movie review

August 31st, 2015 Movie – Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter

jesse james meets frankenstein's daughter

Now this is a pretty interesting pairing. A western/horror movie. Granted, I have seen a couple of western/sci-fi movies, and own one, and one or two of them could also fit into the horror genre, but a straight up western/horror is rather new for me. I am somewhat intrigued by this movie but there is one slight problem that I have, and that is the fact that this movie is on the Chilling Classics box set. So that automatically drops this into the 50/50 slot for being a good movie. Well, might as well get it over with and watch today’s movie, Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter.

The plot: In a small town out in the west, a husband and wife comment about how the rest of the townspeople have left. Their daughter Juanita soon arrives, complaining about how she couldn’t find her brother in the house up the hill and despite her parent’s urging that they too should leave, she tells them that she won’t leave until she finds Francisco. Meanwhile, at the house on the hill, Maria Frankenstein, and her brother Rudolph, are making use of the common lightning storms in the area to continue the experiments begun by her infamous grandfather. Maria begins her latest experiment, attempting to remove the brain of Francisco and replacing it with an artificial one. However, unknown to her, Rudolph has secretly been poisoning the children after she revives them, in the hopes that she will quit doing the experiments. Checking her grandfather’s notes, Maria realizes that she needs to keep the living brain in the body and attach the artificial one to it in order for the experiment to work and so she decides that she needs to find a man, instead of a boy, to use her last artificial brain on. In another town, Jesse James and his companion Hank Tracy, are meeting up with a local gang called The Wild Bunch, who plan on robbing a stage coach carrying $100,000. However, Lonny Curry, the brother of the Wild Bunch’s leader, is upset about Jesse being called in and decides to tell the sheriff the Jesse James is here in return for being made a deputy and getting the reward for his capture. During the robbery, the sheriff and his men shoot the other two members of the Wild Bunch and injure Hank as he and Jesse flee. Hiding from the sheriff’s men, the two men come across Juanita and her family, who have finally left their home. Realizing how serious Hank’s injury is, and knowing that they are outlaws, Juanita offers to take them to Maria Frankenstein’s house but her father forbids her to go there. When her parents are asleep, Juanita leaves with Jesse and Hank in order to lead them to Maria’s house. Along the way, Juanita is grabbed by an Indian scout and when Jesse goes looking for her, he is attacked by the scout but manages to kill the scout then avoid the rest of the Indians that ride past where they are hiding. They finally arrive at the town and while Juanita waits at her old home, Jesse and Hank head towards Maria’s house to see the doctor. When they get there, Maria and Rudolph start to treat Hank and when he accidentally let’s slip who they are, Maria decides to use Hank in her experiment. She offers to let Jesse stay in their house and when the marshal shows up looking for them, she lies and tells them that she hasn’t seen them. As Hank begins to get better, Juanita urges Jesse and Hank to leave as soon as they are able becuase she doesn’t trust the Frankensteins. However, Maria wishes for Jesse to stay with her but when he refuses, she decides to get rid of him. She gives Jesse a note, saying it is a prescription that they need for Hank, but in reality, it is a note telling the pharmacist who Jesse is and that he should call the sheriff. While Jesse is away, Maria performs her experiment on Hank and succeeds, naming her creation Igor. When Rudolph goes to give Hank the injection, she notices that it is poison and tries to stop him, eventually calling Igor to kill her brother. Unknown to her, Juanita witnesses all of this and rides off before Maria can have Igor kill her. In the next town, Jesse gives the note to the pharmacist, who makes up an excuse about needing to make the medicine, but instead he goes to sheriff’s office. The only one there is Lonny, who tells the pharmacist to pretend to make the medicine while he tries to capture Jesse for the reward. However, Jesse senses something is wrong and kills Lonny before making his escape. On the way back, he runs into Juanita, who warns him not to go back to the house but when he continues on, she goes to the marshal for help. Jesse arrives at the house and demands some answers from Maria, but she calls on Igor, who knocks Jesse out and ties him up. Juanita and the marshal arrive and when the marshal searches the house, he finds an unconscious Jesse strapped down onto a table. Maria has Igor attack the marshal and hide the body, then when Juanita tries to free Jesse, she orders him to kill Juanita. However, seeing Juanita seems to bring back some of Hank’s memories and he kills Maria instead. When Igor goes after Jesse, Juanita is forced to kill Igor. After burying Hank’s body, Juanita asks Jesse to stay with her but knowing the trouble his fugitive status will bring, chooses to ride off with the sheriff instead.

This was an interesting movie, and by interesting I mean boring. I actually think I nodded off for a few minutes and honestly didn’t miss anything of importance. The acting was pretty bland all around, though I will say that Rayford Barnes was decent as the scheming Lonny but Narda Onyx was to over the top in her performance as Maria Frankenstein. The story was somewhat interesting and had potential to be much better than what was filmed. The “action” scenes were pretty slow paced and the pacing was just slow. Honestly, I can’t really say much else about it.

Rating: 1 out of 5


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