New movie podcast: Superheroes Every Day!

I know, I spent seven years writing more than 1,000 blog posts about Dark Shadows, but what have I done for vampire media lately?

Well, here’s one answer: on my new Superheroes Every Day podcast, I’ve got Dark Shadows audio producer Joe Lidster to talk about the 2021 vampire superhero blood-soaked blockbuster, Morbius!

In each episode of the podcast, I invite a guest to join me on a Dark Shadows Every Day-style journey through a pivotal moment in superhero movie history, making wisecracks and discovering insights about how blockbuster movies work (or don’t). It’s funny and fast-paced, and if you like my writing on this blog, then this is your opportunity to get more of it, on a different subject.

To bridge that gap, here’s Act 1 of the Morbius episode with Joe Lidster!

You can also find the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, YouTube, Overcast, Audible, Stitcher and wherever you get your podcasts.

Continue reading New movie podcast: Superheroes Every Day!

My new blog: Superheroes Every Day!

Hey everyone! I talked in my final Dark Shadows post about a new project coming up, and here it is: Superheroes Every Day — the history of superhero movies, in order and in detail.

The story starts with Superman: The Movie in 1978, and goes chronologically from there. The structure is very similar to this blog: talking about the movie from scene to scene, with lots of backstory and insight and crazy side trips. It’s about movies and comic books and money and singing cowboys and tax evasion and exploding scientists, and that’s just the beginning.

Even if you’re not into superhero movies — if you love Dark Shadows Every Day, then you will love Superheroes Every Day. Come take a look, and if you like it, tell your friends! See you there.

Episode 1245: Sunset at Collinwood

“You’ve had too many victims! It’s over for you!”

Morgan Collins, the self-proclaimed god-emperor of the great estate at Collinwood, has learned that his emotionally explosive wife, who he had always feared was cheating on him with his cousin, was actually cheating on him with his cousin, to the extent that she is currently pregnant with her lover’s child.

Driven mad by this betrayal, in addition to the general background madness of being a Collins in the first place, Morgan has locked up Barnabas and Angelique in the cursed room that plagues this parallel hell. Everyone who spends a night in that room either dies or goes insane, at the pleasure of an angry ancestor who’s determined to spoil everyone’s fun. So far, the trapped lovers have been alternately possessed and throttled, but the evil wizard running the no-escape room hasn’t gone in for the kill.

As dawn approaches, Morgan strides down the hall towards the sealed portal, with a six-shooter in his hand. When he opens the door, if he finds that the couple has managed to survive the night, then he’s just going to shoot them, and take his revenge the old-fashioned way.

So I’ve got some hard news for Morgan this morning: opening that door is not going to benefit you in any way. Letting Barnabas out of a box is what got us into this mess in the first place.

Continue reading Episode 1245: Sunset at Collinwood

Episode 1244: Empire of the Loud

“The curse is more powerful than all of us put together.”

Morgan Collins has pulled the ol’ love-and-shove on his faithless wife Catherine, pretending that he’s going to rescue her boyfriend Bramwell from the human sacrifice chamber. Where is he? I can’t see him, she said, and he said Just look closer, he’s right there, and she said I don’t — and then all of a sudden she was on the wrong side of a locked door.

“You tricked me!” Catherine cries. “Just as you tricked Bramwell, you tricked me!”

“I plead guilty, my dear!” Morgan hollers, through the door. “On both counts!”

“Well, listen to me, Morgan!” she shouts. “I’d rather die with Bramwell than live with you one more day!”

“Then you have your wish, don’t you?” he chirps. “Goodbye, Catherine!” And then he saunters away, mentally updating his Tinder profile.

So we’re agreed: Morgan is the asshole in this story, and we refuse to put up with him anymore. After nine and a half weeks of this lemon of a storyline, Dark Shadows and I are finally on the same page.

Continue reading Episode 1244: Empire of the Loud

Episode 1243: The Dark Shadows Parts

“According to my calculations, only one more person must have the dream.”

All I can think about is what’s happening behind those doors.

All I know is danger! The cards do not lie!

All she did was tell me what you had planned — to betray me — and you killed her for it, just as you killed me, and you killed your wife Amanda, because she tried to help me too.

All that remains is a shell, a manifestation! This body you inhabit is not yours!

All we know is, she was hanged. But whether she died or not is something everyone in Collinsport is still wondering about.

Continue reading Episode 1243: The Dark Shadows Parts

Episode 1242: Cancel Culture

“When one is on a rollercoaster, one prays for it to end. But then the coaster stops, and one gets off and suddenly the world seems duller and sadder somehow.”

Dark Shadows, an ABC-TV daytime soap opera best known for making the world a stranger and more beautiful place, passed away on Friday, April 2nd, 1971, at the age of two hundred and forty-nine weeks. It was survived by a comic strip, a comic book and a paperback novel series.

Continue reading Episode 1242: Cancel Culture

Episode 1241: Frid’s Final Battle

“Don’t become a part of this Collins madness!”

At the top of the show today, Bramwell Collins lets himself into Collinwood, where he doesn’t live and isn’t particularly welcome. Walking nonchalantly into the drawing room, he observes Kendrick Young, silent and drawn.

“Good evening, Kendrick,” he says. “Well, after what I’ve heard about you and Melanie, I would expect you to be more cheelful.”

Continue reading Episode 1241: Frid’s Final Battle

Episode 1240: Today’s Lucky Lotto Picks

“These two were somehow mummyfied, and preserved all these years.”

Well, there’s another swinging wake over at the Haunted Mansion today; the guys are all wearing black armbands, and the ladies have put aside their typical bird costumes, and are wearing clothes more appropriate for sea level.

“Mother,” says Morgan, “nobody understands better than I do how you feel, but it’s just as well that you didn’t see Gabriel.”

Flora turns to face her son. “Morgan, I feel so guilty,” she moans. “He deserved a better fate.”

“Mother, that could be said for all of us,” Morgan points out. “But Gabriel’s gone now. At least he has met his peace.”

The way they’re talking, you’d imagine that they’re all dressed up for Gabriel’s funeral. Actually, they’re getting ready to bury Daphne, who also died this week. You know that your soap opera’s going in a weird direction when the audience can’t keep track of which funeral you’re going to.

Continue reading Episode 1240: Today’s Lucky Lotto Picks

Episode 1238: The Mystery of Melanie’s Mother

“I’ve got to go back into the darkness forever.”

Mad Melanie Collins, the loveable girl who sometimes transforms into a heartless killing machine, has been marooned on a desert island for as long as she knows. Washed up on the shores of an enormous mansion, with no property or parents, she was raised by the local tribespeople, and trained in their savage rituals. And in the odd moments between human sacrifices, she has looked up at the sky to gaze at the studio lights twinkling overhead, and she has wondered. Who is she? Where does she come from? How far did she travel, to wind up in this exotic locale?

Continue reading Episode 1238: The Mystery of Melanie’s Mother