Roger Corman’s Frankenstein Unbound – USA, 1990 – reviews

Roger Corman’s Frankenstein Unbound – is a 1990 American science fiction horror feature film directed by Roger Corman from a screenplay co-written with F.X. Feeney, based on a novel by Brian W. Aldiss. The movie stars John HurtRaul Julia, Nick Brimble and Bridget Fonda.

This was Roger Corman’s first directorial efforts since 1970 when he made Von Richtofen and Brown. Carl Davis composed the soundtrack score.

Plot:

The ultimate weapon which was meant to be safe for the mankind produces global side effects including time slides and disappearances.

Buchanan (John Hurt), the scientist behind the project, and his car are zapped from New Los Angeles in the year 2031 to Lake Como in Switzerland, 1817, where he discovers Doctor Victor Frankenstein (Raul Julia) and his contemporaries…

Reviews:

“Mostly, it’s too ludicrous even to aspire to campness. No explanation is offered as to why Mary Shelley’s fictionalMonster comes to be roaming the shores of Lake Geneva in a rubber suit, while the antics of Byron (Patric) and his poet pal Shelley (Hutchence) are as redundant as they are fey.” Time Out London

“Elaborate special effects have bred a technically sophisticated audience, the link between sex and horror has become increasingly complex, and mordant self-consciousness is evident in all but the crudest films. To watch Frankenstein Unbound is to feel as though none of that has happened, a feeling that ultimately undermines the picture.” TV Guide

“Though some of the dialog is clutzy, acting is generally good with top honors to Raul Julia as a thoughtful Frankenstein. More single-minded is Hurt’s sketchy role. Bridget Fonda is attractive in the Mary Godwin role, overshadowed by British actress Catherine Rabett, who brings panache to the role of Frankenstein’s fiancee…” Variety

” …Frankenstein Unbound is just way too goofy for it’s own good.  It’s filled with a lot of dumb stuff like talking cars, time travel, laser beams, and other shit that gets in the way of the story.  And the ending totally sucks too.  I mean Hurt uses The Clapper to activate his laser beams to kill the Monster!  Are you f*cking kidding me?” Mitch Lovell, The Video Vacuum

“For all of its inherent cheesiness it actually strikes a good balance between classic Frankenstein moments and new, intensely weird sci-fi stuff. The Monster, for example, is fairly faithful to the book. He’s a smart, cunning, tragic figure—and his eyes are so cool, even if they don’t make any sense at all…” Nat Brehmer, Wicked Horror

Choice dialogue:

Buchanan: “Jesus H. Christ! Where am I?”

Mary: “Percy and Byron preach free love… I practice it.”

Cast and characters:

  • John Hurt … Buchanan
  • Raul Julia … Victor Frankenstein
  • Nick Brimble … The Monster
  • Bridget Fonda … Mary
  • Catherine Rabett … Elizabeth
  • Jason Patric … Lord Byron
  • Michael Hutchence … Percy Shelley
  • Catherine Corman … Justine Moritz
  • William Geiger … Lab Technician
  • Mickey Knox … General Reade
  • Myriam Cyr … Information Officer
  • Terri Treas … Computer Voice (voice)
  • Cynthia Allison … Newswoman
  • Isabella Rocchietta … Dorrie
  • Matt Cassidy … Boy #1

Filming locations:

Bellagio, Bergamo and Milan, Lombardia, Italy

Technical credits:

85 minutes | 1.85: 1 | DeLuxe colour | Ultra Stereo

Trivia:

Second unit director Tierry Notz helmed The Terror Within (1989) and Watcher II (1990) for Corman’s Concorde Pictures.

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