“I haven’t seen the light of day in almost two hundred years.”
Right this minute, teenage bad boy John Yaeger is in the basement of the Old House, pulling apart the locks and chains that keep Barnabas Collins shut up tight in his coffin. Six weeks ago, the Dark Shadows cast took off for Tarrytown to shoot a feature film, leaving the newcomers and second-stringers to keep the show warm while they’re gone. Now they’re cracking open the mystery box, and once more unleashing Barnabas upon the populace. Dark Shadows is back at work.
To celebrate, I’ve invited actual famous grown-up film critic David Edelstein to come watch the 1970 film House of Dark Shadows. David’s the film critic for New York magazine, NPR’s Fresh Air and CBS Sunday Morning, and he’s also a lifelong Dark Shadows fan and a friend of the blog.
Five years ago, David wrote a very funny review of the Tim Burton movie, which he figured was his only chance to write about Dark Shadows. But it turns out he’s got more in the tank, so we’re going to watch the 1970 film House of Dark Shadows together, and discuss the whole thing from start to finish. David saw HoDS when it first came out, and he’s always loved it, so yeah, I know, just another example of bias in the mainstream media.
Today’s journey involves Hammer movies, overstuffed sets, inadvertent love triangles, how you can tell it’s daytime, cameos, cannons, the color of blood, and the age-old war between actors and scenery, and it ends with the extermination of everything that you love.
Continue reading House of Dark Shadows: Let’s Not Play Insane Games
“I’m going to destroy that thing that’s me in that room!”
Oberon and Haza Hawkes
request the honor of your presence
at the marriage of their son
Carolyn Collins Stoddard
Friday, the sixth of March, 1970
at the Altamont Speedway
The rise of the Old Gods
and the end of all things
The Black Goat of the Woods
with a Thousand Young!
Continue reading Episode 965: Wedding Crashers
“I created it — and your life force will make it live!”
Laugh at ME, will they! The FOOLS!
That’s basically how it starts.
They scoff at me; they dare to think me mad! Because I have vision, a will of my own, because I do not swear allegiance to their committees and their trifling sentimental concerns! Well, they can say what they like now — but I will SHOW them!
And from there, it’s pretty much just like regular apartment-hunting. You want high ceilings, and room to spread out, and you’re definitely going to need a lot of electrical outlets. In-unit laundry is probably a nice-to-have.
Continue reading Episode 476: Monster Mash
“This coffin. What does it mean?”
Vicki and Jeff peer through the door to the secret room in the Collins mausoleum. Entering the cramped space, they find a closed coffin in the center of the room.
“This coffin,” Vicki sighs. “What does it mean? Does it mean something to you, Jeff?” This is their first date, by the way.
Continue reading Episode 469: Dr. No
“I find it very egotistical of you to think that only your kind can come back from death.”
The moon rises over the great estate of Collinwood, and at the Old House, Barnabas and Julia are spending a quiet evening at home. She’s preparing an injection that she hopes will cure his vampirism, and he’s browsing through a family album, dreaming of the people that he’d like to kill.
Continue reading Episode 302: The Serpent
“The basis of your problem is the destructive nature of your blood cells.”
In Friday’s episode, Julia baited Barnabas into coming to her room to strangle her. But she knew he was coming, and waited quietly in the corner. Now she steps into the moonlight, and delivers some absolutely explosive dialogue.
Julia: I know what you are. You’re Barnabas Collins — the only Barnabas Collins, who died over a hundred and thirty years ago.
Barnabas: That’s an absurd statement.
Julia: Don’t try to deny it. I’ve investigated you thoroughly, and I’ve seen you in your coffin.
Barnabas: You realize that such knowledge puts you in great danger.
Julia: Well, of course. That’s why I took the precaution of putting a dummy in the bed.
Which is an unbelievably badass thing to say. Whenever someone asks you for an example of why Dark Shadows is the most surprising and therefore the greatest television show of all time, you can direct them to this scene.
(Note: There is a very good chance that nobody will ever ask you this question. But it’s good to be prepared, just in case.)
Continue reading Episode 291: The Alchemist