Wednesday, April 24, 2013

"Gothic" Movie 1986 For Your Old School Horror Campaign

There are films that seldom get mentioned today that are out there and weird and this is one of them. 1986 was one of those years where the bizarre was in the air. Back in the 90's this one was on rotation through the video store late at night.
Plenty of T & A in this one. What actually sets it apart is the imagery and the birth of something or nothing.
Plot according to IMBD  - 
"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."
This is basically the house that Lord Byron build with his guests and relatives visiting. They take tons of drugs, have sex with one another, and give birth to the modern horror story as we know it. 
Your host for the evening and he's just dying to give us a great time. 

Ken Russell gives us some twin peaks levels of weirdness in this one. Psycho sexual imagery, weird encounters, bizarre mechanisms, boobs with eyes, and more mental psycho hi jinks make this one a weird adventure of a film.
Did I mention Thomas Dolby did the sound track. Yes "Mr.She Blinded Me With Science" did the sound track. 

Timothy Spall  is Dr. Polidori, commissioned to write a biography of Byron. He's brilliant in this movie and really knows how to chew the scenes up as this character. He's such a strange mix in this movie that's its really hard to know where he begins and the strangeness ends. Then again he's a great actor. 

"Gothic"  Movie 1986 For Use With Your Old School Horror Campaigns

 Need a ritual for your next old school campaign and the birth of a monster? Then see this movie. Need a sound track for your next Solomon Kane style romp? Then use the sound track. Mine the characters as NPC's and really go to town this is a perfect film to use. 

Dolby is a qualified genius when it comes to creating an atmosphere of decadence and strangeness. The soundtrack has graced everything from Ravenloft to the recent Tales of the Grotesque And Dungeonque books  I've been toying with.
Gothic really has other uses though, for a Kult campaign the house and tale became the background for a series of trips through the very core of unreality. The mechanisms of Dr.
Polidori proved more then enough magical items to cause the PC's all kinds of headaches.
They came away with his journals and a gender switch. The monster following close on their heels. The bottom line about Gothic. The movie is mostly unknown, unappreciated  and dismissed. This makes it the perfect fodder for a DM to really expand on it. 



  1. Yeah, this is definitely an undervalued classic. One of my favorites since childhood :)

  2. An old family favorite of mine! This was in rotation in the old VHS player and its still on the agenda at the club.

  3. Any time I'm feeling uninspired, popping in a Ken Russell movie usually does the trick.

  4. It's certainly the more psychoholic version of the same events covered by the much more staid Haunted Summer.

  5. Jeremy - Its a very cool and inspiring movie. Glad, that folks actually like the movie.

    Jack - The fact that its a psychoholic version of the same events is the charm and works in spades for me. Haunted Summer is good if a bit slow.