Here's the trailer for the adaptation of the late 60's ghoulish soap opera, Dark Shadows. But alas, coated over and shellacked with Tim Burton camp and Johnny Depp shmaltz, the revival of the cult classic looks like it will be an unrecognizable homage to the original.
The show, which ran from 1966 through 1971, followed the Collins family and their home in creaky, creepy Collinwood mansion. The home is haunted by chattering ghosts and, after he is accidentally released from his coffin, a vampire named Barnabas Collins. In 1795, Barnabas was cursed by the witch Angelique after rejecting her in favor of Josette. Barnabas became a vampire and Josette hurled herself off a cliff. After Barnabas is revived from the grave, Julia Hoffman, a plucky vampire-killer, comes to the home to try and rid the Collins' of the vampire once and for all but, twist!, she falls in love with him instead.
And now, in place of a truly spooky, supernatural soap, we have this dreck to wade through. I enjoy Chloe Moretz, cloying as she can sometimes be, Michelle Pfeiffer's still kickin, Eva Green sure is pretty and look, there's Helena Bonham Carter. But cast aside, this thing stinks to high heaven. There are, for example, 93 seconds of nothing but gross sex banter followed by a tongue bath. And it's never a good sign when a trailer includes a flashback to the beginning of that same trailer. I asked my mom, who as a kid adored the show, what she loved most about it. She told me that she "thought Barnabas Collins was the most intriguing quasi monster I'd ever seen. He was refined, really a gentleman in a way." Yeesh, RIP Barnabus from the good ol' days. Johnny Depp has sealed you away forever in a coffin made of tit jokes.
The thing is, I appreciate what Tim Burton has accomplished. He's produced some gems that were good and fun and maybe even had a hand in shaping the way a handful of later movies were made. But perhaps it's time he pack away the pointy black collars and spindly, skeletal fingers and I don't know, go sit on a beach somewhere and get some sun on that punim. He's got a movie called Frankenweenie coming out, for Pete's sake. It's time to pack it in.
Dark Shadows is due out May 11, 2012.