Thursday, November 29, 2018


Tony loves to watch cheesy monster movies and then write about them for your amusement and edification. For today, I’m writing about the final two movies in the 2009 Creature Collection, a two-disc, five-movie set. I have previously reviewed:

Snowbeast (May 9, 2018)
Blood Tide (June 4, 2018)
The Demon (November 28, 2018)

Next up is Lady Frankenstein (1972), a English-language, Italian horror film directed by Mel Welles, written by Edward di Lorenzo, and starring Rosalba Neri (under the name Sara Bey), Joseph Cotten, Mickey Hargitay and Paul Müller. The Creature Collection lists the running time as 88 minutes, which doesn’t jibe any of the versions listed by the Internet Movie Database. The running times range from 83-99 minutes. My best guest is that cuts were made to reduce the amounts of gore and nudity, neither of which seemed to be excessive in the version I watched. The movie is rated R for “really trying to look like a Hammer film and not achieving that.”


The IMDB summary for the movie gives away major plot developments from the film:

When Dr. Frankenstein is killed by a monster he created, his daughter and his lab assistant Marshall continue his experiments. The two fall in love and attempt to transplant Marshall's brain in to the muscular body of a retarded servant Stephen, in order to prolong the aging Marshall's life. Meanwhile, the first monster seeks revenge on the grave robbers who sold the body parts used in its creation to Dr. Frankenstein. Soon it comes after Marshall and the doctor's daughter.

What is it with relatively major stars like Joseph Cotten appearing in horror movies only to die well before the end of the movie? Do they give producers a discount if they don’t have to stick around until the end? Anyway...

The entire cast chews the scenery like it was all you can eat wings night at the local sports bar. Of course, in this typical horror-movie village, the main sports seem to be fornicating and hanging people in public. An all you can eat wings hanging would doubtless be a huge success. As for the fornicating, that’s pretty much its own reward.

Neri is fun as Tania Frankenstein, the surgeon daughter of Cotten’s Baron Frankenstein. She’s all “girl power” and “lusty glances” as she goes about her mad scientist business. She does not take kindly to her dad’s trying to keep away from his experiments, which she’d expected to work with him on. She plays Dr. Marshall like a fiddle, trying her womanly charms for his cooperation. It’s been said that a woman can’t change a man, but Tania proves that wrong by putting Marshall’s brain in a hunky young body.

Also lining up at the buffet are Hargitay as the village’s lawman and Herbert Fux as the grave-robbing Lynch. You’ve seen their like in dozens of similar horror films.

All the leading players end up dead, some while having sex inside the Frankenstein laboratory. Terrible person that I am, I sort of laughed out loud at that finale fornication. It was just the perfect way to end this movie.


The original running time of Lady Frankenstein is 99 minutes, but the version I saw is 84 minutes. I have no idea what was cut, but it’s a crime against nature if any of the missing minutes featured the delightful Neri in states of undress. By the way, she was cast by the people who financed the movie after it ran into some trouble coming up with enough money to make the film.

Lady Frankenstein isn’t a classic, but it’s worth watching once or maybe even twice. If the full version of the movie ever crossed my path, I’d probably watch it again. It’s cliched and goofy enough to be entertaining.


Night Fright, the 1967 American sci-fi horror movie, is something we refined film critics like to call “a hoot-and-a-half.” If you were making a parody of a low-budget sci-fi horror movie from the era, it would look like this movie. I’ll get back to the budget it a bit.

Night Fright stars sci-fi veteran John Agar, who you’ve heard of, and Carol Gilley, who you haven’t. It was written by Russ Marker and directed by James A. Sullivan. The movie runs a not-so-tight 75 minutes - grab a snack during the scene of rebellious college kids dancing like old white people near the lake they’ve been warned to avoid - and was cut to 65 minutes for the U.K. I don’t know what was cut, but there isn’t any real gore and absolutely no nudity. Wikipedia offers this summary:

A Texas community is beset by a rash of mysterious killings involving some of the students from the local college. The sheriff investigating the deaths discovers the startling identity of the killer responsible for the murders. A NASA experiment involving cosmic rays has mutated an alligator into an ogre-like form and bullet-proof unstoppable killing machine with a thirst for blood.


There’s not much I can add to the Wikipedia summary. The spoiler warning is so I can discuss the low budget.

The first two victims of the mutated alligator creature are said to have been horribly mauled in their car. When the car is examined, its white interior shows no signs of the attack. I’m guessing the car was loaned to the movie by a cast member who didn’t want his or her ride covered in blood. It costs extra to get the interior of a car washed.

Why do I opine this is a cast member’s car? Because a scene where Gilley uses a phone in her character’s kitchen was shot in Gilley’s actual house. The Mustang she drives in the movie was her husband’s ride. What a trooper and that’s not the best example.

The best example is the scene when a dummy made to look like Gilley is used to lure the alligator creature to its death. The movie couldn't afford a dummy, so Gilley had to sit like a statue for the scene. After the creature is killed, since her character’s nurse’s uniform was worn by the “dummy,” Gilley is wrapped in a blanket. Since she also played a nurse in The Yesterday Machine, I suspect she owned the uniform.

Gilley only made one other movie. She played a clerk in Zontar: The Thing from Venus (1966). Bet she supplied her own wardrobe.


If you read past the spoiler warning, you saw I poked fun at this low-budget flick. But, honestly, it’s worth watching once for the cheesy fun it provides. As for me, I’ll keep watching the skies for more movies like this one.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2018 Tony Isabella

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