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Roger Corman's Frankenstein Unbound
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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A little confusing for me, but an interesting story

5/10
Author: trishaade from USA
25 May 2017

This Frankenstein tale introduces us to Dr. Buchanan who has developed a weapon that has a side-effect of time travel. During a storm, Buchanan inadvertently ends up traveling back in time from 2031 to 1817 where he meets Victor Frankenstein, Frankenstein's monster, Lord Byron and Mary and Percy Shelley. In this version of the tale, Frankenstein and the monster are treated as actual characters rather than the fictional ones in Mary Shelley's imagination.

I have mixed feelings about Frankenstein Unbound. I couldn't quite figure out what Buchanan's motives were in many parts of the film or why it was written the way that it was, although John Hurt did a good job with his role. Some of the scenes and plot lines seemed pointless or didn't make much sense and I kept wondering why they were included. All of that being said, though, I thought it was an interesting take on the Frankenstein story. I've seen much, much worse.

The roles of Dr. Buchanan, Victor Frankenstein, Mary Shelley and the monster were played well, but the other actors fell a little flat in my opinion. Unlike some other reviewers, I thought the monster's makeup was done pretty well. I thought some of the sets and special effects worked, other times not so much.

So, bottom line is that it was just okay - it could have been better written and more coherent but for the most part it kept my attention (which is more than I can say for some other Frankenstein movies I've seen). Would I recommend a watch for a horror or sci-fi fan? It's definitely not a must-see, but might be entertaining for some.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

"Who made you?"

3/10
Author: poj-man from United States
26 December 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Frankenstein monster utters this repeatedly in this travesty. It's a wonder anyone would answer "I did!" John Hurt travels through time is his version of KITT and the BTTF Delorean. he drives the car around areas without fueling stations and on flat dirt roads with no ruts from carriages.

He comes across Doctor Frankenstein who sees Hurt wearing a digital watch and then the good doctor feigns interest before taking carriage away. Hurt doesn't care; he rides on the back of the small horse drawn carriage and no one notices his 150 pounds when wet body as added weight.

When the monster appears the monster has a physique that makes one say..."who sewed this together?" The physical monster body makes no sense and despite the fact that he lives in the woods the monster is always clean in clean clothing.

The monster speaks complex English sentences...but the monster doesn't know what the word's "murder" and "contraception" mean. It makes no sense.

The film might have been saved by campy horror but the word "campy" implies humor and the film is devoid of campy humor; jokes come off flat.

The book probably reads fun. Seeing it on screen one realizes how stupid the book actually is.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Slightly Surreal Mix of Horror and Sci-Fi

5/10
Author: Space_Mafune from Newfoundland, Canada
26 August 2002

There's some good ideas at work here but they aren't executed nearly as fully as I would have liked. John Hurt gives a fantastic performance as a futuristic Frankenstein named Dr. Buchanan. Raul Julia is also quite good in the role of Dr. Frankenstein himself and even Bridget Fonda gives the film some very memorable scenes. But the Monster speaks too much for my liking and repeats itself too often. Also there's stuff like arm-ripping which reminds us this is a Roger Corman picture(although to be honest I rather enjoyed this stuff). Overall a decent if not fully successful effort.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Starts off bad and stays that way.

Author: Jack the Ripper1888 from Chicagooooooo
9 June 2002

I knew I should have watched something else the minute this movie got bad. And that was right away. Bad special effects, and a lame story make up this sorry excuse for a futuristic time-traveling horror story. John Hurt is a good actor, and even here he does a half-way decent job, but I just wish that the film could've been better. I like the shots in 19th Century Geneva, but after that part of the film ends, and we enter the worst part of the movie, I just wanted to die. If you have time on your hands, and you want to blow it on a bad horror movie, then don't even bother with this one. FRANKENSTEIN UNBOUND: 2/5.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Movie Goes Thud

5/10
Author: aesgaard41 from United States
11 December 2001

I like this movie. In some ways, Roger Corman is a very under-appreciated director with a varying style, but sometimes he goes too far. While the beginning makes very little sense, the movie becomes interesting as John Hurt travels back and discovers that Dr. Frankenstein and his monster are real and that Mary Shelley is in the midst of fictionalizing the events. However, the monster's make-up is way over the top, and the ending is anti-climactic. Bridget Fonda is wonderfully cast as Mary Shelley in a role played probably too close to the real thing; do we need to know how promiscuous she may really have been ? It all ends on a ruined note with a preachy message lost in the execution. A better resolution would have been a solution that solved everything, but instead Corman takes the easy way out. The move ends with a reverberating thud.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A good try, but...

Author: Hadean from Canada
17 September 2000

I'm not sure, but it would seem that the director tried his darndest to create something honestly special and enthralling, but it would seem that it just didn't happen. A few notable problems being that:

1) There's obviously quite a lot of suspension of disbelief that must happen... unfortunately, though, when trying to comment on society, you should not be creating another world to create the comments in.

2) Where's the sympathy for the monster? It was the central theme of Mary's entire book, yet there is no feeling of pity for it.

3) When working in low budget movies, and trying to create a honest-to-goodness good work, it's generally best to avoid limbs being ripped off for no good reason (why would the monster bother to rip off it's own arm to attack someone when it is surrounded by steel pipes and machinery?)

Okay, I'll quit... While making the list, I realized there are a lot more things wrong then I had originally thought. Interesting idea that just didn't work (why does it remind me of Hellraiser 4: Bloodlines?? I don't think that's a good thing...)

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

crummy

3/10
Author: Lee Eisenberg (lee.eisenberg.pdx@gmail.com) from Portland, Oregon, USA
5 April 2006

Roger Corman directed some of history's coolest movies, so why did he have to degenerate into this?! The illogical plot has Dr. Joe Buchanan (John Hurt) accidentally transporting himself to 1817 Switzerland, where Mary Shelley (Bridget Fonda) is writing her famous novel as she watches it happen. Yeah, I can't figure that out either.

The first messed-up thing in "Frankenstein Unbound" is the futuristic "computer" at the beginning; it consists of little more than a bunch of blinking lights. Twenty years earlier, that might have been acceptable, but not by 1990. From there, the whole movie seems like they took parts out of other movies and randomly strung them together. The only other Frankenstein movie that makes you roll your eyes this much is Kenneth Branagh's overstuffed "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" (and that one at least didn't have a senseless plot). Everyone involved in this movie must have been embarrassed by it.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

a 1990 approach to Mary Shelley's theme

Author: cesar314 from Delaware
5 August 2003

My first impression at the opening was of a definitely 1990 Sci-fi film, as the scenery and cinematography reflect this. However, as the movie progresses, the underlying thematic and philosophical material greatly outweigh any crude effects or otherwise damaging features. The poise of the screenwriter never stoops below that of an intellectual elegance. I recommend it highly.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Promising start - then the monster enters...

4/10
Author: Psycho Mantis from Hässelby, Sweden
27 July 2001

In the year 2031, the (mad?) scientist Dr. Buchanan, played by John Hurt, gets sucked into a time portal by accident and is transported back through time a few hundred years. At first he has no idea of where he is, but after a quick dinner with a mysterious man, Buchanan thinks he knows. The man is actually Dr. Frankenstein himself! At first Buchanan is excited about the situation, but after he encounters a well-known historical monster, he is more than anxious to find a way to return to his time.

Director Roger Corman´s comeback is not as good as it should have been. With an original and interesting story and a really good actor in the leading role, this should have been ace. The start is very promising, but then the monster enters and everything collapses. The monster is poorly made and it almost behaves like an American wrestler from the WWF, not like the scary creature it is supposed to be. The effects when the monster kills people are also laughable. And in the end the story just becomes to much to handle. The ending is pure idiocy. Buchanan´s talking car is a pleasure to watch though, even if it looks like something that didn´t make it to the set of "Knight Rider".

I love John Hurt, I really do. But why does he have to make so strange career choices? I loved him in "The Elephant Man" and "Alien", but since then he hasn´t done much work worth seeing. But John Hurt is always worth seeing, and this case is not an exception. Hurt actually saves the movie from being a total disaster. Raul Julia and Bridget Fonda also do a job well done, as Dr. Victor Frankenstein respectively the author Mary Shelley.

But this is still a big disappointment, with both the science fiction and the horror elements lacking in creativity. Nice settings and good acting saves this one.

* * out of * * * * *

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Classic-Dark Horror-Clever Sci-Fi Twist--good measure!

Author: Tim Groves from Ottawa CAN
29 January 1999

Exceptional body to add to Mr Corman's other fine work: And John Hurt, and Bridget Fonda are exceptional.. This is a most clever piece of cinema: the Sci-Fi to actually create the 'hero's problems: and vice-versa: as a possible way to extricate oneself: from what is often a fairly 'touchy' ordeal: By all means If a free night, is at hand--Give yourself a few genuine chills, and enjoy.. Thanx Cheers T.

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