Despite a starry cast, the daft plot premise (loosely derived from Brian W Aldiss' novel Frankenstein Unbound) scuppers any hope of intelligent entertainment from the outset. Aided by cheapo effects, scientist Buchanan (Hurt) is catapulted back from the future to a Gothic-style past. Worse still, Corman's directing style is stuck in a '60s time warp. Vacillating between all-out gore and tongue-in-cheek humour, Corman manages occasional flashes of wit (such as a scene in which Buchanan presents Mary Shelley with a photocopy of her unfinished novel Frankenstein). Mostly, it's too ludicrous even to aspire to campness. No explanation is offered as to why Mary Shelley's fictional Monster comes to be roaming the shores of Lake Geneva in a rubber suit, while the antics of Byron (Patric) and his poet pal Shelley (Hutchence) are as redundant as they are fey. Meanwhile, the painfully under-used Hurt, Julia (Baron Frankenstein) and Fonda (Mary Shelley) wander the Villa Diodati in search of a plot that seems to have slipped through a hole in the time continuum.
Cast and crew
Roger Corman, FX Feeney