The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
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by Jesse Walker

Tuesday, July 17, 2007
JESSE'S CINEMA CORNER: A double bill from the auteur behind
Mom and Dad:

Billy the Kid Versus Dracula (William Beaudine, 1966): It's better than it sounds. If that feels like faint praise, well, it is faint praise. But this has a reputation as an inept, unwatchable, grade-Z potboiler, mostly on the strength of that title. It's actually fairly interesting, thanks to the delightfully cracked premise, John Carradine's hammy performance as the vampire, and some unexpected sexual undertones. (Yes, vampire movies are almost always about sex. But this one is about incest, more or less, so it gets bonus weirdness points. It feels a bit like Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt, aside from the fact that Shadow of a Doubt is a great movie whereas this one is...not.)

According to Cult Flicks and Trash Picks, Carradine took this job "to help support the Shakespeare company that was his true passion." Very noble. I can't help noticing that his troupe's performances are lost now, while the quickie he made to pay the bills is now in rotation on Turner Classic Movies. Immortality!

Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter (William Beaudine, 1966): This one, on the other hand, is just dull. I suppose I should give it points for the premise, but in execution it isn't a horror movie set in the Old West so much as a movie that keeps shifting gears from horror to western and back again. Except that sounds enjoyably surreal, and this rarely rises to that level.

Pedant's corner: She's actually Frankenstein's granddaughter. Though if you want to be really pedantic, I suppose her father was named Frankenstein too.


posted by Jesse 10:57 AM
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