Frankenstein Unbound

Being director Roger Corman's (The St. Valentine's Day Massacre, Pit and the Pendulum) first film in 30 years you would expect that it would be something monumental. Think again! It is a bizarre (not in a good way) and more modern retelling of the Frankenstein myth. Corman (director and screenwriter) has tried to put some twists into the Frankenstein story but people should know by now that original author Mary Shelley's version is not to be topped. It ends up playing out like some low-budget production that you would expect to see on the Space channel or the like. This is disappointing because Corman, the master of the dark tale, has made some great macabre films before so he should have been more comfortable with the Frankenstein story. The only thing I found mildly interesting about the film was that the deceased lead singer of Australian rock group INXS, Michael Hutchence, plays the role of acclaimed writer Lord Shelley in the film. But even my morbid curiousity about him was not enough to save the film. It was billed as 'the thinking man's Frankenstein', but after watching it I ended up not knowing what to think other than it was 2 hours I was never getting back again.

In the year 2031 a very wealthy scientist named John Buchanan (John Hurt – V For Vendetta, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone) is at his home when one of his experiments on time and space goes very wrong and he himself is shot into the distant past. Buchanan's experiment, which was supposed to make the world a safer place, has resulted in disastrous worldwide occurrences including time slides and unexplained disappearances. He was trying to develop a safer weapons system, which would not result in the destruction of everything on Earth, but his development ends up having worse results.

He is confused at first but soon realizes that he is back in 19th century Geneva. Buchanan meets the famous Dr. Victor Frankenstein (Raul Julia – The Addams Family, Presumed Innocent) at a local pub, who is himself dealing with the aftermath of his own catastrophic experiment. Frankenstein is intrigued by Buchanan's obvious superior and advanced knowledge of electricity, so he forces him to help with the perfection of his attempted 'creation' of human life. Frankenstein has convinced Buchanan that the only way to stop his original hideous creation from killing again is to make it a female mate. The original creature (Nick Brimble – A Knight's Tale, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves) has killed Frankenstein's own brother and has terrorized the entire village. While all this is happening, Buchanan meets and beds Mary Wollstonecraft (Bridget Fonda – Singles, Single White Female) – soon to be Mary Shelley – who has written just a few chapters of her novel about Dr. Frankenstein and his creature.

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