FRANKENSTEIN’S DAUGHTER (1958) Reviews and Film Detective Blu-ray news

 

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Frankenstein’s Daughter is being re-released on Blu-ray and DVD in the USA by The Film Detective (TFD) via Cinedigm on October 19, 2021. Special features:

Audio commentary track with author and historian Tom Weaver

A full-colour booklet with an original essay by author and historian Tom Weaver

Richard E. Cunha: Filmmaker of the Unknown – A new retrospective from Ballyhoo Motion Pictures, featuring an archival interview with director Richard E. Cunha

John Ashley: Man from the B’s – A new career retrospective featuring film historian C. Courtney Joyner

Meanwhile, here’s our previous coverage of Frankenstein’s Daughter:

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‘More Terrifying! More Destructive!’

Frankenstein’s Daughter is a 1958 American science fiction horror film. It was the third of four films created by producer Marc Frederic and director Richard E. Cunha in the late 1950s, the others being Giant from the Unknown; She Demons and Missile to the Moon. The movie stars John Ashley, Sandra Knight, Donald Murphy and Sally Todd.

Plot:

The grandson of Victor Frankenstein, Oliver (Donald Murphy), is hiding away as a laboratory assistant for the gentle Prof. Morton (Felix Locher). While Doctor Morton pursues a pet project, Doctor Frankenstein secretly works his own experiments on his benefactor’s niece, Trudy Morton (Sandra Knight).

Although the experiments temporarily disfigure Trudy’s face and cause her to wander aimlessly at night, they are only a build-up to Oliver’s greater goal of recreating life. With the aid of one of his father’s former assistants, Oliver constructs a female monster from the body parts of various murdered people and begins to deal a horrible fate upon any who dare stand in the way of his desires…

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Reviews:

‘Working with a meagre $65,000 budget, a breakneck six-day shooting schedule, and a crackpot script, director Richard Cunha delivered a businesslike, unapologetic grade-z programmer that is perfectly entertaining.’ Frankensteinia: The Frankenstein Blog

‘Nicholson’s lighting throughout Frankenstein’s Daughter is particularly eerie, framing Sandra Knight’s she-monster in bizarre street lighting in the scenes in which Knight prowls the streets of a Los Angeles suburb. Nicholson is also adept at using “shock cuts” that gradually show Knight’s monstrous deterioration and disfigurement.” Monsters from the Vault

“Unfortunately, the only real appeal I can find to this movie is in the “so campy it’s good” category; as a genuinely scary movie, I think it’s quite awful, despite the fact that the first minute does catch my attention. In order for a movie like this to work for me, I need to believe it on some level, but in order to suspend my disbelief with this one, I’d need a crane.” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

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” …Frankenstein’s Daughter would seem to avoid boredom by simply being what it is – a Frankenstein story pared down to its barest essentials … Well – photographed (in focus, consistently exposed), it nevertheless exhibits the full range of Z-Movie symptoms: illogical plotting, vacant characterisation, performances that don’t mesh.” DVD Savant

has craggy, overaged teenagers, a scene dramatising the hazards of going parking with a guy you’ve only just met, and a rock and roll band that even the one in The Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow would look down on, it also comes complete with double the usual allotment of monsters and mad scientists.’ 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting

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” …apparently the makeup man was not even aware that it was meant to be a female monster when designing it. On the plus side, at least the Frankenstein monster, when seen, comes with some suitably hideous makeup. Donald Murphy also plays with a ruthless charisma as the Frankenstein descendent that is undeniably effective.” Moria

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Choice dialogue:

Oliver Frank aka Frankenstein: “You’ve always treated me as a monster, Trudy. Now you’re going to be one.”

Cast and characters:

John Ashley … Johnny Bruder
Sandra Knight … Trudy Morton
Donald Murphy … Oliver Frank / Frankenstein
Sally Todd … Suzie Lawler
Harold Lloyd Jr. … Don
Felix Locher … Professor Carter Morton
Wolfe Barzell … Elsu
John Zaremba … Police Lt. Boyle
Robert Dix … Police Det. Bill Dillon
Harry Wilson … The Monster
Voltaire Perkins … Mr Rockwell – Chemist
Charlotte Portney … Frightened Housewife
Bill Coontz … First Victim – Warehouseman
George Barrows … Mack
Page Cavanaugh … Page Cavanaugh
Page Cavanaugh Trio … Themselves

Filming locations:

Screencraft Studios, 8470 Melrose Ave, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California

Technical details:

85 minutes
Audio: Mono
Black and white
Aspect ratio: 1.85: 1

Fun facts:

Includes the term “meddling kids”, later made famous in Scooby-Doo

Internet Archive (free download)

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