Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, June 2, 2016


Pretty Boy: Nick Brimble as the Monster
FRANKENSTEIN UNBOUND (aka Roger Corman's Frankenstein Unbound/1990).

In 2031 a scientist named Buchanan (John Hurt) is developing a kind of disintegration beam that has the side effect of causing severe weather conditions and holes in time. Buchanan winds up back in the days of Victor Frankenstein (Raul Julia) and also encounters Percy Shelley (Michael Hutchence), his girlfriend, Mary (Bridget Fonda), Lord Byron (Jason Patric), and an intelligent if homicidal monster (Nick Brimble). The servant Justine (Catherine Corman) has been accused of murdering little William Frankenstein and Victor refuses to save her by telling the truth about the monster. The formerly callous Buchanan tries to rescue Justine and makes out with Mary (Shelley). It all winds up in a frozen future time period and not a moment too soon. Based on a novel by Brian W. Aldiss (Roger Corman was co-screenwriter as well as director) Frankenstein Unbound emerges as a mish mash of some admittedly interesting ideas, none of which jell in very compelling fashion. Hurt is completely miscast, Julia and Fonda are okay, Brimble does a good job as the monster, Catherine Corman is effective, and Patric makes an interesting Lord Byron. [Some of these real-life characters also appeared in Haunted Summer.] Carl Davis' [Ben-Hur] score is a plus -- much better than the movie deserves -- but the gore scenes are more silly than anything else.

Verdict: Stick with Corman's Attack of the Crab Monsters. ** out of 4.


angelman66 said...

Yeah, this was a disappointing mess, I had had high hopes with its stellar cast and expecting a little of that Corman magic...the original Little Shop of Horrors is a small masterpiece.

Corman himself is a fascinating and kind man; I interviewed him once for an article and he was so intelligent, with amazing stories of Hollywood, and had a true an artistic philosophy of the medium of film. Unfortunately, this Frankenstein, as you say, really doesn't gel.


William said...

Yeah, you expect better from Corman who made some zesty, well-directed cheap movies and proved a very interesting filmmaker when he got bigger budgets, such as with "Masque of the Red Death."

Agree with you about "Little Shop" -- "I think this salad is Cesarean," says Jackie Joseph!

angelman66 said...

Now I need to see THAT one again, lol!!