Legendary outlaw of the Old West Jesse James, on the run from Marshal MacPhee, hides out in the castle of Baron Frankenstein's granddaughter Maria, who proceeds to transform Jesse's slow-witted pal Hank into a bald zombie, which she names Igor.
In an ancient castle overlooking a small village in Mexico lives Maria Frankenstein (Narda Onyx) and her brother, Rudolph (Steven Geray),the grandchildren of the infamous Dr. Frankenstein, whose monster creation horrified Europe fifty years ago. Running from an American posse, Jesse James (John Lupton) and his friend Hank Tracy (Cal Bolder), the last of the James gang. Hank is wounded. They meet Juanita Lopez (Estelita Rodriguez), in the village , and she takes them to the only doctor in the village. Once there, Maria sees this as a chance to complete the work of her grandfather. She sends Jesse and Juanita to get medicine for Hank and, while they are gone, performs a brain-transplant on Hank, and names the result Igor. She then orders him to kill her brother. Jesse returns and Maria tells him Hank has left. Jesse suspects otherwise.
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Veteran filmmaker William Beaudine, with 256 movies under his belt, directed this dreary, low-budget, drive-in oater without much flair. Beaudine and scenarist Carl Hittleman go to absurd lengths to give the preposterous plot (what if Jesse James tangled with Frankenstein's daughter) a plausible set-up. Our notorious heroine and her elderly assistant have fled Germany to conduct their abominable experiments in the relative isolation of the old Southwest in a converted monastery. Film theorists will have a field day with the metaphorical implications of Frankenstein renovating a Catholic monastery. Maria Frankenstein longs to follow in her dastardly daddy's footsteps, but the Mexican peasants nearby don't make good guinea pigs. They have a nasty habit of dying on her. Interestingly enough, Frankenstein's daughter relocated to the American West to take advantage of the frequency of lightning. Anybody who has heard the commentary track on the Kurt Russell movie "Tombstone" may recall the director commenting on the abundance of lightning on their movie set in Arizona, so "Jesse James" contains a modicum of plausibility. The infamous outlaw is trying to lay low when he hooks up with Butch Curry and the Wild Bunch. (Obviously, Butch Curry is Butch Cassidy, but the producers must have felt that one real-life outlaw was sufficient.)Anyway, Butch's greedy brother Lonny alerts Marshall MacPhee about Jesse's whereabouts. During an abortive stagecoach robbery, Jesse's partner Hank catches