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Frankenstein Unbound Reviews

Page 2 of 4
March 20, 2014
The plot is messy, there are a lot of things going on mixed with things that already happened. While it starts off rather interesting, it gets pretty dull mid-way, and eventually becomes dumb. The characters aren't too driven, and the effects are less than appealing, but the make-up is neat. The movie ends up feeling stale and over-done.
July 8, 2013
A great movie if you are into the Frankenstein mythology, and its boundless possibilities. Raul Julia and John Hurt are great Raul gets the meaty role as the mad doctor. The first 20 minutes are pretty bad I admit (there is one embarrassing effect where a warrior comes out of the clouds), but the movie quickly improves in all aspects, very well written with an original story and great dialogue between the three protagonists, Shelly FRankenstein and the visitor from the future. I almost turned off the machine after 10 minutes or so and I assume a lot of people did, which is unfortunate, with improved sound editiong and chopping out some early parts this should be a top rate b-movie. I can say with no hesitation this is one of the best acted and original Frankenstein movies ever made.
May 6, 2013
An ambitious, well-cast movie that is handicapped its evident low budget; the central conceit of the story (which involves time travel, in addition to the more traditional Frankenstein tropes) is actually really interesting, and seems to be reaching for a scope that the production can't satisfactorily achieve. That said, I give the movie points for genuinely trying to do something different with the lore, and for the two fun performances from John Hurt and Raul Julia.
January 19, 2013
Good movie. Frankenstein is great. Raul Julia is great. John Hurt is great. Roger Corman is great. Even a low-budget and a not so good script can't deny that.
December 7, 2011
it was ok movie but I don't think I'll ever watch it again, I expected better and John Hurt, Bridget Fonda and Nick Brimble (Emmerdale's Terence Turner and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves) starred in it
May 19, 2012
Fun and twisty reworking of a plot that has been reworked a hundred times before. The limited budget is very obvious but Hurt and Julia don't let that stop them from hamming things up and having a lot of fun with the ridiculous time-travel plot.
November 6, 2011
Frankenstein was always my most favorite of the old school Universal monsters. He tried hard to not be a monster. He fought against his nature. And he was created out of man's blind ambition and science. And while this version takes a very odd and interesting turn where the monster is more in the background and man's blind ambition is more of what is the true monster it keeps the original story and theme. Oh, and there is time travel as well. Both John Hurt and Raul Julia gives wonderful performances, and the rest of the cast is decent. Every time I see a movie with Julia it really shows what the world of cinema lost when he died. The characters are fairly well-written. The film has a fairly bad name since the monster does look more like the result of genetic mutation rather than a creature built together by human bodies. The film has several violent scenes ala Corman style that seem to be there mainly to add violence rather than substance to the film, but apart from that, the film is pretty good, at least worth a watch, if only one watch.
September 26, 2011
As usual the pretentious rotten tomatoes crowd can't see a movie for what it is. This movie is not trying to win Academy Awards. Its a little campy, a little melodramatic, and yet never takes itself too seriously. The casting is superb and the story is fun and engaging without trying to get too artsy and complicated. It is probably one of the best B movies you'll ever see.
September 24, 2011
By far the worst "Frankenstein" I've ever seen, the worst acting by John Hurt and Raul Julia in their lives and one of the worst scripts EVER. The story is so bad and so unbelievable. I still can't believe that either of these actors actually read the script and agreed to do this piece of crap. Oh, as for Bridget Fonda, for her performance in this film, she should be banned from ever using the name "Fonda" again.
August 6, 2011
Something like this might look terrible but... this was actually pretty darn good. Might type more laters.

Super Reviewer

November 10, 2007
In 2034, Dr. Buchanan and his team work to develop the ultimate weapon, an energy beam that will completely remove whatever it is aimed at. Buchanan hopes he can create a weapon so powerful that it will end all war and have the added benefit of no impact on the environment. Unfortunately, the prototype has unpredictable side effects, creating erratic global weather patterns and rifts in space and time that have caused some people to vanish. As he drives home from the testing facility, Buchanan himself is caught in one such rift.

Buchanan and his car reappear in Switzerland in 1817. In a village, he meets Victor Frankenstein. The men discuss science over dinner and it is revealed that Frankenstein's young brother has been killed. A trial is to determine the guilt or innocence of the boy's nanny, who is suspected in the murder.

Several villagers claim to have seen a monster in the woods and suggest this is the killer. Buchanan observes the trial and becomes interested in a young woman taking notes. She turns out to be Mary Shelley, author of the Frankenstein novel. Shelley gives credence to the talk of monsters, but the judge does not. The nanny is found guilty and sentenced to die at the gallows.

Buchanan knows the monster killed the child. He implores Frankenstein to come forward and reveal the truth, but Frankenstein refuses. Buchanan then asks Shelley for help, telling her that he is from the future. They are attracted to each other, but Mary, fearing to know too much about the future and her own destiny, chooses not to become involved. Buchanan is on his own. He drives his car to Frankenstein's workshop and finds the doctor in discussion with the monster.

The monster has killed Frankenstein's fiance, saying that if a mate was not made for him then he would deprive Frankenstein of his. Frankenstein asks Buchanan to use his knowledge of electricity to assist in resurrecting the dead woman. Buchanan instructs the monster to run cables to a weather vane on the roof. While the monster is distracted, Buchanan re-routes some of the electrical cables to begin powering up the prototype laser in his car.

As the lightning strikes the tower again and again, the battery on the laser begins to charge and the corpse on the table begins to move. At the same moment, the woman is restored to life and Buchanan's energy beam is fully charged; he fires. The castle is destroyed.

But the laser opens another space-time rift, sending Buchanan, Frankenstein and the two monsters far into the future. They land on a snowy mountain with no sign of civilization. Frankenstein and the monster both try to entice the woman to them, only to have Frankenstein shoot and kill her. Enraged, the monster kills Frankenstein and trudges off into the snowstorm. Buchanan follows, hoping to kill the monster before he reaches a city and kills again.

Eventually the monster is cornered in a cave filled with computers and machines. When Buchanan enters, the machines chirp to life and a voice says "Welcome back, Dr. Buchanan." The monster tells Buchanan that the cave is the central brain for the nearby city, the last one remaining after the world has been devastated by Buchanan's ultimate weapon. Buchanan engages security devices and the monster is burned to death by lasers. Buchanan makes his way to the nearby city through the snow.

As he walks, the monster's voice is heard saying that he cannot truly be killed, for now he is "unbound."
June 6, 2011
Scientist Joseph Buchanan(John Hurt) goes back in time from 2031 to 1817 to Geneva Switzerland, in his talking, Futuristic Car, Back to the Future Style. He becomes friends with Lord Byron(Jason Patric), Baron Victor Frankenstein(Raul Julia), & the future Author of the Infamous Horror Books about Vampires & Frankenstein, Mary Shelly(Bridget Fonda).
Frankenstein's Monster is Killing, a young Woman is accused, & since Dr.Buchanan knows the true History, he tries to save her, to no avail.Then is forced to help in the creation on Frankenstein's Bride.
A bit Camp,Corney, with Sexual Innuendo, & Opulence,Beautiful Costumes, Castles & Estates,& Swiss Countryside,that you'd never guess was on a low budget, as it visually stunning.I actually really like this film because of the luminaries of the Era,that I so admire, that went on to infamy.
FMC is playing this again for a few days, I am watching it Late Night, again, right now.
June 10, 2011
I'm at the end of the world...or the beginning of one

Joe Buchanan is a scientist in the future that is funded by the government to make weapons; unfortunately, he has made a weapon that may destroy existence as we know it. A void has been created by his weapon and he approaches the void only to be sucked into an alternative universe that contains Mary Shelley and Dr. Frankenstein. What can the story of Frankenstein do with his weapon and existence as he knows it?

"No one can create a soul."

Roger Corman, director of Bloody Mama, The Tomb of Ligeia, The Terror, The Raven, The Haunted Palace, Pit and the Pendulum, The Trip, Gunslinger, and The Little Shop of Horrors (1960), delivers Frankenstein Unbound. This picture contains an eccentric story that is just mediocre overall. The acting is splendid and the script is clever and well delivered. The cast includes William Hurt, Raul Julia, Bridgett Fonda, Jason Patric, and Nick Brimble.

"I can live with pain and I can live with guilt."

Roger Corman has a wide range of films on his resume and I was surprised to find this picture on the short list of his movies I had not seen. Well, I really did not need to see this picture. The Frankenstein make-up was disappointing, the end was unsatisfactory, and while the characters were interesting, I wasn't a fan of how they were utilized. Overall, this is a Roger Corman movie worth skipping.

"I did not ask to be made a monster."

Grade: D
April 19, 2011
The main character has no motivation or direction whatsoever. He randomly time travels to the past and for no reason spends all his time hanging out with Dr. Frankenstein. It's actually a pretty fascinating movie.
March 31, 2011
Once upon a time, John Hurt became very famous for an alien popping out of his belly in a hit movie. He was offered many roles afterwards, but chose to play a time-traveling scientist who gets to bang Mary Shelley. this movie is interesting enough to hold your attention but it is not very good.
March 26, 2011
In this film, everyone's limbs are literally held on by velcro and ruptured ketchup packets. If only the plot were stitched together with the same tenacity.
October 25, 2010
Disappointingly, this turned out to be a cross between Knight Rider and a children's level TV Frankenstein movie. I am not impressed.
Dan y.
July 19, 2010
Boring, stupid, odd, you name it. it makes me angry at how stupid frank looks and how they changed the character so drastically. don't see this. Ever!!!!!
Tico P. From the Vault
June 7, 2010
Roger Corman returned after 20 years absence and gave us this mediocre piece of celluloid.

Plot: In the year 2100 something, a scientist (John Hurt), is working on a device that can vaporize anything it touches. The device seems to affect the environment causing a gigantic rift / wormhole in the atmosphere. He gets sucked in and travels back to the 18Th century, with his "Back to the Future" like vehicle.
Here he encounters Dr Victor Frankenstein (Raul Julia), who is fascinated by his digital wrist watch. Later the scientist bumps into Mary Shelly in a courtroom, who is taking notes as research for her next unpublished novel. Dr. Frankenstein's monster/ creation is lonely and frustrated, "Make me a mate". The monster is caught in a rift sending him into the future 2300 something.

I know it sounds bad, but it could have been good. A creative story full of potential that falls apart and fails miserably.

The only reason I once had this in my old VHS collection, was for the monster, which was kind of cool.

If you can find this on cable one day, try sitting through it as it's kind of fun in a trashy way.

Well ... it is a Corman flick so what would you expect anyways?
September 21, 2009
How did this start again? Was it when I read Brian Aldiss' novel? Or did I read that because I read about the movie? To be sure, a strong impetus behind my decision to view it (and debatably behind reading the book it is based on) is the presence of INXS' late vocalist Michael Hutchence. Many people who know me know I love INXS like nobody's business, so this shouldn't come as a big surprise. A starring role for John Hurt and a villainous role for Raul Julia doesn't hurt anything either, naturally, but it was definitely the presence of Hutchence in one of two film roles that drew me to it. And, of course, we can't completely discount the name of Roger Corman.

In the future, Doctor Joe Buchanan (Hurt) is attempting to develop a weapon so powerful that it ends wars by simple threat of its existence. Unfortunately, operation of the weapon leads to erratic weather and "time storms," rifts in the time-space continuum that occasionally displace people and things. Caught in the middle of a severe one, Buchanan is sent back to Switzerland in the early 19th century, where he rapidly discovers not only the real Doctor Victor Frankenstein (Julia), but eventually the author who made him famous--Mary Wollstonecraft (Bridget Fonda). Frankenstein's younger brother was recently killed, and witchcraft is suspected. Horrified, Buchanan attempts to gain the help of Frankenstein in clearing the nanny being held responsible, both of them knowing his creation, The Monster (Nick Brimble) is the true culprit. When Frankenstein refuses, he goes to Wollstonecraft, who has an interest in the proceedings herself. Buchanan finds himself caught in the scientific debate of morality, and of "playing God," as he attempts to convince Frankenstein to come forward, or at least to destroy his creation before it kills more. Unable to do so, he must resort to attempting to use the side effects of his own weapon to stop them.

Roger Corman's films have a reputation as pure schlock, cheaply and quickly produced, generally entertaining but showing their budget like people who are utterly unaware of their body types show skin when they make poor fashion decisions.* It's not a flattering description for anyone's approach to film, but Corman himself has never seemed bothered by it. Still, I have my own approach to film, having no interest in watching a film to laugh at its limitations (the ones where I will not grant the creators grace, ie, there is a budget and appropriate technology at hand for them, I just get annoyed by). Frankenstein Unbound I seem to recall reading reviews of as a book (after I read it myself, I think, or perhaps while I was reading it) and hearing it labelled the author's smutty fantasy of sleeping with Mary Shelley. This isn't an unfair description of that subplot (which seems unnecessary, and is only briefly touched on in the film, anyway), but it's hardly a characterization of the entire story. Corman's film, I think, suffers similarly. There's laughter (amongst the boring, as far as I'm concerned) to be derived from a moment here or there, but it's hardly a knock against the movie as a whole, really.

The film is actually quite well shot, with a very smart eye for cinematography and solidly paced action from Corman himself, in his last time in the director's chair to date. Julia and Hurt are unsurprisingly excellent in their roles, with Brimble giving a nice sort of confused but lethal gravitas to the Monster. Hutchence (who plays Percy Shelley) and similarly-briefly-appearing Jason Patric (who plays Lord Byron) flit in and out of scenes they are in without thoroughly establishing themselves, giving it that moment of "Neat!" without dragging things to a halt by getting hung up on their limitations. Hurt and Julia carry most of the film, not only in terms of skill, but, appropriately in light of that, in terms of screen time. Julia is viperously dangerous and manipulative, with momentary glimpses of sanity or humanity, while Hurt is sufficiently both a scientist and a solid protagonist.

One of the most surprising things about the film is that the settings are quite believable. I'm sure if I knew much about 19th century Switzerland I'd have issues, but to the untrained eye it looks believably 19th century, and the future is not embarrassingly dated. The budget certainly shows in the design of the future objects, but it isn't as cheesily obvious as it often is. There's a stream-lined efficiency to it, a relative disinterest in gimmick-ing up any of the objects from the future that serves the film very well. The most obvious piece of the "future" present is Buchanan's computer-enhanced talking car, which sounds like a dreadful Knight Rider-style horror, but actually works pretty well. It does look rather 1980s, but not familiar, which is really probably the best approach to creating the future: not trying to guess at future approaches to design, but instead building from current ones to arrive at something unusual. The gore, too, is unusually good for what people say about Corman's films, though I should know by now that such mentalities are derivative of a genuine love that has been misappropriated by the cynical and postmodern into an attempt to prove oneself "better" than some films by mocking them (I mean nothing against Mystery Science Theater 3000 if that is crossing any minds--I'm quite a fan).

There's a solid bit of weight behind the film's concept and themes that betrays this whole schlocky mentality that people have about Corman's films, and there's an absolutely fantastic set of title credits to back the whole thing up. What Corman is known for is efficiency and industry in his work, and he makes a miniscule budget work for this film--he can't hide everything (because there's not enough money, of course!) but he makes a fantastic use of what he has, and puts very strong actors in to sell what doesn't work. Really, this film should be given a much better chance--but it's typically, it seems, swallowed up by those of us who are curious about Hutchence as an actor and those who want a "stupid" movie to laugh at. A shame, really, as it does well with its subject matter.

*I'm not sure where this peculiar simile came from, but it makes sense in my head.
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