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Shadowplay
May 10, 2012 9:55 AM   Subscribe

A Dark Shadows crash course
posted by Artw (49 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
There's a good This American Life episode on conventions that talks about Dark Shadows fandom. You can listen to it on their site.
posted by smackfu at 10:02 AM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


I watched Dark Shadows as a kid and have absolutely no interest in seeing Burton's mess of it. I don't see what would have been bad about an honest update of the original, instead of this farce.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:04 AM on May 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


Actual conversation I have had recently.

"So, what exactly was Dark Shadows?"

"Jane Erye with Vampires crossed with daytime soap."
posted by The Whelk at 10:05 AM on May 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


The more I watch this old TV series, the less likely I'm going to watch Tim Burton's send-up of it. I love this show, warts and all. The warts are glaring, but the story is incredible. For reference, the ol' lady and I are still in the middle of Netflix's first season of the show (but it's the actual show's second season. Netflix doesn't have all of the episodes).
posted by NoMich at 10:12 AM on May 10, 2012


Another Edward Scissorhands remake? How many does Tim Burton need to make?
posted by Napierzaza at 10:20 AM on May 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


If he stops the entire global market for whiteface will collapse and I don't think any of us wants that.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:21 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm also unimpressed by the "zany" comedy. But it's weird, because if, starting from a clean slate, I'd had to pick a crew to do this movie, Burton/Depp/Carter et al would have been it.
posted by tyllwin at 10:23 AM on May 10, 2012


IS there a way to view the entire run (or the entire Barnabas run) online?
posted by Billiken at 10:35 AM on May 10, 2012


Can we just all agree that Tim Burton is a robot designed to make the perfect goth movie. And that he is broken and keeps making the same movie over and over again without realizing it?
posted by Napierzaza at 10:41 AM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm all for respecting the source material, or even the intent of the source material, but I found myself thinking, "If they hadn't called this 'Dark Shadows,' I would have been amused by the trailer." So I color myself amused and swallow my gorge (mmm...gooorgge...) and will probably take the wife to see her Johnny.
posted by Infinity_8 at 10:42 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


He is even remaking one of his early short films. We can only hope the snake will soon be out of tail to eat.
posted by munchingzombie at 10:43 AM on May 10, 2012


The last good Burton movie was Ed Wood but I wonder about this contract sometimes, like is there a you must direct four movies based on IP we own in such and such years or something?

Anyway, Sci Fi used to show blocks of Dark Shadows at odd times of night and I kept odd hours so I'd end up watching episodes totally out of order and not knowing what was going on but still having a great time cause, as the TAL episode points out, it was Live TV, you saw mistakes, flubs, quick recoveries. That's rare on TV and it humanize the actors, adding an element of " aw shucks c'mon you guys let's put on the bestest gothic soap opera ever!" charm and honestly, if you need a genre to have an endless soap in Gothic Horror is very well suited as it is nothing but terrifying twists and deathless passion and SUDDENLY EVIL, etc.
posted by The Whelk at 10:47 AM on May 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


Remakes or reboots should always make some changes, otherwise there's no reason for them. Here's hoping for a comedic remake of Stallone's 1986 "Cobra," with Jason Statham as Cobretti, and Patton Oswalt as the Night Slasher. The axe-clanging scene, however, must be re-made shot-for-shot. Essential.
posted by detachd at 10:48 AM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Weirdly, I have a fondness for Dark Shadows due to the fact that in the mid-'70s it played right before cherished Star Trek on my local TV station in the afternoons when I was home from school. Every time I see Dark Shadows, I think: "YAY, STAR TREK IS ON SOON!"
posted by Ron Thanagar at 10:50 AM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


From the AV Club review:
There’s no doubt that viewers still know that they’re watching a Tim Burton movie. The question now is why.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:00 AM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


While we're at it, is the 1991 version available anywhere? I loved that when I was a kid.
posted by rewil at 11:01 AM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


AMC is advertising it as a "hilariously creepy" comedy, which seems to me less of a "reboot" and more of "let's re-use the name and ignore the original theme".
posted by Runes at 11:07 AM on May 10, 2012


will probably take the wife to see her Johnny.

Heh, same thing here. My wife loves Johnny Depp. We recently had a month or so of 21 Jump Street on heavy rotation on Netflix that ended in a suspiciously abrupt fashion following the introduction of Richard Grieco.
posted by Hoopo at 11:09 AM on May 10, 2012


Nice piece here on the downfall of the Burton/Depp team.

I just can't imagine anyone thinking there is enough interest left in the Burton/Depp team and the tiny Dark Shadows canon to warrant the production of this film.

PeeWee, Beetlejuice and Scissorfingers are all quite good, despite those films I do think Burton is the most overrated director ever.
posted by Cosine at 11:10 AM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


I've watched the original series in fits and starts since I was a young adult, first on VHS copies that I'd rented from Blockbuster, then on the SciFi channel airings and now on Netflix. I also LOVED the 1991 version and hated to see it go.

When I first saw the trailer for the new film, I was a bit offended and irritated, but I think I'm going to see it. It seems to be done with a sense of affection and appreciation for the original show and, while I'm not a Depp or Burton fan, I think that their rather twisted take on this strikes a chord with me. It's not casting aside what made the original great fun to watch and it's bringing a different sort of "camp" to the material.

Willy Wonka, however...*shudders*
posted by BrianJ at 11:12 AM on May 10, 2012


Remember when Burton was funny? That was like...well over a decade ago.
posted by The Whelk at 11:13 AM on May 10, 2012


Dark Shadows-- my childhood, let me show you it. I loved that show, and I'll pass on this version.
posted by jokeefe at 11:16 AM on May 10, 2012


NEVER FORGET
posted by shakespeherian at 11:24 AM on May 10, 2012


Bye Alice, have fun starting the opium wars!
posted by The Whelk at 11:28 AM on May 10, 2012


And here was me wondering why there were all of these odd posters of Jarvis Cocker about town
posted by scruss at 11:28 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I also have an opinion about a movie I have not seen yet.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:38 AM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have never seen the original show, but I saw Dark Shadows at a screening and was left with the feeling that I had watched a movie that was missing something. I can't imagine this becoming a cult classic in the way Edward Scissorhands or Mars Attacks has.

It was silly, with a few genuinely funny moments. Imagine if Sleepy Hollow had been a zany comedy.
posted by polywomp at 11:39 AM on May 10, 2012


I also have an opinion about a movie I have not seen yet.

...go on....
posted by shakespeherian at 11:45 AM on May 10, 2012


I watched a lot of PBS growing up, which included everything from Sesame Street to Doctor Who to Red Dwarf to Dark Shadows. I remember one night watching an episode where someone (likely one of the Trasks) got bricked into a wall. That, in combination with Ghost Quentin, was the source of many nightmares when I was a kid.

Whenever I see commercials for the new Burton movie (very surprised he cast Johnny Depp in the lead role!), I get a little sad, and have to explain to my wife why.
posted by mysterpigg at 11:48 AM on May 10, 2012


Billiken: IS there a way to view the entire run (or the entire Barnabas run) online?

Hulu currently has the first 12 episodes streaming (though the "pilot" looks like a movie, as 1) it's in color, and 2) it's an hour and a half long), and Netflix Instant has [some of] the series, starting at episode #210 (I think), and grouped into four "collections."

Otherwise, you can read Nicholas Mooneyhan's "Dark Shadows" Episode Guide, which runs through the plot of each episode. The Dark Shdaows Journal episode guide provides much more sucinct summaries, and more interesting notes on the show.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:59 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, I'm pretty sure Netflix starts at #210, with the first appearance of Barnabas (discounting the brief appearance in the prior episode). It feels a bit odd, being dropped into the series well after it started, so I haven't actually watched to see how it progresses.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:02 PM on May 10, 2012


I also have an opinion about a movie I have not seen yet.

The trailer looks amusing and stylish enough for afternoon matinee. *Preps bucket*
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:06 PM on May 10, 2012


I will never, ever, EVER go see the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp monstrosity.

I have fond memories of Dark Shadows, in the same way I have fond memories of Dr. Paul Bearer's Creature Feature on Saturday afternoon and Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine.

Yes, I am that old.
And possibly cranky at this time.

For a great little recap of episodes 1 through 209, check out this great You Tube video.

Watch it and then bounce over to Netflix Streaming and watch a majority of the rest.
posted by THAT William Mize at 12:14 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just can't imagine anyone thinking there is enough interest left in the Burton/Depp team and the tiny Dark Shadows canon to warrant the production of this film.

You know, though, my biggest issue with Burton is that he never left the 80's and his tired, threadbare post-modern graphic conceit. I consciously avoid Burton films anymore because of his stylistic approach. I mean...jeez, Tim. Evolve.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:15 PM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah. I'll be seeing it as a matinee on Saturday.

I dunno. I guess I am of the opinion that mediocre new adaptations of things do not ruin, or even really effect, the original thing they are based on, especially if that was likewise mediocre, even if we love it.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:18 PM on May 10, 2012


Netflix does have all the episodes available on disk. They start the streaming episodes at the point Barnabas first appears, as filthy light thief notes, above.
posted by jvilter at 12:26 PM on May 10, 2012


Yeah I wont be seeing or caring much about the movie remake. LOVED the show as a kid -- everyday after school, in the same way I love the original Willy Wonka movie.

Johnny Depp is to Keith Richards, what Christian Slater is to Jack Nicholson.
posted by timsteil at 12:44 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just can't imagine anyone thinking there is enough interest left in the Burton/Depp team and the tiny Dark Shadows canon to warrant the production of this film.

That same article you linked to says "In terms of commerce, the partnership is stronger than ever: 2010’s Alice in Wonderland grossed $334 million — Burton’s best tally ever". And the canon is irrelevant, it's just trying to get the old viewers, it is reusing a good idea for a film.
posted by smackfu at 12:57 PM on May 10, 2012


While we're at it, is the 1991 version available anywhere? I loved that when I was a kid.

I enjoyed it myself. Just rewatched it last year as a matter of fact. Holds up pretty well. Here's the 2010 DVD reissue-- judging by the cover art, re-released to take advantage of all the Twilight movies hoopla.
posted by KingEdRa at 2:42 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yay! Ben Cross and Barbara Steele, here I come.
posted by rewil at 2:51 PM on May 10, 2012


Another Edward Scissorhands remake? How many does Tim Burton need to make?

To be fair, Dark Shadows was here waayyy before Edward Scissorhands was. If anything his characters can trace a certain amount of lineage back to this show, so from reverse it's no surprise he took interest in doing it.
posted by BurnMage at 3:44 PM on May 10, 2012


I also have an opinion about a movie I have not seen yet.

So, will you be giving the new Nickleback album a listen then?
posted by munchingzombie at 3:55 PM on May 10, 2012


No. I also won't participate in threads about it.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 3:56 PM on May 10, 2012


The original series' premise of a vampire waking up after hundreds of years to find himself in the 1960s was, in the 1960s, just a story an ancient vampire waking up in the present day. A remake might have had him wake up in 2012, but by choosing to keep the timeframe of the original show, Burton has a recycled premise that now means something much different from what it did the first time around. I personally would rather see...well, I'd be happiest seeing a moratorium on remakes/reboots/retreads altogether, but if we can't have that, then I would rather see new spins on the old stuff than not. There are literally months of the original show, plus a remake, plus comics and probably novels and who knows what. Isn't that enough? Isn't it okay for this to be a little bit different?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:31 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I liked Kim Newman's argument that Dark Shadow's is reverse race Blacula, because with the whole business with coffins it totally is.

(other details may differ)
posted by Artw at 5:26 PM on May 10, 2012


If doing the same time period today means something different, then isn't re-using the premise actually a new spin?
posted by LogicalDash at 10:20 AM on May 11, 2012


Man, nobody got this pissed about the Brady Bunch movie.
posted by Artw at 10:26 AM on May 11, 2012


cut my hair?!
posted by The Whelk at 10:30 AM on May 11, 2012


Did anyone actually see the movie this weekend?
posted by smackfu at 5:53 AM on May 15, 2012


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