The Scattershot Lunacy of Movie Director Richard E. Cunha

Frankenstein's Daughter Movie Poster

Anyone who has visited Bill Ectric’s Place for any length of time knows that I like reading about low budget B movies, especially horror and science fiction. Sometimes watching them can be fun; sometimes reading about them is better than actually watching them. Unless you are either watching them on Mystery Science Theater, or with friends who can appreciate the craziness.

I’ve pretty much read every entry of 1,000 Misspent Hours and Counting, but that’s okay – I just discover a new blog called Radiation Cinema, written by Mykal Banta. There may be other writers on board, but Mr. Banta seems to carry most, if not all, of the weight.

Here’s an especially good review he wrote about Frankenstein’s Daughter (1958). I especially like the beginning and the end of the review, more than the actual synopsis of the film. Sometimes he throws in a good comment during the synopsis, though.

On Frankenstein’s Daughter, he says:

The DNA, that beautiful double helix of genetic instruction, has become seriously degraded in the Frankenstein lineage by the summer of 1958 . . .

. . . And with that, we have touched upon the glory of the maligned, beloved work of  us to Director Richard Cunha, who was at the helm for this enduring, radioactive fragment from the Atomic Age. Say whatever negative you want about Cunha’s work and you will probably be right. Yet his films were never without their own poorly-funded experiments, done in the blink of an eye under the powerful duress of time; all of which produced a kind of scattershot lunacy that simply keeps me riveted. He produced a quartet of drive-in offerings: All made in the span of a single year (1958): She Demons (his best work), Giant of the Unknown, Missile to the Moon, and Frankenstein’s Daughter. I find myself watching these films repeatedly, never for hidden subtext or moments of deepening meaning (there simply aren’t any of those); but more to enjoy the sharp stab and flash of oddball edginess, and something more; a certain connection I find difficult to understand.

Read the entire review here 









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