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Frankenstein Unbound (1990)

John Hurt , Raul Julia , Roger Corman  |  R |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Frankenstein Unbound + Frankenstein + Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
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Product Details

  • Actors: John Hurt, Raul Julia, Nick Brimble, Bridget Fonda, Catherine Rabett
  • Directors: Roger Corman
  • Writers: Roger Corman, Brian Aldiss, F.X. Feeney
  • Producers: Roger Corman, Jay Cassidy, Kobi Jaeger, Laura J. Medina
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: September 5, 2006
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000G6BLXS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,749 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Frankenstein Unbound" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Joseph Buchanan is a brilliant scientist conducting implosion experiments in the year 2031. His humanitarian goal is to develop a weapons system that will not destroy all life on Earth, but the results are catastrophic! The very core of time and space is fractured, and Buchanan finds himself thrust into 19th century Geneva. He meets fellow scientist Dr. Victor Frankenstein, whose own monstrous experiment has gone haywire, killing his brother, and threatening the entire village. Frankenstein's creature is even more horrible than the world ever imagined-and now Dr, Frankenstein is determined to use Buchanan's scientific knowledge to create its mate!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I am Unbound... March 23, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Despite campy moments and the occasional silly special effect, Frankenstein Unbound surprisingly offers up an intriguing morality tale. While it is definatly a horror/sci-fi film, it really is (as the box claims) a monster movie for the thinking person.
When a future scientist (John Hurt) creates an invention that implodes space, he finds himself catapulted back to 19th century England. There he meets Mary Shelly, Percy Shelly, and, of course, Dr. Frankenstein and his monster.
The relationships between Frankenstein, Hurt's arrogant scientist, and their respective "monsters," explore the idea that once you create something you cannot un-create it. Even if you destroy your creation you can never make things the way they were before--It is unbound.
I agree with "THNEEBAN" about the monster--it is the best Frankenstein I have seen on film. I too found the ending surreal and very fitting. While not for all tastes, I am always surprised by how long this film--especially the ending--lingers in my mind.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thumbs up! October 19, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
After 19 years of absence, legendary director Roger Corman returns to direct "Franenstein Unbound". This version is based on Brian Aldiss' novel. It's quite different from the other classic approaches. The idea is about a man (John Hurt) who lives in the future 2031 & moves back in time (19th Century) and meets an earlier scientist Frankenstein (Raul Julia). Frankenstein has created a Monster who has already killed his 6-year-old brother and is now threatening the entire city...
It's wonderful how they blended the life of Mary Shelley - the young woman who will later write the novel FRANKENSTEIN!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some neat stuff in this enjoyable flick October 19, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
I place this movie in the company of such greats as The Beastmaster, Battle Beyond the Stars, and Flash Gordon: B-movies that have WAY too much appeal for their own good.
Frankstein Unbound is a loose (but much better) adaptation of the mind-numbing novel by Brian Aldiss. A future scientist's experiments with weapons of war causes a tear in time and space that throws him straight into early 19th-century Europe. There, he learns that the story of Frankstein is based on fact. He encounters the doctor, the monster, the "bride", Mary and Percy Shelley, and Lord Byron, all played by a cast surprisingly well-known for this type of film.
The movie is alternately creepy and sappy, and a fling between scientist John Hurt and Mary Shelley (Bridget Fonda) will surely evoke rolling of the eyes. It's loaded with melodrama, but that's okay, because there's enough cool sci-fi/horror standards present to satisfy anyone, including a suitably "out-there" and fantastic ending. Plus, this movie has the absolute best version of Frankenstein's monster that I have EVER seen, either in film, TV, print, or whatever. The monster's look is truly inspired, and his personality is captured perfectly.
Check this one out... just to say you did. It's very entertaining.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Science is your religion" January 12, 2008
The first time I watched this film, I was rather disappointed, expecting one of Roger Corman's usual grade-B outings on steroids (now that he was back in the director's chair for the first time in 30 years). It was just different enough that I watched it again later and I was hooked.

SPOILER: Some reviewers have compared this film to Kenneth Branaugh's Frankenstein. I suppose it was inevitable as Branaugh's movie outright stole from this one the brilliant concept of Victor creating the monster's mate from the body of his murdered Elizabeth. Frankenstein Unbound, though low-budget, has a wry wit, understated yet sincere performances, and a smoothly flowing directorial style while Branaugh's movie has electric eels(!), a rather gay porn-like creation scene(with lots of mineral oil), and Robert....Deniro....talking....slowly.

Many people seem to be under the misconception that the monster in Shelley's original novel was supposed to be likeable, that it was really a good guy underneath the weird appearance and it was just misunderstood. This simply isn't true. The monster starts out innocent but once it matures, it becomes a bitter, hateful killer out to destroy all those that Victor loves. Frankenstein was a horror story. The monster is a ghastly specter haunting Victor into the grave and only after Victor's death does a faint echo of the monster's former self sadly re-emerge long enough for it to lament over what its done and immolate itself. This film's monster played by Nick Brimble is the most faithful to the original source out of any movie version.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The madness of possibility" January 4, 2007
Corman's "Frankenstein Unbound" is a masterpiece; as such, it will always be misunderstood, thus underestimated, by cultural illiterates. The title itself presupposes familiarity with Romantic literature: it is an ironic reference to P.B. Shelley's "Prometheus Unbound"--a major verse drama that expressed visionary optimism, the poet's belief that mankind's future would be incomparably bright (liberated from tyranny, superstition, and all manner of age-old errors). In contrast, "Frankenstein Unbound" paints an extremely bleak picture of the future--presenting a world that is dominated and eventually wrecked by misguided (or unguided) science. In brief, the future resembles the past--only worse!
At the center of this pessimistic world-vision stands Dr. Joe Buchanan (ably played by John Hurt)--a brilliant scientist who develops an atrocious weapon that can tear open the fabric of time and space. Inevitably Buchanan becomes a victim of his own creation, which transports him from 2031 Los Angeles to 1817 Switzerland. There he meets his natural counterpart--Victor Frankenstein (Raul Julia), an archetypal scientist being victimized by his own ungovernable creation. Cold, amoral intellect seems to unite past and future, Frankenstein and Buchanan--thus suggesting the speciousness of "progress."
The film's pessimism would be unmitigated if it were not for the presence of Mary Shelley (splendidly portrayed by Bridget Fonda). The author of "Frankenstein," Mistress Shelley appears as a young unpublished writer drawing inspiration for her great novel from her shrewd observations of Frankenstein himself. She deduces that the man has created an inhuman murderer. Further, as a true visionary she helps guide Buchanan to a proper understanding of things.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars FRANKENSTEIN UNBOUND
A excellent flick. Not your typical big Hollywood production, and that's part of the appeal. Some of the effects are dated and somewhat cheesey by today's CGI standards, but... Read more
Published 1 month ago by jeff poston
4.0 out of 5 stars It was a good movie
I really like this movie it was great to watch I was on the edge of my seat during this movie.
Published 1 month ago by Terri Lynn Muzzy
4.0 out of 5 stars DVD
If you like a different and bizarre way of telling an old story this movie is for you. I am glad I was able to find this.
Published 1 month ago by Jason P Punchard
5.0 out of 5 stars Trust this company !
A great movie, in brand-new condition and very prompt delivery. Best price and service and you don't have to spend gas money to go and buy it !
Published 5 months ago by kevin christie
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, with flaws though
The first 15 minutes are really bad with one embarrassing special effect, but once Raul Julia gets involved with his meaty role of Dr. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Dean Wirth
5.0 out of 5 stars yes
I am happy to say this arrived in a timely manor and runs well all the way through. I hav not had any problems
Published 14 months ago by B. Adams
5.0 out of 5 stars Action Pack Movie.
I recommend the movie/DVD to anyone whom loves Sci-fi
and Horror movies to see this one and purchase this DVD from this
store cause everything was fine. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Andrea Givens
The Fans want from a Frankenstein Film what this one delivers:A Mad Scientist, A Monster, Romance, and Angry Villagers. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Prince Everlove
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Movie
This is a truly fantastic transfer of this cult classic from Roger Corman onto DVD. The picture and sound quality are top notch. Read more
Published 19 months ago by K. Weavil
5.0 out of 5 stars A delicious romp!
I saw this movie for the first time as a rental years ago. My initial uneasiness at seeing Roger Corman's name was not enough to keep me from giving it a try, and since then I have... Read more
Published on January 4, 2012 by Sylvia Wulf
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