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Frankenstein Unbound (1990)

John Hurt , Raul Julia , Roger Corman  |  R |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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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: Multiple Formats, 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: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000G6BLXS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #230,474 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

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 28 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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20 of 24 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Corman's Swan Song Shows That Less Is More. May 21, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Having just sat through my umpteenth 100 million dollar plus CGI extravaganza (which shall remain anonymous although it is interchangable with any number of big budget films made since the turn of the century), I find myself gravitating more and more to the low budget films of yore where special effects were subservient to character, story, and acting. No one was better at getting the most out of the least on a consistent basis than Roger Corman whose directing career spanned 35 years and 56 films (he produced close to 400 others including early efforts by Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Jonathan Demme, and James Cameron). His last effort, 1990's FRANKENSTEIN UNBOUND, shows him still at the top of his game in providing topical, thought provoking material in a creative no-nonsense style that puts many bigger films to shame. Based on the book by British writer Brian Aldiss (the title is a play on the titles FRANKENSTEIN OR THE MODERN PROMETHEUS and PROMETHEUS UNBOUND), the movie incorporates the Frankenstein story, the Shelleys in Switzerland, and time travel in an engrossing and highly original way.

Mid 21st century scientist John Hurt is accidentally transported, by an experiment of his own devising, back to 1817 Geneva where the people and the events related in Mary Shelley's novel are real and he becomes involved in their unfolding. His 21st century computerised car is with him and provides interesting commentary a la KNIGHT RIDER on their plight.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A film based on Brian Aldiss, Frankenstein Unbound
This movie definitely deserves four stars. Is it a classic??? I doubt it. It *is* a thought provoking film that actually matches the book by Mary Shelly better, but did not... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Devils.Advocate666
4.0 out of 5 stars Have to agree with most reviewers, great value
I currently have some limited finances. I was happy to get this for under $7! As far as value goes compared to the movie quality, a very good deal that allowed me to check out this... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Buzzsaw
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 7 months 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 7 months 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 7 months 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 11 months ago by elperico
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 15 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 21 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 22 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 on October 4, 2012 by Prince Everlove
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