shop on the big house on the hill, children and young men and women have been dying mysterious deaths! Meanwhile outside of town in a holdout Jesse James prepares to join forces with the remaining members of the Wild Bunch to make a daring robbery on a stagecoach. A traitor is in their midst and Jesse's partner Hank is wounded. Meeting Juanita and her family on the road, Juanita agrees to help and take the two outlaws to the Frankensteins for medical help.
Down to her last artificial brain (the secret of making them died with her grandfather...but I thought she was Frankenstein's daughter not granddaughter?), Maria sees Hank as her last chance to create a obedient zombie superman. Juanita's heart flirts back and forth between Jesse and Hank as the evil Maria sends Jesse out on a ambush to have Hank all to herself for the experiment! Hank is implanted with the artificial brain and the movie climaxes with Jesse and the local Marshall both trying to save Hank from the Frankensteins!
Loaded with B Movie stars and character actors Jesse James meets Frankenstein's Daughter is the final movie in the career of director William "One-Shot" Beaudine. Director of nearly 500 features, Beaudine is no ordinary hack! His credits include the "Bowery Boys" movies, over 80 episodes of "Lassie", the TV show "Broken Arrow" and even some "Charlie Chan" movies! Known for his frugal nature, Beaudine would only shoot one take, he probably considered actors were cheaper than film! Joe Bob Briggs gives us a education in the career of Beaudine, who today is mostly forgotten but was a important player in the movie industry for decades!
The first thing I did when reviewing this DVD was put on the Joe Bob commentary and I suggest you do the same! I wasn't too particularly interested in the actual dialog. Joe Bob Briggs gives us a film history lesson worthy of college credits! It's evident that Joe Bob knows his stuff. From the career of director William Beaudine, Joe Bob discusses almost every notable actor or actress in the movie! While most were on the tail end of their careers, (actually this film was a career killer for many in it) some like Jim Davis (Jock Ewing in "Dallas") went on to respectable roles! The movie has been termed the greatest "Horror Western" ever made and when you take into consideration that another William Beaudine flick Billy the Kid versus Dracula is probably the only other one, I can see why! Like "MST3K", Joe Bob takes shots flaws and bad lines in this flick, but unlike MST3K the presentation is far greater than just humor! I can't wait for the next entry in this series! I would like to see Elite have Joe Bob's next venture be something a little more sleazy where Joe Bob's rating system can be applied. I highly recommend you pick up this DVD, not only will you enjoy it, it will give you a education!
Video and Audio:
Presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen Elite has probably given us the best quality this movie has or will ever have! No it's not perfect but the fact elements that good were still available is a wonder in itself! Many studios would have just done a crappie Pan and Scan of this movie, but that's not Elite's style and they are to be complimented on giving us a OAR transfer!
Not specified on the cover, exactly what it is. I suspect a Dolby digital mono. Frankly, for this movie, I don't give a damn! Free of hiss and pops, clear on both commentary or movie, it does the job!
This is the reason you're going to buy this series in the first place! Joe Bob Briggs! There is a commentary second to none for this movie! I'll discuss that more in my final thoughts. Somehow Elite found a trailer that was in pretty decent shape! Seriously what more is needed for this movie?