Dark Shadows 2012--Anyone else excited?

I am so excited over this movie, which will premiere on May 11, 2012! Go to youtube to see the trailer.

I was one of those kids back in the late 1960s/early 1970s who absolutely loved this show and I had a huge crush on Barnabas Collins (which I still have 40 years later). I was in 6th grade, 12 years old, and old enough to have my first crush.

Unfortunately, DS ran from 3:00 p.m - 3:30 p.m, and the schools in our city didn’t let out until 3:30 p.m. So it didn’t matter if I ran home from school–I still missed the show.

BUT…my wonderful mother stepped in and did something that no one else’s mother did…she watched the show for me and my brother while we were at school, and then when we got home, she told us what had happened that day.

My mom had always enjoyed “spook stories,” and sat up with my brother and me on Friday nights while we struggled to stay awake to watch Creatures from Dimension 13, our local TV station’s “horror movie” show. And I remember how she let us watch Psycho and The Birds and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

We were never afraid, because she would watch with a twinkle in her eye, and at the scariest part, she would burst out laughing and say, “How fake! It’s a big rubber monster!” or she would explain that Bette Davis and Joan Crawford were Oscar-winning actresses. And my brother and I would laugh, too, and admire how real the scary stuff looked and how talented those actors were.

So it wasn’t exactly a hardship for my mother to watch the show.

I discovered that many of my school mates also loved Dark Shadows, but their mothers wouldn’t or couldn’t watch it for them. So I started reporting to them each morning what had happened.

Within a few weeks after school started that fall, I had a crowd of school kids gathered around me on the playground every morning, eager to hear what was going on with Barnabas, Angelique, Julia, Willie, and all the rest.

So in order to make my re-telling of the show more exciting, I started writing up my mother’s accounts. I worked very hard each evening on my write-ups, looking up words in the dictionary to make my accounts thrilling, and writing up the dialogue as best as I could, based on my mother’s reports. I built as much suspense as I could into each write-up.

And my school friends ate it up. Interestingly, my biggest “fan” was the daughter of a local evangelical pastor!

At some point during the school year, our teacher decided to start a class newspaper, and appointed me…ME!..as editor.

I honestly had no idea why.

I wasn’t in the “rich” crowd, or the “cute” crowd. I didn’t think I was particularly intelligent.

So after school, I approached the teacher and asked her straight out why she had chosen me.

She said, “Because of the way you use words when you write.”

It was the first time anyone told me that I was good at writing. But I still didn’t believe it.

In the springtime, the teacher announced an essay contest from DAR, and all of us had to enter it. I went home, wrote my essay, handed it in, and thought nothing more of it.

Imagine my shock a few weeks later when it was announced that I had won the competition.

I still remember how proud my parents were, and how thrilled I was to be on TV and receive a little medal. I still have that medal.

From then on, I entered a lot of writing contests, and won quite a few of them.

It was years before I realized that my skill in writing had started with Dark Shadows as re-told by my mother.

For some reason, I decided not to pursue a career in writing, but to make it a wonderful hobby. It’s been a great joy to me and others.

I absolutely can’t WAIT until May 11 to see the resurrection of Dark Shadows 40 years later–wow!

I remember getting off the bus and getting home just in time to see it! When my first niece was born, my sister asked me what name I liked and yes, I said, Angelique! She is living up to her namesake! LOL I saw the trailer Thursday night at the theater and was shocked to see Johnny Depp though. He has just grown way to weird for me so I am not sure how this show will go.
Did you buy the paperbacks? I had them all but I made the mistake of lending them out so they wore out pretty quickly or were never returned. I still have one and a comic book.
I remember we had a big sectional couch and air conditioning so our living room was packed with kids and my mom in the middle. For a half-hour show, we were always waiting to see Quentin and hear the #1 at the Blue Whale (Love is like a rose).:thumbsup:

Suddenly, it’s become an absolute must-see!

I have all the novels and several “extra” copies. I actually read them often, and so they are pretty tattered. I would love to get these on Kindle, since some of my copies are so tattered that they can’t comfortably be held to read.

I have quite a few of the comic books. A company called Dynamite Entertainment is releasing a new Dark Shadows series that is really good; so far, three issues are out.

I predict that many companies will come out with “new” Dark Shadows stuff over the next few months, unless the movie is a total bomb. But even if the movie is a bomb, interest in the old series and in the 1990 TV miniseries will be re-kindled, so these products are still worth developing and marketing.

I have as many of the books by previous cast members as I know about. The bio of Jonathan Frid is especially good. Lara Parker (Angelique) has written two novels that are…hhmmmm…OK. A little confusing. But entertaining. Not for children.

One thing that I have never seen are the “Dark Shadows Horror Heads.” I have never even seen them at a Festival. I don’t think very many were made, and I think those that were made probably fell apart.

I have seen the Josette’s Music Box, but I don’t really care to spend a lot of money buying a re-production of it. I do have all the CDs of the original music, which is really nice.

I have a lot of the trading cards, but I don’t think I have a complete set. I acquired mine the old-fashioned way, one card at a time, rather than simply mailing away to Ebay for a complete set!

And I have four scrapbooks filled with clippings, pictures, etc. from Tiger Beat, 16 Magazine, etc.! Unfortunately, I didn’t know back when I was a teenager about modern, acid-freee scrap-booking methods to preserve the paper, so a lot of my clippings have tape marks and discolorations. But they certainly re-capture my teenaged years!

Hey! There’s somebody out there that’s as old as me! I got home from school in the nick of time to see DS. I liked Barnabas, too, but it was Quentin Collins that I and my girlfriends were hooked on! We used to write our own “screenplays” and then acted them out, like a little theatre group. What fun!

I saw “House of Dark Shadows” when it came out in 1970; but I must have been living under a rock in 1990. There was a mini-series??? Is it out on DVD or something? Anyway, can’t wait ‘til May 11!

Dark Shadows was my “gateway drug” to daytime TV. I used to get home just in time to watch it on our old B&W television. We had only got TV that year.

I rather enjoyed the mini-series too. So, I am looking forward to the movie. :thumbsup:

Big Finish, an audio drama company most famous for their Dr. Who audio adventures, has also produced a line of audios continuing the original Dark Shadows story with many of the original cast members. They also produce audiobooks, which are read (but not acted) by original cast members. Here is the site:


Years ago, I used to watch the reruns on SciFi (back when it was still called that) with my mom.

I was excited first heard about a Dark Shadows movie with Johnny Depp a few years ago, but my interest has waned since I saw the trailer. Now it’s a comedy about Barnabas’ culture shock in the 70’s and how Angelique wants to do him. The new genre doesn’t work for me.


Yes there was a mini-series(actually a mid-season replacement that was not re-newed):


For die-hard Dark Shadows fans: amazon.com/Dark-Shadows-Complete-Original-Series/dp/B006Z7Z3KY/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1332775716&sr=1-1

There was also a second film in the 70’s Night of Dark Shadows. Both 70’s films are supposedly getting dvd releases in 2013

So the Official Trailers have been airing on TV this week and I’m wondering what the Dark Shadows fans feel about this movie taking a more comedic approach to the tale?
I did not watch the originals growing up, though my husband did. It was a drama (soap opera) from what I gather. This movie seems different.


Lifelong fan here. I’m finally warming up to the film, after seeing the trailer. I think Burton/Depp are fans and they are playing up the camp aspect. I really don’t think today’s audience would enjoy a “straight” version of the story, like the '90s revival had. (I loved that show as well and was glad to see Ben Cross as Barnabas).

Looking forward to seeing this eventually! :slight_smile:

I haven’t quite decided what I think of this new movie. I don’t know if I want Johnny Depp as Barnabas or if I want something that is intentionally comic.

Since I did not live in the mid-west I didn’t have to hurry to miss Dark Shadows as it didn’t start until 4:00pm. I went back and forth from being in love with Barnabas and being in love with Quentin. And since I was in the sixth grade, David Henesy looked pretty good to me too.

I had many (but not all) of the novels. We did not live near a “real” bookstore and I had to be satisfied with the novels that made their way to our nearby grocery store and/or pharmacy. Sadly, I tossed them all out once when I was on a cleaning kick. If they become available on Kindle I will be all over them.

I have a notebook with the summaries that I kept of the show from day to day. I wish I had taken the time to rewrite them because when I look at them today I can barely figure out what they mean. I also have a few pages saved from 16 and Tiger Beat. I wish I had some of the old TV Guides.

I enjoyed the 1990s series too.

I also hear Johnny Depp has brought the rights to the night stalker.

I agree with this. I think that if the movie tried to be like the orginal series, it would flop.

The original series was charming because it was done on a shoe-string budget, taped live (so no editing of bloopers), and happened during a frightening time in the U.S.: Viet Nam war protests, student riots and Kent state deaths, race riots in Chicago and other places, decline of traditional morality and advent of "Free Love), increase in use of recreational drugs and those celebrities who promoted their use, etc.–I remember my parents and other relatives talking about “The End of the World” is near because of all the disturbing things going on in our society.

It didn’t work in the 1990s. People didn’t watch Dark Shadows–they tuned in to CNN to watch the Gulf War. Sigh. The 1990s series tried a romantic, strictly-Gothic approach, and it was OK–kind of heavy and ponderous. There were funny moments in that series, too–I remember Willie asking Barnabas about going to the bathroom. I personally think that the 1990s mini-series was a catharsis by Dan Curtis who was attempting to express his new-found Christianity and tell the world, using Dark Shadows, that sin would lead to death and that repentance would lead to life. It was so obvious that Barnabas became a vampire and lost all that he loved because of his own philandering. It was almost like listening to a sermon. I enjoyed it, and appreciated Mr. Curtis’ efforts to witness in this creative way. But I thought it was too obvious.

And I really wanted the 1990s series to not re-tell the story that the original series had told so well in the 1795 flashback, but instead, to tell a NEW Dark Shadows story. I’m hoping that this Burton/Depp movie will do just that. I think we all get that Angelique turned Barnabas into a vampire because he was a naughty man. Well, let’s move on.

Marilyn Ross managed to write 32 different plots about Dark Shadows, and many of them were wonderful tales of Barnabas and Quentin overcoming some obstacle and helping some lovely ingenue to escape from peril.

There are also a large number of comic books that came up with cool plots.

And of course, all the fan fiction over the years in which Barnabas and Quentin meet and conquer some monster, obstacle, menace, etc.

Let’s see one of THOSE stories. After all, the Star Trek movies did not attempt to re-do the classic TV series, but instead, added to the the story of the Federation.


Very cool post! You gave me some neat trivia I enjoyed reading. I agree with you on everything.

I was sooo against this movie (and please don’t ask what I think Depp as Carl Kolchak, my childhood hero!). After seeing the trailer my son and I think we’re going to see the film and enjoy the ride. If Burton can do what he did with Ed Wood, I’ll be happy.

I think especially right now with everything going on in the world and the country be so divided, this could be nice escapist fare. Perhaps it’s just what we need! :slight_smile:

[If they ever get that remake of *Rosemary’s Baby, or a newer adaptation of the book, off the ground, don’t expect me to be this charitable! :mad:]

, or a newer adaptation of the book, off the ground, don’t expect me to be this charitable! :mad:]

Don’t remember much about The Night Stalker, so I am ambivalent about Depp doing it – Tonto is another matter :stuck_out_tongue:

I can’t see Johnny Depp as Kolchak. To me, Kolchak’s charm is that he didn’t look like a handsome, shrewd, intelligent cop. He looked rumpled and scatterbrained and kind of yayhoo. Depp doesn’t seem to fit this. Maybe he is interested in playing the vampire in the story–now that would be cool. I wonder who he has in mind for Kolchak? I think of someone like Jimmy Fallon–the last person in the world that we would cast in this role. Or Drew Carey.

The way I’m thinking of the Johnny Depp Dark Shadows film is like the ultimate Fan Fiction. I’ve been to DS festivals and seen the fan fiction skits and films, and often, they are very good, and are quite funny, too! Fans are amazingly creative. Most of the fan fiction that I have seen includes little inside jokes honoring the many “bloopers” in the original series. I think that humor has always been part of the charm of Dark Shadows.

But most fans do not have multiple millions of dollars to invest in their skits and films, and they have to take who they can get for a cast, including their girlfriend, their best friends, their parents, their little siblings or nephews, their neighbors, etc.

The lack of resources is obvious! But it’s still lots of fun to watch fan fiction products and admire the fans’ creativity and talent at presenting a good story on a shoestring budget with mere amateurs doing the acting and tech work.

But Johnny Depp DOES have multiple millions to invest, and access to the best of the world’s acting and tech talent!

I’m willing to bet that the story in Depp’s film will not be any better than the stories that many of the fans write up and present at DS Festivals.

BUT…Depp’s story will be filmed with a gynormous budget, using the best actors and techies that Burton can hire! It’s SUPER DUPER FAN FICTION!

That’s what you get to do when you’re rich and famous–make the ultimate Fan Fiction Film! Essentially that’s what this movie is–Depp is a Dark Shadows fan just like the rest of us, and he’s always wanted to play Barnabas. He said in an interview once that he was waiting until he got old enough so he could be the same age that Jonathan Frid was in the original series.

Yeah, sure, and if you believe that, I’m sure I can find a rare Picasso in my attic to sell to you! I think Johnny Depp is a very intelligent man, and he has been waiting and biding his time until something like Twilight came along to pave the way for Vampire Mania, and now he will move in with the Ultimate Vampire, the original American vampire, the greatly beloved Barnabas Collins, the vampire who doesn’t want to be a vampire. Depp is absolutely brilliant, and he and Burton will probably rake in a fortune on this film–if it’s any good.

So for those of you who are DS purists and can’t stand the idea of this new film, perhaps this perspective will help you out a little. Just think of your theater as a DS Festival venue, and Johnny Depp as a super fan of the show, and his film as one of the many films on the intinerary at the Festival.

I remember the original 1960s series. Would watch it mostly in the summer, since I didn’t get out of school until 3:30. The characters I remember the most were Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid-got a little creeped out when he went into his ‘vampire mode’ and showed his teeth), Quentin Collins (David Selby-who could ever forget his bushy muttonchops and the ‘Quentin’s Theme’ music?), Daphne (a young Kate Jackson-she hardly said anything, but stared a lot), Reverend Trask (always chasing after witches and preaching fire and brimstone) and his daughter Charity.

Someone here mentioned ‘16 Magazine’. Yikes-that takes me back, too! Used to get that and read up about the show! I also remember having one of the paperback novels based on the series, too.

Also remember the 1990s remake, with Ben Cross as Barnabas. Didn’t watch that, though.

I think the original series was the best!

I watched Dark Shadows every day when it was on. If it hadn’t been for Barnabas being a vampire, I doubt I would have watched it. Yes there were goofs that aired, but mostly it was well done. I am not sure what to think of the movie. I thought Johnny Depp would be great as Barnabas. Perhaps it is best that the movie is more of a comedy; that’s better than the straight horror of House of Dark Shadows. I just hope my daughters like it (they’re 22 and 20).

it looks good

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