Thursday, April 19, 2012

Are You Old Enough . . .

to remember Dark Shadows? The soap opera version from the 60s/70s? I remember coming home from school and watching it some of the time but it seems like I missed it a lot. I'm not sure I realized it was on every day. But when I watched it, I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread with butter and cinnamon sugar on top.

When Dark Shadows began, I was 10 years old. Around that time, I LOVED to read gothic romances--the ones where a young, attractive woman is hired to work in some capacity in the home of a rich family. Invariably the family is dysfunctional in some manner, and a dark, foreboding atmosphere hangs over the home. The stories often hint at earlier, untimely deaths that remain cloaked in mystery. As the tale progresses, the young, attractive woman seems to be in life-threatening danger but is saved, in the end, by the family's handsome, rich son or widowed, ruggedly attractive father. And of course they get married and live happily ever after. Good stuff.

When Dark Shadows started, it was like that. Within the first year, though, Barnabas Collins made an appearance. I kind of liked him, but it changed the show. Still, for a young girl, vampires made for entertaining television.


Since the show began, it's developed a sort of campy, cult following. It's been revived at least once. And with the current interest in all things vampire, thanks to Twilight, it's predictable, perhaps, that Dark Shadows and Barnabas Collins would make another comeback.

Rumor is that Johnny Depp was always fascinated by Dark Shadows and Barnabas Collins. So was Tim Burton. And Johnny Depp and Tim Burton are quite obviously twins separated before conception and enormously fascinated with one another. Has either of them done anything without the other?

By now, you've probably seen the commercials and know that the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp movie version of Dark Shadows will be in theaters soon, and from the commercials, it seems they've done a bit of a spoof on the character.


I'm looking forward to it. It won't be the same as the original, but I bet it will be entertaining. And you know what? As unattractive as Johnny Depp looks in the above photo, I'm sure that he'll do his Johnny Depp magic, and by the end of the movie, 85 percent of the women who see it will think he's the greatest thing since sliced bread with butter and cinnamon sugar on top.

14 comments:

JoAnne said...

I did not watch Dark Shadows, but I do remember my gothic novel obsession when I was probably 14 or so. Victoria Holt! I think I read everything by her in our school library. I hadn't thought about her in years until I read your post. I may have to see what I can put on my Kindle....

Suzan said...

I am also flashing back to everything Victoria Holt wrote. Ever since reading those novels I have wanted to visit Cornwall! I remember Dark Shadows being on tv late in the afternoon. If I remember correctly my sister rushed home from school to watch. She was an avid fan. (She has always been a little dark and twisty!) I think the new version looks very camp and very fun. I am looking forward to seeing it. Ever since that darned Johnny Depp slapped on some eyeliner...

Quilt Hollow said...

Oh man, I told hubby last night that I just had to see this one! The trailers are great but I do worry possibly the best bits of the movie.

Laura said...

I watched Dark Shadows and I read the same books! So romantic!

Remember Angilique?

Josie McRazie said...

Was Dark Shadows ever a aradio thing? I remember My Dad bought tapes (for the car) and we would listen, maybe that was some other 'dark' something or-a-nother! LOL I am not a huge Depp fan, but you know, he does have a way of bringing these over the top charachters to life!!

Nancy H. said...

Yes, I am old enough to remember Dark Shadows and I also ran home from school to watch. I don't know if I watched from the beginning or not but I remember liking Barnabas and Angelique. I like Johnny Depp but I am a little worried about his and Burton's vision of Dark Shadows. It could be brilliant, it could be waaaaay over the top. I guess we will just have to wait and see.

Orcsmom said...

Marty and I saw an extended preview of it this past week-end, cannot wait, it is so funny!!! Miss ya! Hugs!

Pam

Wendy said...

I absolutely loved Dark Shadows! I watched it every day when I came home from school in the afternoon. I already love Johnny Depp and can hardly wait to see his interpretation of Barnabas.

Anonymous said...

Put me on the Dark Shadows and Johnny Depp fan list. I have only been to one movie in over 10 years, but I'll make a point of going to see this one. Thanks for sharing.
cindy

Marla said...

Oooh! I want to see this movie too. I love Johnny Depp in almost anything. Pirate..vampire...whatever! Your blog today reminds me of a book I read as a teenager. Probably one of my mom's books I should not have read. I don't remember the name of it or the author. I only remember it was a scarey huge castle like house and the heroine found her way inside a blocked off closet and found the skeletal remains of a woman who was her husband's first wife who "disappeared" years ago. I think there was a skeleton of a baby too. Thus began my love of gothic horror books.

Paula TheQuilter said...

I was in college and arranged my class schedule (as much as I could) around Dark Shadows. It was always SRO (standing room only) in the tv lounge.

Linda K said...

Wow, strange timing- did you hear that the original Barnabas, Jonathan Frid, just died on Friday, the 13th. It was on the news today. My Mom and I watched Dark Shadows back in the 60's. Loved it! Johnny Depp should make a great Barnabas!

Katie said...

Hi,I saw Jenny's book at Target today. Might be able to save the postage fee.

Shelley said...

Thanks because Johnny is already the cats meow and nothing he could do to his appearance could change that lol! He is truly one of the great character actors of the time. No what character he plays, he is so fully into it that you could never imagine him as anyone else which I guess adds to the mystery of what he's really like in person :)