It was my favorite half hour in the universe. Dark Shadows was this weird acid-trip of a gothic soap opera that featured the tormented Barnabas Collins, the tortured and impassioned vampire and a pioneer for the piecey bang look. It was scary and romantic and probably the worst show on television.
There is a huge cult following to this day and I know there will be a mob of angry fanboys with torches on my front lawn any minute now….(not to overstate the obvious delusions I have that anyone outside my best friends and family actually read this blog).
But, truly, I defy you to follow the Escher-like maze of a storyline. There were actors playing multiple roles, timelines that jumped from present to past to parallel universes to living to dead and back again.
I was a 6-year-old Goth and a tip o’ the hat to my mother for supporting my addiction. I’m sure it molded my love of The Cure. Picture, if you will, Robert Smith in a Brownie uniform.
So, imagine my sunken-eyed delight when I heard that Tim Burton was making a movie of my beloved Collinwood. And, with the singular Johnny Depp as well. Be still my bloodless heart!
(I wonder if Johnny Depp just sits in front of his mirror saying “You, my man, are freakin’ amazing. Is there nothing you can’t do?” I know I would do exactly that if I were Johnny Depp. Aren’t you glad I’m not?)
Now, I haven’t seen the movie yet but I do have an innate distrust of taking my beloved 60’s and 70’s TV childhood and slapping lipstick and a push-up bra on it. We never let anything age gracefully, do we?
It certainly didn’t do the Beverly Hillbillies Movie any favors. What? You didn’t see it? Point made.
See, one of the best parts of Dark Shadows was how absurdly bad it was. I’m not sure they could really capture the art of a boom hitting an actor in the head, the craft services dude eating a donut just to the left of the grand staircase, or the fly that continually lands on Josette’s nose as she pleads with Barnabas. Even a child knew they were witnessing something terrible and brilliant all at the same time.
But, because the FLIPPIN’ AWESOME Johnny Depp is in it and the FREAKIN’ BRILLIANT Tim Burton is at the helm, I will give it a chance. They are the two-headed idiot savants of creativity so if they can’t pull it off, who can? Maybe no one. In which case, perhaps we should leave bad enough alone.