“She tried to kill me. A terrible looking creature in a bathing suit.”
Oliver Frank (Donald Murphy) is secretly the grandson of Victor Frankenstein. He is working as the laboratory assistant for Professor Morton (Felix Locher). Morton is working on a serum that will eliminate disease. In the meantime Dr. Frank is working on his own project. He is using Professor Morton’s teenage niece Trudy (Sandra Knight) as a guinea pig. At least when he is not trying to sexually assault her.
Frank is giving her a concoction that temporarily changes her into a fright faced monster. She ends up running around scaring people during the night. In the morning she had vague snatches of memory about the incidents. Frank’s main interest, however, is in creating life. For that he needs body parts. Morton’s gardener Elsu (Wolfe Barzell) is assisting him in gathering what he needs. Of course the last thing he needs for his creation is a brain.
Trudy’s friend Suzie Lawler (Sally Todd) is mad at her boyfriend so she flirts with Frank. Frank takes her to a make-out spot. When Suzie rebuffs him, he runs her over. Now he can harvest her head for his creation. Frank ends up creating a man size creature with a weird split face. He calls it his daughter. When he is called away the creature gets up and walks out. Then it starts to kill.
“Frankenstein’s Daughter” was released in 1958 and was directed by Richard E. Cunha. It has got to be one of the stupidest looking Frankenstein’s I’ve ever seen and for several reasons.
First: The monster is not a female. It is a guy in what looks like a rubber running suit and rubber gloves. Its head is covered with gauze and its face looks folded in half. The monster make-up was created by Harry Thomas. He did not realize that the monster was supposed to be female. All he could do at the last minute was to apply lipstick to the creature. I heard that when Richard Cunha first saw the make-up he broke down in tears.
Second: why is it that Frank tries to get into the pants of every woman he runs across and when she refuses him he turns them into monsters? I guess that one isn’t too hard to figure out. It’s pretty obvious that Frank is misogynous. His main reason for using Suzie’s head is because, according to him, the female brain is conditioned to a man’s world. She will do whatever he tells her to do. Humph.
Third: What was the purpose of Frank spiking Trudy’s punch and turning her into a monster? If his aim is to create a female monster why mess around with an existing female? You expect the movie go one way and then it changes gears and you’re in a different movie. Frank’s experiments on Trudy have nothing to do with the rest of the movie. He spikes her drink a couple times and that’s it. There’s never another reference to what happened to Trudy other than her believing she had a weird dream and a couple people seeing a monster. By the end of the movie, everybody saw a monster.
Sally Todd was playmate of the month for February 1957. She also posed for “Bachelor”, “Brief”, “Sir Knight”, and “Focus”. The monster was played by Harry Wilson.
All in all it’s a pretty stupid movie. And I mean that in a good way. Mostly because of the transgender monster. It certainly does add to the camp. It is one of the favorites for so bad its good fanatics. If you like your female monsters to look like men in rubber firemen suits. It will be number one with you. But be warned. This one’s not flame retardant.