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Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter

Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Duaghter (1966)THE DINGUS PROJECT
James James in Film #09

This is about as bad (or good, if you like bad) as it gets. In this shlock monster flick, Jesse has miraculously escaped being assassinated by Bob Ford. We discover him wandering in Mexico with a Schwartzenegger-like friend named Hank who falls into the hands of Frankenstein’s granddaughter.

Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter (1966)
84 minutes
John Lupton, Cal Bolder, Narda Onyx

At least we know this one is just for laughs. And it is fun, not scary. If you want to see a real horror film about Jesse James, watch ‘American Outlaws" with Colin Farrel. Did we say "horror" or "horrible"?

Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Duaghter on the Dingus ProjectThis cheesy drive-in film is all tongue-in-cheek, in the "best bad film" genre that includes "Plan 9 from Outer Space" and "Santa Claus Vs the Martians." There is no attempt here to create an historic Jesse James, and so no comparisons to history are necessary. It goes like this.

Frankenstein’s granddaughter has moved to Mexico (at least it looks like Mexico) where the peasants are superstitious and the thunderstorms are frequent. Ms. Frankenstein and her brother, also a mad scientist – it seems to run in the family -- are on the run from the law in Vienna, which seems to account for their odd accents. Safely hidden in a castle on a hill, which looks a lot like a painting of a castle on a hill, they have continue their re-animation experiments on Mexican children. They have had some success, but the formerly dead children don’t survive long when revived.

Jesse James, meanwhile, is still on the run and has teamed up with a muscle-bound companion named Hank. He tries hooking up with The Wild Bunch, but is betrayed for a $10,000 reward. When Hank gets shot during a robbery, Jesse begs for help from Juanita, a Mexican woman who just happens to be fleeing with her family from the Frankensteins. But even though the Frankensteins have killed a number of her siblings, Juanita volunteers to take the wounded Hank back to the Viennese doctors.

Ms. Frankenstein is looking for stronger and bigger guinea pigs to use in her experiments. (She does not know, however, that her experiments have actually worked, but her brother is secretly killing the Mexican children to prevent them from being transformed into zombies.) The wounded Hank shows up just in time to become the next victim. When the mad doctor discovers who Jesse James really is, she attempts to turn him in to the sheriff, but Jesse gets wind of her scheme and escapes.

Dingus index

Things go badly for big Hank since the doctors only have one more artificial brain left. Putting on what looks like two Day-Glo WWII helmets, Maria Frankenstein turns Hank into Igor, who kills the other doctor. He also wounds the sheriff and tries to kill his old pal Jesse James. But Juanita saves the day after Hank polishes off Marie Frankenstein with his bare hands. Poor Juanita is forced to save Jesse by shooting Hank, aka Igor. Hank groans her name, and dies.

"Our village is free once more, thanks to you – and Hank," Juanita says, even though Jesse, technically, did nothing at all. Jesse pledges his love to Juanita, then rides off with the sheriff, apparently to turn himself in.

"A Match Made in Hell" – the video slipcase reads, I quess, but what do you expect from a Sci-Fi-Horror- Western-Comeday? The only recognizeable character here is Jim Davis as the sheriff. You've seen him in Gunsmoke, Death Valley Days, Laramie, Wagon Train, Bonanza -- and just about every other western on TV. You probably didn't see him an early TV serial called "Cowboy G-Men", but know him best as the father of JR Ewing in the primte-time TV-soap "Dallas." Davis even played Frank James one in the 1050 film Alias Jesse James. 

INTERNET MOVIE DATABASE web page link.

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