Taglines: Conjure up your deepest, darkest fear… now call that fear to life.
Story of the night that Mary Shelley gave birth to the horror classic “Frankenstein.” Disturbed drug induced games are played and ghost stories are told one rainy night at the mad Lord Byron’s country estate. Personal horrors are revealed and the madness of the evening runs from sexual fantasy to fiercest nightmare. Mary finds herself drawn into the sick world of her lover Shelley and cousin Claire as Byron leads them all down the dark paths of their souls.
Gothic is a 1986 British horror film directed by Ken Russell, starring Gabriel Byrne as Lord Byron, Julian Sands as Percy Bysshe Shelley, Natasha Richardson as Mary Shelley, Myriam Cyr as Claire Clairmont (Mary Shelley’s stepsister) and Timothy Spall as Dr. John William Polidori. It features a soundtrack by Thomas Dolby, and marks Richardson’s film debut.
The film is a fictionalized retelling of the Shelleys’ visit to Lord Byron in Villa Diodati by Lake Geneva, shot in Gaddesden Place. It concerns their competition to write a horror story, which ultimately led to Mary Shelley writing Frankenstein and John Polidori writing The Vampyre. The same event has also been portrayed in the films Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and Haunted Summer (1988), among others. The film’s poster motif is based on Henry Fuseli’s painting The Nightmare, which is also referenced in the film.
Directed by: Ken Russell
Starring: Gabriel Byrne, Julian Sands, Natasha Richardson, Myriam Cyr, Timothy Spall, Andreas Wisniewski, Dexter Fletcher, Kristine Landon-Smith
Screenplay by: Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley
Production Design by: Christopher Hobbs
Cinematography by: Mike Southon
Film Editing by: Michael Bradsell
Costume Design by: Kay Gallwey, Victoria Russell
Art Direction by: Michael Buchanan
Music by: Thomas Dolby
Distributed by: Vestron Pictures
Release Date: April 10, 1987