Frankenstein's Daughter

Tagged: Film

Film (1958; vt She Monster of the Night). Astor Pictures/Layton Film Productions, Inc. Produced by Marc Frederic. Directed by Richard E Cunha. Written by H E Barrie, distantly based on Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus (1818; rev 1831) by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Makeup by Harry Thomas. Cast includes John Ashley, Wolfe Barzell, Sandra Knight, Harold Lloyd Jr, Felix Locher, Donald Murphy, Sally Todd and Harry Wilson. 85 minutes. Black and white.

A descendant of the infamous Victorian Dr Frankenstein, Oliver Frank (Murphy) is working in 1958 Los Angeles (see California) as an aide to kindly Professor Carter Morton (Locher), while carrying on his ancestor's experiments in creating life. When the professor's niece Suzie Lawton (Todd) refuses his sexual advances, Frank first gives her a Drug which temporarily turns her into an ugly, disfigured creature who wanders about the neighborhood. He finally murders Suzie, and uses most of her head for the female Monster he, and his own assistant Elsu (Barzell) are creating. Growing concerned over Suzie's disappearance and the safety of his own girlfriend Trudy (Knight), Johnny Bruder (Ashley) finally alerts the police to the strange events in and near Professor Morton's residence. The completed monster (Wilson) has by this point been responsible for several additional deaths, and perishes along with Oliver in a traditional climactic fire which destroys the laboratory.

Unlucky makeup artist Thomas was not informed until late in the film's production that the creature was supposed to be female, resulting in a remarkably odd appearance. Frankenstein's Daughter was for some years considered the worst Frankenstein film ever made, and still represents a low point in this extensive Cinema canon. [GSt]

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