Wednesday, May 9, 2012

YouTube Wednesday: Dark Shadows Past and Present

With a new film debuting on Friday, let's look at Dark Shadows...
The freaky-kool Japanese poster for House of Dark Shadows (1970)
...starting with Barnabas Collins' first appearance in 1967 on the already-year-old series...
Next, the trailer for the first Dark Shadows movie, House of Dark Shadows, done in 1970 while the show was still airing on ABC daily, and featuring the tv series' cast!
It's not a continuation, but a condensed adaptation of the first Barnabas plotline with a bigger budget (no cardboard tombstones!), location shooting, and more Hammer-style blood than daytime tv would allow!
Right after the show ended, a second feature, Night of Dark Shadows came out...

...but was nowhere near the quality of the first film.
When reruns in the 1980s and the release of the series on videotape brought a whole new audience to the show (including a young Johnny Depp), a prime-time revival was ordered in January 1991...

...but constant pre-empting due to the first Gulf War kept the ratings down, and it only lasted half a year!
The videos, however, kept selling, and a devoted audience kept growing.
A new pilot was commissioned by the WB in 2004, but didn't go to series.
(Ironically, the year before, the WB did a Lone Ranger pilot that didn't sell.
Now, Johnny Depp is filming a Lone Ranger Tonto!)
Depp, who loved the original tv series, acquired the film rights for his production company, contacted Tim Burton, and, this Friday, you'll see the results...
Take it in the same spirit as the JJ Abrams 2009 Star Trek reboot, and you'll have a great time!

Trivia: Show co-creator/story editor/writer Art Wallace also wrote episodes of the original Star Trek, Space: 1999, Planet of the Apes (TV), The Invaders, and Tom Corbett: Space Cadet!
He later served as story consultant on All My Children.
And, every version of Dark Shadows since has used his characters and concepts...

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