Remember the opening scene of Bride of Frankenstein which took place in Switzerland in 1817 where Mary Shelley first told the story of Frankenstein? Well this is kind of like a feature length version of that scene. And it’s directed by Ken Russell, so you might know what do expect. Mary (Natasha Richardson, making her film debut) and her husband Percy Shelley (Julian Sands) spend the night at Lord Byron’s (Gabriel Byrne) estate where they have sex, do drugs, have freakout scenes, hold a séance and have a contest to write the scariest “ghost story”. Snakes, goats and fish turn up for no good reason. There’s also some kind of imp thingy that pops up too. Russell’s over the top visuals get in the way of what drama there is and most of the performances are like a half assed Masterpiece Theater. Russell had to have been on some major drugs to concoct the scene with the mechanical stripper. Timothy (Vanilla Sky) Spall co-stars. Haunted Summer (1988) and to a lesser extent, Frankenstein Unbound (1990) more or less told the same story. The needlessly bombastic score was by Thomas (“She blinded me with SCIENCE!”) Dolby.