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?