Entry 39: When Jesse Met Maria

File:Jessejamesfrankenstein.jpg

Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter. Directed by William Beaudine. Written by Carl K. Hittleman.

Release Date: April 10, 1866.

Available here.

It’s Halloween! There isn’t a lot of Civil War horror stuff (unless you count Gods and Generals! Zing!), but there is this little gem about one of Reconstruction’s most enduring figures, Jesse James. He played a big, sorta weird role in my childhood (more on that in a future post), so I’ve always known about this bizarre movie but never sought it out. Imagine my surprise when I found the whole thing on YouTube. Even more amazing, Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter exceeded even my lowest expectations. But even in this campy Ed Wood-esque nightmare, there are still interesting elements of Civil War memory and James’s controversial legacy.

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