Gothic

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Overview

Director Ken Russell applies his trademark excess to this surreal, experimental examination of the creative dementia which shaped Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's Frankenstein. The story is embellished from events which allegedly took place at the Swiss villa of Lord Byron Gabriel Byrne on the night of June 16, 1816. Byron's guests include poet Percy Shelley Julian Sands and his future wife Mary Natasha Richardson; Mary's half-sister Claire Myriam Cyr and Byron's leech-happy personal physician Dr. John Polidori ...
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DVD Brand New 6 Bringing together historic fact, fiction and modern horror, this film tells the story of Mary Shelley, Percy Shelley and Lord Byron's experimentations with ... love, sex and drugs that purportedly inspired Mary Shelley to write the novel FRANKENSTEIN. See HAUNTED SUMMER for an interesting comparison. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Director Ken Russell applies his trademark excess to this surreal, experimental examination of the creative dementia which shaped Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's Frankenstein. The story is embellished from events which allegedly took place at the Swiss villa of Lord Byron Gabriel Byrne on the night of June 16, 1816. Byron's guests include poet Percy Shelley Julian Sands and his future wife Mary Natasha Richardson; Mary's half-sister Claire Myriam Cyr and Byron's leech-happy personal physician Dr. John Polidori Timothy Spall. Byron promises them a night of horror like only a mad poet can deliver -- after partaking of laudanum and other hallucinogens, the guests tell ghost stories while exploring the dark corridors of his home. From here, Russell dives headlong into madness, discarding plot structure in favor of fever-dream setpieces in which the guests confront living manifestations of their own fears and insecurities -- creative, mortal and sexual, among others. The raging Romantics are also given to lengthy discourse on the nature of fear and the fine line between creative genius and insanity; by the film's end, viewers may find themselves wondering the same thing about the director. Those who may prefer a more subdued speculation on the same theme should seek out Ivan Passer's Haunted Summer.
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Special Features

Region free; Scene selection; Interactive menus
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Gothic is not a movie for everyone -- a qualification that can be applied to almost any Ken Russell film -- but those who respond to it will respond very strongly indeed. The good news is that even those for whom Gothic is not really their cup of tea should at the very least find it engrossing, if perhaps too gross for their tastes. Compared to some of his 1970s excesses (Lisztomania comes immediately to mind), Gothic is relatively restrained. There are still plenty of moments to cause discomfort, but they're more at home here in what is, after all, really a horror movie. That, as it turns out, is one of Gothic's problems: it strays too far from the accepted limitations of the genre to satisfy as a typical horror flick, yet its efforts at being something deeper are ultimately too superficial for it to succeed as anything else (a character study, a historical account, a philosophical dialogue, etc.). Still, on a strictly visual level, there's a great deal to admire in Gothic, from its stunning Mike Southon cinematography to its grotesque special effects to its razor-sharp editing. It's also blessed with actors who, while they can't always triumph over some of the excesses of the director, still manage to craft compelling, provocative portraits. Gothic is too uneven to satisfy most people, but many will find that its highs more than compensate for its lows.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/29/2004
  • UPC: 090328301057
  • Original Release: 1986
  • Rating:

  • Source: Vidtape
  • Region Code: 0
  • Presentation: DTS
  • Sound: DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Time: 1:27:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gabriel Byrne Lord Byron
Julian Sands Percy Bysshe Shelley
Natasha Richardson Mary Shelley
Myriam Cyr Claire Clairmont
Timothy Spall Dr. John Polidori
Andreas Wisniewski Fletcher
Alec Mango Murray
Dexter Fletcher Rushton
Pascal King Justine
Tom Hickey Tour Guide
Linda Coggin Turkish Mechanical Doll
Kristine Landon-Smith Kristine/Mechanical Woman
Chris Chappell Man in Armour
Christine Newby Shelley Fan
Mark Pickard Young William
Kiran Shah Fusell Monster
Kim Tillesley Shelley Fan
Technical Credits
Ken Russell Director
Michael Bradsell Editor
Michael Buchanan Art Director
Al Clark Executive Producer
Penny Corke Producer
Thoams Dolby Score Composer
Ace Effects Special Effects
Kay Gallwey Costumes/Costume Designer
Pat Hay Makeup
Christopher Hobbs Production Designer
Victoria Russell Costumes/Costume Designer
Mary Selway Casting
Mike Southon Cinematographer
Roy Street Stunts
Stephen Volk Screenwriter
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Gothic
1. Play Movie [2:38]
2. Chapter 1 [14:55]
3. Chapter 2 [19:34]
4. Chapter 3 [18:48]
5. Chapter 4 [8:51]
6. Chapter 5 [13:21]
7. Chapter 6 [8:44]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Gothic
   Play Movie
   Scene Select
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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    Posted May 3, 2009

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