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Mainstream - Haunted Summer - MGM Limited Edition Collection

Amazon page
Amazon page

Haunted Summer
Philip Anglim, Alice Krige, Eric Stoltz
Directed by Ivan Passer
Originally released 1988
MGM 2011
Fullscreen 106 minutes

After a series of successful action B Movies the Cannon Group decided to get a bit of culture. The result was Haunted Summer, a semi erotic neurotic telling of the summer Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley and her stepsister clair spent together in Italy (the jacket blurb says Switzerland for some reason). Haunted Summer is certainly not as good as Gothic, another take on the story. This is one of the on demand MGM Limited Edition Collection DVD. The print used for the DVD shows some wear and tear and is no better than a VHS tape.

Something does not quite work in Haunted Summer. You would think Lord Byron would be an interesting character but Philip Angrim plays him as a cut rate Christopher Lee. Shelley comes across as a pretty boy stoner, and Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, is just another chick in love with a pretty poet.

The characters here come across as people with big egos and nothing more than that.

Nowhere in Haunted Summer do you really get the “experiment with free love” while the more literary and philosophical moments on the nature of good and evil are just out of focus gelatin covered lens shots and Angrim being vaguely menacing.

Haunted Summer is perhaps interesting if you are an English major and need help picturing what poets of the time were sort of like.

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