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Film / Lady Frankenstein

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Lady Frankenstein is a 1971 English-language Italian horror film directed by Mel Welles and written by cult writer Edward di Lorenzo. It stars Rosalba Neri (under the pseudonym Sara Bey), Joseph Cotten, Mickey Hargitay and Paul Müller.

When Dr. Frankenstein is killed by a monster he created, his daughter Tanya and his lab assistant Charles Marshall continue his experiments. The two fall in love and attempt to transplant Marshall's brain into the muscular body of a mentally disabled servant named Thomas, 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.

Lady Frankenstein contains examples of:

  • Blood from the Mouth: Blood spurts from Dr. Frankenstein's mouth when he is crushed to death by the Monster.
  • Brain Transplant: Tanya uses her father's techniques to transplant the brain of her aging lover Charles into the body of the physically perfect but mentally disabled stable hand Thomas.
  • Carpet of Virility: Thomas, the mentally disabled but physically perfect male specimen Tanya chooses to house the brain of her lover, has a thick mat of chest hair.
  • Creating Life Is Bad: Dr. Frankenstein is single-mindedly obsessed with completing his life's work, which is creating life. He ignores the misgivings of his assistant Marshall, and presses ahead despite the brain he is using being a damaged one taken from an executed murderer. Needless to say, he winds up being killed by his creation, who then goes on a murderous rampage across the countryside. His daughter Tanya decides to forgo creating life, and instead concentrates on a simple Brain Transplant.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Tanya is very appreciative of Thomas' looks the first time she sees him.
  • For Science!: Charles accuses Tanya of being less interested in stopping the monster than in proving who had the superior creation: Her (Charles in Thomas' body) or her father (the monster). He further speculates she'd be satisfied with either result (Either her father's life work "paid off" or her work surpassed his).
  • Frankenstein's Monster: The Baron has been working on his creation for years. It goes mad, kills him, and escapes. Tanya does not create a typical Frankenstein's monster, but instead transplants the brain of her lover into a physically perfect body.
  • Gratuitous Laboratory Flasks: The laboratory is filled with all kinds of glassware. Most of it is filled with some kind of liquid and they are linked together and bubble during the reanimation process, so they may perform some function, but exactly what is unclear.
  • Grave Robbing: The film opens with Tom Lynch and his cronies stealing bodies for Dr. Frankenstein.
  • Immune to Bullets: The Monster gets shot multiple times with no noticeable effect.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: The Monster murders a farmer and his wife, and then looks menacingly at their young son. However, the Monster just stares at him and them shambles off, leaving him unharmed.
  • Joggers Find Death: A pair of anglers find the body of one the Monster's victims floating in the river. They are then attacked by the monster.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Lightning is a vital part of Dr. Frankenstein's reanimation process. Dr. Frankenstein claims only lightning can provide the vital power to restart the heart and brain and keep them functioning.
  • Literal Disarming: During the final battle, Charles cuts off one of the Monster's arms with an ax.
  • Mad Scientist Laboratory: Baron Frankenstein maintains one under his castle. It is filled with Gratuitous Laboratory Flasks, arcane electrical equipment, strange clockwork, a walk in cold room for keeping corpses...
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: A young couple are having sex on a riverbank beside a bridge in broad daylight when they are attacked by the Monster. The man runs away and the girl is killed.
  • Out with a Bang: Thomas is killed with a Vorpal Pillow while he is having sex with Tanya, who continues to ride him orgasmically as he dies. At the end of the film, Tanya is strangled by Charles as they have sex in the burning lab.
  • Public Execution: Everyone turns out for the hanging of Jack Morgan, including Tanya, who has never witnessed an execution before, and Tom Lynch, who is planning to steal the body immediately afterwards.
  • Start X to Stop X: Tanya Frankenstein reasons the only way to stop her father's monster, which has escaped and is wreaking havoc on the nearby town, is to create a second monster and use it to destroy the first.
  • Tae Kwon Door: Charles slams the door of the laboratory cold room door into the Monster's face during the final battle.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: At the end of the film, an old-fashioned torch and pitchfork wielding mob storms the Frankenstein estate and sets fire to the castle.
  • Vorpal Pillow: Charles murders Thomas by suffocating him with a pillow while he's having sex with Tanya.
  • Working for a Body Upgrade: One of the benefits Marshall gets for going along with Tanya's scheme is having his brain transplanted into a young, healthy and virile body.