|The Late Jonathan Frid as Barnabas Collins|
When I first heard that Tim Burton was making a Dark Shadows movie, I hoped he would remain true to the campy soap's themes - dark, grim and unintentionally funny. Sadly, he seems to have gone in the opposite direction by casting his go-to actor Johnny Depp in a deliberately comedic version of the story.
Like many folks my age, I would rush home from school to catch the decidedly weird soap about the cursed Collins clan (told you I love alliteration) and the patriarchal vampire Barnabas.
The ABC soap (which ran from 1966 to 1971) was populated with vampires, werewolves and witches before Stephanie Meyer was even born. It featured an alternate universe long before "Lost" or "Fringe" and held true to the Gothic atmosphere created by Hammer in the late 60's. It was literally groundbreaking for daytime soap-operas, which had been until then populated with torrid romances and hospital dramas. It's like wouldn't be seen again until NBC's "Passions" which ran from 1999 to 2007.
Today, it was announced that Canadian actor Jonathan Frid (the original Barnabas) passed away at the ripe old age of 87. Frid has a cameo in Burton's film. I can't help but wonder if seeing the trailer for Burton's film was the final nail in his coffin. See the travesty for yourselves, if you already haven't:
Ugh! Like many fans of the original series, I will not be seeing this film. It seems to me that Burton and Depp have spent far too much time in Wonderland and the Chocolate Factory. Call me when someone makes a serious "Dark Shadows" film.