Aaron Eckhart’s I, Frankenstein, even by charitable standards, seems not be doing well at the box office this weekend, and correctly so if the majority of reviewers can be believed. Again, as mentioned in TV Mix’s review of FilmOn’s streaming movie Gothic, the angle of discussion seems to be leaning toward how it is NOT the worst version of Frankenstein ever, and again that would highly depend on what standards were being used in said discussion.

Case in point, two other films from the Frankenstein legacy that are also available on FilmOn’s on demand service, Frankenstein’s Daughter (1958) and Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter (1966). At first glance one would think these are related, a belated sequel following after a stretched concept. They are un-related, but both are equally entertaining in their misguided attempt.

Frankenstein’s Daughter is set in contemporary 50’s Los Angeles. The Frankenstein in the film is apparently the grandson of the original doctor named Oliver (Donald Murphy). One might then guess that the Daughter in the title is the monster, although from looking at the final result, that’s not clear; there are some facial disfiguring experiments performed by Oliver on one Trudy Morton, played by Sandra Knight (the future Mrs. Jack Nicholson). Other than that, there is an attempt at a groovy Hollywood party scene (always to be respected) and the wayward charms of Sally Todd, once considered as a competitor to Marylin Monroe, who had dated a spectrum of Hollywood from Jack Webb to Peter Lawford. The monster does do an appropriate flameout at the end.

Frankenstein’s Daughter is available on demand:
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Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter takes the legacy well along the twisted tangent of kitsch that would lead to Andy Warhol ’s Lonesome Cowboys and the X-rated Flesh For Frankenstein, while also potentially influencing Mel BrooksBlazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein. Directed by William ‘One Shot’ Beaudine, at that time the oldest working director in Hollywood, Jesse features John Lupton in the title role (who TV Mix wrote about when he played a morally-conflicted writer in The Rebel Set, a Frankenstein grandson AND (rasta-helmet-wearing) granddaughter (they astutely decided to drop the ‘Grand’ from the film’s title), and a monster played by Cal Bolder that looks like he’s passing through the film to Warhol’s Cowboys via Russ Meyer’s Faster, Pussycat, Kill, Kill. 

So although as conceptually incomprehensible as I, Frankenstein, these films are at least saved by a combination of sex appeal and kitsch.

Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter is available to watch on demand:
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