The Violent Blue blog***Comics, Horror and Pop Culture***Updates Tuesday through Friday (and occasionally at random)

Dark Shadows can suck it.

I’d like to think that title was clever rather than just vulger, but at this point I’m not sure I care.  My big question – again and again is “Why are they doing this?”

I don’t get why this is being made as a comedy. Sure the series was a little strange at times – it’s teh subject matter combined with teh inheriant strangeness of the late sixties. It was melodramatic. But they played it straight. The series was at it’s heart a drama.  Shouldn’t any adaption of it be a drama?

Keep in mind, I have no reall emotianal attachment to this property. While Iv’e seen pictures and posters around conventions and books for much of my life, my frist real exposure to Dark Shadows was the 90’s revival – which I watched for the frist time six years ago. Every morning when Baby Maddie would wak up at 4-5 for her early morning bottle, we’d pop in a tape and sh’d have breakfast. Slowly we went throguh the entire series in about a month. It’s only recently, because of my access to netflix that I’ve begun to watch the original series (Let’s face it -over 1000 episodes? Netflix actually is the ideal solution rather than trackign down tapes or buying that ridiculous $600.00 box set or torrenting the series….how much Hard Drive space would that actually TAKE?). Yet even only being abotu 4% of the way through the series  I can see it deserves better treatment than this film is giving it. Honestly, it’s really just the Dracula story, updated for the late sixties, and well done at that. The aristocratic elements fit in very nicely and Barnabas works so well in this context. There’s something abotu the vampire story in general that paticularly lends itself to an aristocratic air I think.  As much as I like the common man/punk variations like “The Lost Boys”, aristocratic snobbery just seems to work that much better.

The charm and style of the series thgouh seem lost in the context of a comedy. Style indeed. Even before I ever watched any of the series, one of the things that always struck me was how well dressed Barnabas was. The style and cut of the suits – contemporary (for the time) but expensive and class. Depps’ wardrobe on the other hand looks like a cross between a victorian gentleman and a 70’s hipster. It’s just wrong.

It all smacks of someone having a concept for a funny vampire movie but not enough confidence to run with it without attachign it to a known franchise. I’m looking at you Mr. Burton.  If you want to do a funny satirical vampire move, great. Do something like “Transylvania 6-5000″ or  “Young Frankenstien”. Want to do a parody? Do something like “Scary Movie”. I bet Burton could do it better than the Wayans too. but this whole business of taking a straigh series and remaking it as a comedy bothers me. I hated it when they did it with “the Green Hornet” (a series I DO have a significant emotional attachment to), and it even bugs me when it series I’ve never seen a single episode of like “21 Jumpstreet” or “Starsky and Hutch”. It just dosen’t work.

And that brings me to Tim Burton….but I’ll wait for next time on that one.

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