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  Frankenstein's Daughter Modern Prometheus
Year: 1958
Director: Richard E. Cunha
Stars: John Ashley, Sandra Knight, Donald Murphy, Felix Locher, Sally Todd, John Zaremba, Wolfe Barzell, Harold Lloyd Jr, Robert Dix, Page Cavanaugh, Voltaire Perkins, Bill Coontz, George Barrows, Charlotte Portney, Harry Wilson
Genre: Horror, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: After bidding farewell to her boyfriend for the night, Suzie (Sally Todd) is horrified to see a monstrous woman walking towards her and flees. The next morning, Trudy (Sandra Knight) is awakened by her scientist uncle Carter (Felix Locher), feeling strange after a nightmare she has suffered, but she's late for her tennis match so puts it to the back of her mind. However, when she meets her friends at the courts, including boyfriend Johnny (John Ashley) and Suzie, she is so disturbed to hear Suzie's bad experience the previous evening that she doesn't feel like playing tennis anymore. She's convinced she has a connection to this monster woman, and her uncle's assistant Oliver Frank (Donald Murphy) knows that all too well...

This updating of the traditional Frankenstein tale was scripted by H.E. Barrie, and was surprisingly violent and gory for its day, even if it remains laughably unscary. The main gimmick is that the grandson of the original mad doctor, here shortening his name to an undercover alias, has created a female monster, and not only that but there is more than one. The first is poor old Trudy, after Frank slips the drug he and Carter are working on into her drink - at least he's not testing it on animals, eh? Anyway, when Trudy gets a taste of this noxious potion, she has to go for a lie down, whereupon she grows fangs, big eyebrows and a thousand yard stare (or maybe it's the ping pong ball eyes?).

After Trudy terrorises the neighbourhood, emphasis shifts onto the currently headless body stitched together from human parts in Frank's secret room. Our mad scientist is an unlovely soul himself, who can barely restrain himself in the company of attractive women, practically forcing himself on Trudy (when she's not a monster, of course), and what he does with Suzie could be seen as attempted rape. It's as if his twisted science is infecting his desires, too, but the woman he creates is somewhat less than feminine - in fact, he's a bloke dressed up. Not dressed as a woman, either, truly nobody could mistake this brute for a lady except, it seems, the characters in this film. He's not even wearing a dress! A spot of lipstick and that's your lot!

The reason for this gender disaster would appear to be, as legend would have it, a behind the scenes mixup with the makeup, but really all that is needed is a shambling monster and that's all you get. It goes on a largely unseen rampage after Frank finds a head for it, courtesy of the hapless Suzie who he has previously mown down in his car. Meanwhile, Trudy and even Carter's suspicions are being raised, so Trudy's boyfriend throws a party where nobody can dance properly, and Harold Lloyd Jr breaks out into less than welcome song. Trudy's boyfriend, who saves the day as a matter of course, is John Ashley, obviously preparing himself for the later horrors in his career; no, not Frankie Avalon, I mean those trashy Filipino movies, as Frankenstein's Daughter is pretty trashy itself. What can you expect from a film where the monster is (supposedly) female because women are more used to taking orders than men? That's Frank's opinion at any rate. Music by Nicholas Carras.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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