By Todd Allen
You heard Johnny Depp and Tim Burton had hooked up again to produce a feature film version of the classic 1966-71 gothic horror soap opera, Dark Shadows. Well, looks like there a trailer up for it and it just might not be quite what you were expecting.
If you wanted something closer to the original show, I guess there’s always “House of Dark Shadows.” This version of Dark Shadows seems to follow the Dragnet / Starsky & Hutch school of satirizing the original (as opposed to the Maverick school of just doing a movie similar to the show or the Mission: Impossible school of the same name but tangentially related to the original). Depp is doing a reasonable impersonation of the voice and speaking rhythm of Jonathan Frid, the original Barnabas Collins, albeit tweaked for comic effect.
I’ve seen a couple seasons worth of the original (playing on PBS, of all places, while I was growing up). The basic premise seems to be fairly intact, before things veer off into the still-relatively trendy “let’s make fun of the 70s” vibe. (Which cracks me up, since this wasn’t really much of a ’70s series.) It also looks to be positioning itself to make fun of the glittery/sex-crazed Twilight/True Blood vampire craze. Burton and Depp are essentially doing a Scary Movie meets Twilight meets The Brady Bunch, to judge from the trailer.
I must’ve missed the memo that said this was going to be less of a literal adaption, but given the people involved, still worth a look.