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Frankenstein Unbound
Roger Corman's Frankenstein

USA 1990
produced by
Roger Corman, Kobi Jaeger, Thom Mount for The Mount Company
directed by Roger Corman
starring John Hurt, Raul Julia, Nick Brimble, Bridget Fonda, Catherine Rabett, Jason Patric, Michal Hutchence, Catherine Corman, William Geiger, Mickey Knox, Myriam Cyr, Terri Treas, Cynthia Allison, Isabella Rocchietta, Matt Cassidy, Hauck Bjorck, Ilga Angelo, John Karlsen, Donald Hodson, Bruce McGuire, Grady Clarkson, Andrew Newton, Paul Weston, Christopher Robertson, Peter Goetz, Nick Gillard, Cyrus Elias
screenplay by Roger Corman, F.X. Feney, based on the novel by Brian W.Aldiss and on characters created by Mary W. Shelley, music by Carl Davis, special effects by Illusion Arts

Frankenstein

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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2031: Doctor Buchanan (John Hurt) has just developed the perfect weapon, but unfortunately the weapon causes disturbances in the time-space-continuum, and one such disturbance takes him and his futuristic car back to the Lake Geneva, exactly the time when a certain Dr Frankenstein (Raul Julia) experimented on creating life, but created a monster (Nick Brimble) and a certain Mary Godwin (Bridget Fonda) - the later Mary W.Shelly - stayed in the vicinity with Lord Byron (Jason Patric) and Percy Shelly (Michael Hutchence), wirting her novel Frankenstein.

Buchanan adapts to 19th century Geneva remarkably quick, and soon enough he is acquaintances with both Frankenstein and Mary Godwin ... when he witnesses a trial where a young girl (Catherine Corman) is condemned to death by hanging for murder - a murder that Buchanan thanks to his advance knowledge (he has read Frankenstein) was committed by the Frankenstein monster. He now tries to save the girl from death, by trying to enlist the help of either Mary or Frankenstein or his fiancée Elizabeth (Catherine Rabett) - who he knows is of course the next on the monster's list - but to no avail. In the end, he actually tries to save the girl single handedly but is almost killed himself.

Ultimately, the girl is killed, but at least Buchanan's actions have impressed Mary enough to have a shag with him - remember, she along with Shelly and Byron, was a pioneer of free love, a century and a half before the hippie movement. Still, the whole affair is far from over, and now Buchanan tries to do anything in his power to stop Frankenstein from further experiments and help him destroying the monster - to no avail, soon enough the monster has killed Elizabeth and has forced Frankenstein to construct a mate for him out of Elizabeth's bodyparts ... and somehow, Frankenstein tricks Buchanan into even helping him ... but secretly, Buchanan has another plan, to use the next ripple inthe time/space continuum to have himself and Frankenstein and the monster and Frankenstein's new female creature teleported into a whole different time era - which turns out to be the far future, Antarctica, near the last city of mankind. There the newly created female creature forces Frankenstein to kill her, then the monster kills Frankenstein in a rage ... then for some reason Buchanan decides it would be a good idea to kill the monster (who just wants to be left alone by everyone) - which he finally manages with the futuristic technology of the last city ... but somehow the monster will always stay with him, because he as a scientist developing the perfect weapon was no better than Frankenstein, and the last city was actually a product of that weapon.

 

After almost 20 years of absence from the director's chair, B-movie legend Roger Corman was persuaded to direct another film, a film with a decent budget and adequate special effects (both of which he didn't necessarily have in most of his earlier films). The outcome is neither Corman's best film nor his worst, not his funniest (intentionally or unintentionally) nor his unfunniest nor his most serious. In fact, Frankenstein Unbound is a surprisingly light-footed horror/sci fi-romp that keeps things going at a steady pace to help over the occasional narrative inconsistency and that features a reference-laden story that is not an insult on the audience's intelligence (despite the occasional silliness).

It's not a masterpiece, it might not even be one of Corman's better films (for whatever reason), and you might have forgotten the film in a day or two, but it's perfect light genre-entertainment - which is good enough any day in my book.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD