Frankenstein’s Daughter is a 50s drive-in monster movie. The best you can do with a flick like this is enjoy the 50s music, clothes, hair, and acting, and make fun of the script. I’m usually at a loss when it comes to writing about 50s horror, but I do enjoy watching it, if for no other reason than to enjoy a rousing version of the MST3K home game.
The producer obviously said, “I want a Frankenstein monster, and I don’t care about anything that leads up to it.” The synopsis therefore doesn’t matter, but I’ll give it to you anyway.
A really stupid old scientist and his equally brilliant niece Trudy live with the uncle’s assistant, Mr. Frank, and the assistant’s assistant who is posing as the gardener. Frank is actually Mr. Frankenstein, the grandson of the original mad scientist. The title refers to the monster Frank makes out of Trudy’s bitchy cockteasing frenemy Susie, even though the monster is obviously played by a man. But there are two monsters, because for no good reason I can determine, Frank keeps dosing Trudy with some kind of Jekyll/Hyde drug that makes her turn really ugly and run around outside in her bathing suit scaring people.
Some of the common Frankenstein tropes are here, although the brilliantly tragic subtext of the original story is completely missing. This Frankenstein has the usual belief that his entire family is made up of geniuses who need to be vindicated, but there’s no other reason for wanting to create life, and he’s not at all a sympathetic character. In fact, no one is. And without the subtext, all you have is some asshole who woke up one morning and decided to sew a bunch of different dead people’s body parts together and shock them back to life.
So if you like Frankenstein movies, 50s movies, or movies with a lame song and dance number that pops up in the middle of the film, you’re in luck. Everyone else can either sit back and enjoy the nostalgia, wait for the annoying friend character to get pushed into the pool, mock the movie mercilessly, or some combination of the three.