Saturday, January 22, 2011

'Lady Frankenstein' mixes monster-making with sexual perversion

Lady Frankenstein (aka "Daughter of Frankenstein") (1972)
Starring: Sara Bey, Joseph Cotton, Paul Muller, Mickey Hargitay, and Paul Whiteman
Directors: Mel Welles and Aureliano Luppi
Rating: Five of Ten Stars

Tania Frankenstein (Bey) proves psychopathy is an inherited trait when she continues and perfects her dead father's work in reanimation and monster-making... by creating her perfect mate and sex-toy, using the body of a hunky handyman, and the brain of her father's former assistant (Muller).

"Lady Frankenstein" is a fast-paced--once it gets started... it opens rather slow--decidedly sleazy twist on the typical Frankenstein film. Monsters are created, monsters run amok, and torch-wielding villagers burn the castle down, but the twist here is that Frankenstein (played with class above this movie's station by Joseph Cotton) dies at the end of the first act, leaving his twisted daughter in charge of the murder and mayhem. Boy, does she rise to the challenge.

This film is most remarkable for the most disturbing sex scene I've seen so far on film with Tania Frankenstein having an orgasm as her lover is being murdered under her. Twisted stuff, but in perfect keeping with the overall tone of the film. It is also remarkable for having just about the lamest-looking monster of any featured in a Frankenstein film. (Yes, even lamer than the non-monster in "Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter"... what we have here looks like the Toxic Avenger's retarded country cousin.)

Decently acted, and featuring better music, camera work, and sets than many films of this kind, "Lady Frankenstein" might be worth a look if my comments above haven't warned you off.