[31 Days Of Horror] Mini Reviews: Frankenstein Unbound (1990) and Cold Eyes Of Fear (1971)

Mini Review Day 21: Frankenstein Unbound (1990)

I find it rather odd that until recently I hadn’t even heard of the film Frankenstein Unbound and it seemed strange to me. A Frankenstein film, directed and written by Roger Corman starring John Hurt, Raul Julia and Bridget Fonda – and I didn’t know of its existence! I figured this problem must be fixed, so I added it to my 31 Days List, and waited in excitement to check it out.
I actually decided to steer clear of reading up about the film, and when it began I saw it was set in the future … wait what? Much like with the other Corman film I watched for 31 Days, this isn’t a straight adaptation; instead it is based upon the novel by Brian Aldiss with a very ambitious plot and twist on the classic story.

Set in the not to distant future where a weapon of sorts has been created which is meant to be something safe, but it has side effects, one of which is timeslides. The timeslide takes Dr. Joe Buchanan (John Hurt) back to the time before story of Frankenstein was written. He discovers the work of Mary Shelley is based on truth, although in this time she is not yet a Shelley (played by Bridget Fonda). Dr. Victor Frankenstein is indeed real (in the form of Raul Julia) and he has created a monster (Nick Brimble).

To say I was taken by surprise is an understatement, as the film started I actually said “W-T-F” out loud. But I was very curious, and I was immediately hooked in and I wanted to see how the film would play out. It contains such wonderful ideas, and as I said this is such an ambitious film. There are such interesting themes at play, and perhaps it contained a little too much to be fully explored in the film.

Frankenstein Unbound is a rather entertaining piece, and it kept me engaged throughout. I think the execution perhaps was a little weak, but still this is something I enjoyed and very glad I got to see it. The performances are great, and Raul Julia certain steals the show as Dr. Frankenstein. This is a very interesting experiment from Roger Corman, but I find they are when he is in the director’s chair.

Rating:

Mini Review Day 22: Cold Eyes Of Fear (1971) aka Gli occhi freddi della paura

Another replacement film, I picked Cold Eyes Of Fear because it was labeled as a giallo and that title is rather groovy. But sadly the film is not a giallo, and as I’ve found it often gets mistaken for one (especially because of that opening scene). The film is pretty much a straight up suspense/thriller, and it isn’t a terribly good one, sadly I was not a fan of this film.

The plot is somewhat complex but it deals with a Judge’s nephew and his date getting held hostage by criminals, one of whom has a grudge with the Judge. A lot of the film takes place in the one location, and the idea here is really good. But it just doesn’t come off very interesting, and this isn’t helped by the absolutely awful English dub. The actors appear to be trying but it is hard to tell, some just look unconvincing.

On the plus side, the film has an amazing opening sequence, and it is a really great film to look at. It was nicely shot and framed, and at least that kept me interested. Up until the third act, I wasn’t exactly very engaged in the film, it just didn’t come off as interesting. But it did end up getting tense and that is when I finally got interested. I didn’t really connect or feel anything for the characters and it really just felt cold (no pun intended).

Rating:

You can view my entire list of 31 Days Of Horror 2012 HERE

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