• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter

TITLE: Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter

YEAR: 1966

GENRE: Horror and Western

When one watches a film directed by a man nicknamed “one shot” it is to be assumed that the movie may not have the best production values. William Beaudine was a famous poverty row director that was well known for quick production shoots and efficient but low quality end results. Beaudine had a career that spanned over 60 years and directed various Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, and Bowery Boys films designed to be as cheap as possible for maximum profits for his investors. At the very tail end of his career Beaudine became fascinated with the spaghetti western format and thought it would be a great idea to combine those films with a horror element from the classic Universal monster films. The result of this thought process brought some of the worst films to ever appear out of the 1960’s to light, and ever since they have been fodder for bad move aficionados who can appreciate how much effort creating a horrible piece of Z-rated trash can be. Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter is one of those bizarrely awful films that have stood the test of time as one of the most enjoyable trash films to ever be created.

The James Gang has been supposedly wiped out, but survivor and famed outlaw Jesse James (John Lupton) and his not-so-bright yet burly cohort Hank Tracy (Cal Bolder) hook up with another gang to perform a stagecoach robbery. A fierce gunfight breaks out after the foiled robbery attempt and Hank takes a bullet to the shoulder. Knowing that he can not take Hank into town for medical help, Jesse finds a rural doctor at the top of a hill in an abandoned mission. Unknown to Jesse, the doctor turns out to be Dr. Maria Frankenstein (Narda Onyx, in her last role), granddaughter of the infamous monster creator. Dr. Frankenstein has been searching for a large man in which to perform experiments, and Hanks 6’4” height and muscular physique is heaven sent for her to complete the family’s newest abomination: to plant the original brain from grandpa’s creation into Hank’s noggin.

Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter is beyond awful on every level. The acting is ridiculously over the top in numerous situations especially Estelita Rodriguez as Juanita Lopez, a local who happens to be around the corner at just about every gun fight and fisticuff scuffle, and her over acting is some of the worst in film history. The film does have a fair amount of 1940’s and 50’s-style western action scenes including a knife fight between James and an Indian, and to be honest I have seen worse fight scenes in John Wayne and Randolph Scott films. The production values are simple enough which was a trademark of Beaudine because he did not want to re-do filming because of some minor detail. The funniest part of the set design is the paint scheme of Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory equipment which looks like it was designed by some Ashbury and Haight hippies on an acid trip. Despite all its inefficiencies, Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter has that unique charm that awful movies have that make them enjoyable viewings for people who can appreciate the delight of crappy movies.

Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter in its original release was usually tag teamed with the even more abysmal Billy The Kid Vs. Dracula and was arguably the worse double feature ever conceived. People looking for quality movies should dodge Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter, but fans of those so-bad-it’s-good flicks will find this a welcome addition on a stormy Saturday night with a group of like-minded friends, lots of salty snacks, and a case of a favorite adult beverage. It is an acquired taste: most people will not like Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter, but those who do will find this irresistible on the movie palate.

* * *

–Mark

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