CANNON MONTH 2: Haunted Summer (1988)

Lord Byron, Percy Shelley and Mary Shelley get together and things go quickly from philosophical discussions to a wild getaway filled with drugs, sex and mental gamesmanship. Are we talking about Ken Russell’s Gothic? No, this is Haunted Summer.

Directed by Ivan Passer, written by Lewis John Carlino (who wrote The MechanicA Reflection of Fear and Where Have All the People Gone? and directed The Sailor Who Fell from Grace With the SeaThe Great Santini and Class) and based on Haunted Summer by Anne Edwards, this stars Philip Anglim as Lord Byron, Eric Stoltz as Percy Shelley, Alice Krige as Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin — soon to be Shelley, Alex Winter (!) as their drug supplier Dr. John William Polidori and Laura Dern as Claire Clairmont, Mary’s stepsister. By the end of the Villa Diodati Writer’s Workshop, Mary will write Frankenstein. By the end of this movie, you’ll want to punch Lord Byron in the balls after watching him insult nearly everyone and fire a peashooter into a crowd of commoner diners.

This was originally going to be directed by John Huston, which had to have thrilled Cannon at the chance to work with Hollywood royalty.

If you want to see another take on this movie, Frankenstein UnboundMary Shelley and Remando al Viento also use the real life story to tell their own yarns.

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