Written by David Strege
To be honest I’d thought Tim Burton had learned not to fuck up a classic When he’d directed “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” with his ugly Hispanic Oompa Loompas let alone Depp’s Edward Scissorhand mushroomtop look…
But here again Burton proves that at times he can be a hack though I loved his (Edward Scissorhand’s, Sweeney Todd, Sleepy Hollow, and Ed Wood).
This Dark Shadows it based on the late sixties early seventies daytime soap opera of the same name Starring Jonathon Frid and Greyson Hall alongside Lara Parker, David Selby, Katherine Leigh Scott, Alexander Isles, Nancy Barret, Joan Bennett, Louis Edmonds, And David Hennessy among others…
The first hundred or so episodes were about the family of Colin wood and the people surrounding the port but when Johnathan Frid made an appearance on the 112th episode or so as the Vampire Barnabas Collins he was a hit and stayed on…
The origins of the show and its popularity is remembered by Barnabas and his legendary role as the curse put upon himself by Angelique (Parker) a witch whom loved Barnabas to the brink of death and if she couldn’t have him she’d kill his precious Josette and curse him to forever be chained as a Vampire until the day Willy Loomis a lodger within the Collins wood mansion stumbled upon a secret door within the family crypt…
In Tim Burton’s film adaptation Johnny Depp reprises the role as Barnabas as we see a bit of the beginnings of how Angelique in love with Barnabas as well as Jealous bewitched his love Josette over the Cliff on Widows Hill, killed his mother and father than cursed him as a Vampire…
I believe a hundred years later construction workers were working on a dig site in the woods near the Collinswood estates and unearthed the coffin in which Barbara’s had been burried once unleashed the entirety of all contruction workers were drained of their blood as we see Depp act very stiff and weird as he hits pavement in sight of a McDonald’s.
In any case he arrives at the manor in its dire state of poverty where Willy Loomis is the butler or caretaker of the mansion and issues him in. Meanwhile Angelique played by Eva Green has learned of his uncovering and has become a shipping magnet of Angel Bay and owns three forths of Collinsport…
Michelle Pfiefer plays Elizabeth Stoddard Collins and meets Barnabas as he passes himself off as a distant relative as the resemblance of himself and Barnabas Collins is uncanny. Amongst those living in the mansion are David And Roger Collins his father as well as Carolyn Stoddard sister to David, and Dr. Julia Hoffman whom instead of in the show having some way of eventially getting involved in this film she is already a resident.
Now that all have been introduced Barnabas shows Elizabeth one of the secret treasure doors hidden in the mansion which apparently they,be had all along just never knew and with his help the family begins to take back what was once theirs.
Dark Shadows was never once a comedy and yet Burton seems to make a mockery of the tale as the film takes a comedic turn with the sex romping… between Angelique and Barnabas…
Mysteriously a young lady named Victoria Winters has traveled to the estate to become a governess for David whome Barnabas takes an instant liking to as she looks exactly like his precious Josette.
Christopher Lee makes an appearance as a Captain and though I think Dark Shadows is not a comedy I actually thought when Depp hipnotized Lee was priceless, as well as Alice Cooper who performed a song of his… at a party.
Having Caroline as the werewolf instead of having a Quentin Collin’s involved was preposterous and a sham. Though the soundtrack was certainly from the seventies it did not fit well entirely with the storyline plus barnabas would have definitely been more refined and regal in his lovemaking even if it were in the present.
I also feel that making Roger played by Elementary’s Johnny Lee Miller out to be a villain when Roger’s Character was part of what I feel made the show Strong he was not a week character at all kinda had a fondness for Roger even though he was a little stiff I feel I saw an emotional human side on the Show after awhile…
As for Depp’s performance of Barnabas I was please as well as Michelle’s Elizabeth I wasn’t disappointed. I did feel the boy who played David Collins Shined a little in an over all ultimate battle in the end with his speaking to spirits….
It just seemed totally rushed and crammed and to me you can’t really cram the entire Dark Shadows into one film like this and instead of paying homage to the show so rich with background and history… Burton Insults it’s every nature of existence.
There was however one redeeming feature I loved the Wolves howling on the door to the treasure vault this feature of the Manor was incredible. So locations were stimulating but the story line sucked as well as the humor it’s not that there wasn’t humor in dark shadows but it certainly was more regally refined…
I Enjoyed several of the performances but I was not a fan of this Burton Production I’m not even going to call it a horror film for the farce that I believe it to be… I wouldn’t recommend this film for anyone. But the Choice is yours… enjoy!
P.s.: Those who know me my favorite Tv Show of all time was Dark Shadows finally had to post some of my disgust and normally I post films with pictures I didn’t think it deserved the satisfaction
Starring Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins, Michelle Pfeiffer as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, Helena Bonham Carter as Dr. Julia Hoffman, Eva Green as Angelique Bouchard, Jackie Earle Haley as Willie Loomis, Jonny Lee Miller as
Roger Collins, Bella Heathcote as
Victoria Winters / Josette DuPres, Chloë Grace Moretz as Carolyn Stoddard, Gulliver McGrath as David Collins (as Gully McGrath), Ray Shirley as Mrs. Johnson, Christopher Lee as Clarney, Alice Cooper as Alice Cooper, Ivan Kaye as Joshua Collins, Susanna Cappellaro as Naomi Collins, Josephine Butler as David’s Mother, William Hope as
Sheriff, Shane Rimmer as Board Member 1, Michael Shannon as Board Member 2 (as Michael J. Shannon), Harry Taylor as
Henchman, Glen Mexted as Captain Rubberpants, Guy Flanagan as Bearded Hippie, Nigel Whitmey as Hard Hat 1, Philip Bulcock as Hard Hat 2, Sophie Kennedy Clark as Hippie Chick 1, Hannah Murray as
Hippie Chick 2, Victoria Bewick as
Hippie Chick 3, Sean Mahon as Collinsport Cop, Alexia Osborne as Young Victoria, Richard Hollis as Vicky’s Father, Felicity Brangan as Vicky’s Mother, Michael Anthony Brown as Windcliff Doctor, Charlotte Spencer as Coat Check Girl, Gabriel Freilich as Hippie 3, Justin Tracy as Young Barnabus – aged 6, Thomas Grube as Construction Worker 1, Jeff Mash as Construction Worker 2, Raffey Cassidy as Young Angelique, Jonathan Frid as Guest, Kathryn Leigh Scott as Guest, Lara Parker as Guest, David Selby as Guest, Janine Craig as Go Go Dancer 1, Adelle Young as Go Go Dancer 2, Dominika Van Santen as Go Go Dancer 3 (as Dominica Van Santen), Josephine McGrail as Go Go Dancer 4, Victoria Jane Appleton as Collins Canning Worker (uncredited), Lasco Atkins as Cannery Worker (uncredited), Gintare Beinoraviciute as Town Lady (uncredited), Greg Bennett as Chet the Taxidermist (uncredited), Ashley Bernard as Canning Company Employee (uncredited), Kenneth W Caravan as 18th Century Gentleman (uncredited), Duncan Casey as Policeman (uncredited), James Cooper as Dock Worker (uncredited), Edward Coupland as
Fireman (uncredited), Andrew Crayford as
Townsperson (uncredited), Vincent Curson Smith as Young Barnabas – aged 9 (uncredited), Leigh Daniels as Slow Dancer (uncredited), Jel Djelal as Firefighter (uncredited), Marco Flammer as AngelBay Boy (uncredited), Javier Fontana as Fisherman (uncredited), Jake Francis as
Photographer (uncredited), Shonn Gregory as Worker (uncredited), Daniel Harland as
Barnabas Collin’s Carrier Person (uncredited), Lee Nicholas Harris as
Fisherman (uncredited), Keaton Heinrichs as
Angelbay Canning Boy (uncredited), Frank Hellebrand as Henchman (uncredited), Chris Martin Hill as Fireman (uncredited), Tony Hunter as Factory Worker (uncredited), Josh Jefferies as Pizzeria Customer (uncredited), Jorge Leon Martinez as Collinwood Worker (uncredited), David Lyddon as Workman (uncredited), Ian Mann as Dock Worker (uncredited), Oliver Mayo as Firefighter (uncredited), Matthew David McCarthy as
18th Century Gentleman (uncredited), Thomas McDonell as Young Barnabus Collins (uncredited), Ryan McPhail as Construction worker (uncredited), Duncan Meadows as
Mob (uncredited), Dale Mercer as Slow Dancer (uncredited), Alex Moore as
Fire Fighter (uncredited), Stuart Mulcaster as
Townsperson (uncredited), Benjayx Murphy as Builder (uncredited), Marcus Ramtohul as
Record Store Owner (uncredited), Valery Richardson as Townsperson (uncredited), Steve Saunders as Fisherman (uncredited), Ellie Spicer as Girl in Phone Booth (uncredited), Phillip Taggart as Cannary worker (uncredited), Nick Thomas-Webster as Timothy (uncredited), Matt Tyzack as
Townsperson (uncredited), Charlie Woodford as 18th Century Gentleman (uncredited).