Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dark Shadows

I started watching Dark Shadows soon after it moved to the 4 pm time slot. Before that it was on while I was in school. At the time the central plot involved a cult called the Leviathans. They had a magic box that brought something Lovecraftian into the world. Normally it appeared like a child but inside a special room it turned into something that drove people mad just seeing it. The thing started as a baby then was replaced by a child and finally a hippy. The cult was opposed by Barnabas and company although Barnabas was an inside agent. He was discovered and turned into a vampire. This was the first time that I had seen Barnabas as a vampire and I was hooked.

Previously vampires were always heartless monsters. Barnabas was different. He didn't want to drink blood. Jonathan Frid played the character as a drug addict who kept relapsing. Except when he relapsed, people died.

The trailer is out for the new Dark Shadows movie. I don't see any of the original Barnabas.

I'm not really surprised. The original story was done three times, first in the serial then as a theatrical movie and finally in the pilot for the 1990s version. I can't imagine Tim Burton doing a story for the fourth time.

Also, our view of vampires has changed. In the 1970s they were still monsters. Like I said, even the remorseful Barbabas regularly killed innocents. Now we have audiences rooting for a high school girl to choose between a vampire and a werewolf. Vampires no longer kill. Instead they sparkle in the sun. An audience that has seen Twilight would be mystified by the original Dark Shadows.

Instead we get a story about an 18th century man adapting to the 1970s. His vampirism is a side note. It also looks like his battle with Angelique is more direct and physical.

Too bad. I was hoping for more from the director of Sleepy Hollow.

No comments: