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Frankenstein Unbound
Directed by Roger Corman
Produced by Jay Cassidy (assoc.)
Roger Corman
Kobi Jaeger
Laura J. Medina (assoc.)
Thom Mount
Written by Brian Aldiss (novel)
Roger Corman
F.X. Feeney
Narrated by John Hurt
Starring John Hurt
Raúl Juliá
Nick Brimble
Bridget Fonda
Catherine Rabett
Jason Patric
Michael Hutchence
Music by Carl Davis
Cinematography Armando Nannuzzi
Michael Scott
Editing by Mary Bauer
Jay Lash Cassidy

Frankenstein Unbound is a 1990 horror movie based on Brian Aldiss' novel of the same name. This film was directed by Roger Corman, returning to the director's chair after a hiatus of almost twenty years.



The primary character of the film is scientist Joe Buchanan, played by John Hurt. The supporting characters include: Raúl Juliá who plays Frankenstein and Bridget Fonda who portrays Mary Shelley. Nick Brimble plays the Monster.

Jason Patric appears briefly as Lord Byron, and in a rare film appearance the late rock singer Michael Hutchence plays Percy Shelley. The computer's voice is provided by Terri Treas.[1]


Dr. Buchanan and his team are working to develop the ultimate weapon, an energy beam that will vaporize whatever it is aimed at. It is Buchanan's hope that he can create a weapon so powerful that it will end all war and have the added benefit of having 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 nearby village, he meets Victor Frankenstein. The two men discuss science over dinner but it is soon revealed that Frankenstein's young brother has been killed. A trial is being held to determine the guilt or innocence of the boy's nanny, who is suspected in the murder.

During the trial, several villagers claim to have seen a monster in the woods and suggest that maybe this is the killer. Buchanan observes the trial but becomes interested in a young woman taking notes on the proceedings. This woman turns out to be Mary Shelley, author of the Frankenstein novel. She 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 that it was the monster who killed the child. He implores Frankenstein to come forward and reveal the truth, but Frankenstein refuses. Buchanan then asks Mary Shelley for help, and tells her that he is from the future. They are attracted to each other, but Mary fears to know too much about the future and her own destiny, and 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, it seems, 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 agrees and instructs the monster to run some cables to the 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 any civilization around them. 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 cave, 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 some security devices and the monster is burned to death by lasers. Buchanan leaves the cave and 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."


This feature was filmed in Italy.[2]


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