Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter

SEPTEMBER 17, 2007


Until a few days ago, I never would have had any interest in watching Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter, but I happened to see the new film about James, with an equally ridiculous title: The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, a film that was quite excellent, although missing the key chapter in James’ life where his partner got turned into a monster.

See, whenever I see a historical film I really like, I tend to believe I am truly interested in the real story, and usually go buy a book or a documentary about it (which I did for James, as it was based on a book to begin with). And then the book/doc goes unread/watched as I eventually re-lose interest. It’s an expensive habit, as it leaves me with lots more books I’ll probably never read. Which is why I’ll never watch Mel Brooks’ History of the World.

Anyway, while The Assassination... was a great film, this one is just a boring waste of time. With a title like that, you’d think you were in for some fun, but the film is played totally straight. Worse, the film is far more about Jesse James, i.e. a western, than about Frankenstein’s daughter, i.e. a horror movie. And worse still, the title isn’t even accurate, since the girl is the GRANDdaughter of the good doctor. What, were they worried that Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Granddaughter would sound silly?

Like all Frankenstein films, there’s a birth scene, and that one’s fine for the day (especially when the ‘daughter’ keeps yelling “You are now Igor!” with a ridiculous accent, one that makes “Igor!” sound more like “evil!”), but it’s pretty much the only horror scene in the damn thing. Everything else is a standard western, complete with a backstabbing partner, a saloon brawl (this scene includes Nestor Paiva - still a total load), a holdup, a Mexican woman, etc. Even when the monster is alive, he’s not very threatening. He’s just a shirtless dumb guy in a western.

Well, whatever. I am one film closer to completing the entire budget pack, at which time I believe Mill Creek will name me their executive vice president of acquisitions and accounting. Or at least send me the Decrepit Crypt of Nightmares (the likely heir to the Chilling Classics throne) set.

What say you?


  1. Have you made it through the 50 Horror Classics set? It's probably the best of the 50 packs I've worked through so far.

  2. No, I've watched a few, but I am dedicated to the Chilling box right now, then I will switch over. There's like 5 box sets that are eligible for HMAD, I'm sure by the time I die (2010?) I'll have gone thru em all.

  3. I had seen this one before buying the Chilling pack, so I didn't rewatch. I also remember it being painful, though. There's a dvd edition out with a Joe Bob Briggs commentary track, but I wonder if even he could make this flick entertaining.

    I've got both "50 Drive-In Classics" and "Nightmare Worlds" waiting for me, and I'm not sure which to dive into next (only one movie away from completing the Chilling pack! I might throw a party). Drive-In has some comedies and blaxploitation too, not that that's in any way a bad thing.

    So, speaking of ridiculous titles, have you ever seen Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie? And before you ask, yes, that IS a real movie title.

  4. ya the drive in and nightmare worlds have a few eligible titles but not enough to warrant a purchase... i think ill get the decrepit crypt and maybe tales of terror. theres another one, i forget the name but it's 100 movies (!!!), though a lot of them are recycled from the others.

  5. Might not be worth re-buying for it, but the Joe Bob Briggs commentary on the Elite disc is worth listening to.

  6. Oh, god, Decrepit Crypt of Nightmares is awful... makes the Chilling set look Oscar-worthy... seriously. Every movie I've seen outside of "Terror Toons" makes a Rebane or Corman movie look polished, (and in that movie the actors are exclusively porn stars, to give you an idea of how bad it is). Unless you really want to go digging at the actual BOTTOM of the barrel...

  7. Aw, that's a bummer. I decided to go through Horror Classics first but I might dip into Decrepit from time to time... are ANY of them worth watching?

    Also, is there a lot of nudity in them? I watch budget movies at work, I like to have a heads up which ones I need to wait until no ones around (not so much a problem with the older movies, but a lot of the Decrepit films are from the past decade)

  8. Here's a list of some of the Decrepit Crypt of Nightmares movies I've watched (fast forwarded through). Keep in mind that this was a few weeks ago though...

    I'm pretty sure "Terror Toons" has pretty much no nudity, aside from half a nipple at the beginning after a bath scene. It's bad, but not complete garbage.

    "Matthew" is "Scream Bloody Murder" from the Chilling Classics set, (your viewing of the set is what originally got me interested in HMAD, in case that helps).

    "Mayhem Motel" is all about weird sex, but I think has minimal nudity aside from the beginning scene where the guy takes a bath and pukes all over himself. The acting here is almost tolerable, (better than in most of the ones I've seen)

    "Nightmare Asylum" is pretty clean, unless you find piles of ground beef and pepto bismol being churned by a circular saw explicit; there is NO plot, just random scenes of beef hacking and high-school-acting-class-grade performances.

    I'm pretty sure "Hellbound" and "I Dream of Dracula" have a lot, and "Toe Tags" has a decent amount of nudity. Acting tends to be absent.

    I don't remember much about "Burning Dead" and "When Heaven Comes Down" except that they are terrible. I think BD may have a few mildly scary moments.

    "Vampire Hunter" may be THE most ridiculous thing I've ever seen, (mostly because of the ninja guy in his garage), but at least there's no nudity, so you could watch it confidently at work. He DRAWS naked women; does that count?

    Basically, the set really disappointed me, because I thought the Hellbound one may have been a Hellraiser sequel, and I thought the others would have been pretty much equal with those. Turns out that most of them are straight to video crap. Awful.

    I've punished myself way too much as it is by watching this set, but if you did decide to watch a few for HMAD, I'd definitely read.

  9. Well thanks for the heads up! Hopefully I can find a few 'gems'...

  10. Do you know the song, the Ballad of Jesse James?

    Jesse James was a lad
    He killed many a man
    He robbed them of their brains
    He stole their body parts
    And loaded them in carts
    He had a hand and a heart and a brain.

    Now Frankenstein had a wife
    A daughter carried on his life
    His grandchild robbed the grave
    Let history record
    That the movie bored
    And this review was not quite a rave


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