Frankenstein Unbound (1990)


The movie Frankenstein Unbound (1990) is a science fiction horror film based on the 1818 novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. It was directed by Roger Corman and combines elements of Shelley’s classic story with a time travel plotline.

The movie Frankenstein Unbound (1990) follows Dr. Joe Buchanan, played by John Hurt, a scientist working on a dangerous weapon in the year 2031. During an accidental explosion, Buchanan gets transported back in time to 1817 Switzerland near the Villa Diodati, where Mary Shelley is busy writing Frankenstein. Buchanan soon encounters both Dr. Victor Frankenstein, played by Raul Julia, and his monstrous creation, played by Nick Brimble.

Stuck in 1817, Buchanan becomes entangled in the events of Shelley’s novel unfolding in real time. The movie Frankenstein Unbound (1990) intercuts between Buchanan meeting Shelley and witnessing Frankenstein create his monster, as well as the monster’s ensuing tragic rampages. Buchanan tries to warn Frankenstein of the dangers of his work but is unable to stop the disastrous chain of events. Buchanan even forms a romantic connection with Shelley herself as he urges her to write Frankenstein as a cautionary tale against technology’s hubris.

As in Shelley’s original book, The movie Frankenstein Unbound (1990) culminates with the monster killing Frankenstein’s bride Elizabeth and Frankenstein vowing revenge. In the climax, Buchanan decides to use his futuristic knowledge to help Frankenstein destroy his creation. They lure the monster to the Villa Diodati and obliterate it using energy blasts from Buchanan’s wristband weapon. With history altered, Buchanan fades from existence having prevented the monster’s destructive legacy.


  • John Hurt as Dr. Joe Buchanan
  • Raul Julia as Dr. Victor Frankenstein
  • Nick Brimble as The Creature
  • Bridget Fonda as Mary Shelley
  • Catherine Corman as Elizabeth Frankenstein


– The movie Frankenstein Unbound (1990) was based on a novel of the same name by Brian Aldiss.
– It was filmed on location in Rome and at Villa Diodati in Switzerland.
– The originally planned director was FX legend Stan Winston before Corman took over.
– Raul Julia’s makeup as Frankenstein took 5 hours to apply.
– The movie bombed at the box office, earning only $344,000.


NY Times
Moria Reviews


[1] IMDb
[2] Wikipedia
[3] Rotten Tomatoes page

Last updated byAnonymous on October 29, 2023