“She says, in the future, you can send your spirit back in time!”
It always starts with a box.
Let me try to explain. I woke you up, because you’re going to be a friend of mine someday. So I’ve opened your box, in the hope that the you of the future has projected back through time to replace the you of now. Does that make sense?
You see, what I need to do is get in touch with the you that’s going to wake up then, so we can do the stuff that you and I need to do, and when we’re done, you’ll put yourself back in the box, so that in the future, you can get out of the box again, and become the you that I know. Then maybe you can come back in time and help me explain this, because I can tell that this is not getting through.
Look, this really isn’t that difficult. Is there a supervisor around that I could talk to?
Continue reading Episode 1112: The Boy Friend
“We’ll have to use trickery, or force!”
“I think it would be appropriate that we seal our agreement with a drink,” says Barnabas, which is the sneaky code that fictional people use for I am about to poison you.
So he goes into the back room of the antiques shop, which has no functional furniture except for a flat surface that’s holding a decanter and two glasses. This is the alcoholic equivalent of the radio on Gilligan’s Island that only has news reports about Gilligan’s island related material.
Barnabas pours out two glasses of whatever liquid that happens to be, and then adds a generous measure of deadly nightshade that he’s carrying around in an inside pocket for just such an occasion.
Stepping back out into the open air, Barnabas hands the poisoned drink to Jeb Hawkes, the negasonic teenage warhead currently threatening everything that he holds dear. Jeb proposes a sinister toast and raises the glass to his lips, and then we go to the opening titles.
When we come back, Jeb gulps down the poison and says mmmm, yummy, and he doesn’t die or get sick or even notice that anything’s amiss, and everyone just forgets about it, because Jeb is the new hotness and shut up.
Continue reading Episode 940: Those Whom the Gods Would Destroy, They First Give an Ascot
“I thought killing him would help me release from loving him. But it didn’t.”
Terror stalks the great estate at Collinwood this night, just exactly as it has for the last 189 nights in a row. The terrifying specter of Quentin Collins still rules the silent halls, while the family is couchsurfing at the Old House, waiting for it to blow over. Young David is still leaking get-up-and-go, teetering semi-permanently on the brink of death.
Hoping to resolve this difficult problem, Barnabas Collins used an ancient Chinese divination technique to contact the spirit of Quentin, and negotiate a cease-fire. It’s now six months later, and the problem has not been resolved in even the tiniest way. I think Barnabas needs to step aside, and let somebody else take a crack at it.
Continue reading Episode 836: Murder, She Wrought
“If I only knew how you died, maybe I would know how to banish you!”
Order in the court! The honorable Johnny Romana — King of the Gypsies! — presiding.
In today’s episode, the accused, Magda Rakosi, stands before a jury of her peers, charged with the theft of the Legendary Hand of Count Petofi, and the murder of Julianka, a miniscule gypsy witch who came to fetch the Hand back.
Magda actually did steal the Hand, but she was only indirectly responsible for Julianka’s death, so I’d call this a draw. As a tiebreaker, I’d like to point out that Magda is a major character played by Grayson Hall, one of the all-time most interesting actors to look at, so there’s no way she’s going to be executed by a crew of day players and walk-ons.
Still, having a gypsy trial in the secret room of the mausoleum sounds like a blast, so I’ll allow it. Proceed.
Continue reading Episode 826: Hungarian Crime Story
“No matter how dangerous it is, I’ve got to have a showdown with Nicholas Blair.”
Really, the thing that everybody wants to know is: why can’t the Stormtroopers shoot straight in Star Wars? It turns out there are three simple answers.
#1. Stormtroopers shooting laser bolts are more interesting to look at than Stormtroopers who stand around complaining.
#2. Shooting Luke Skywalker in the head halfway through the first movie is going to leave a rather obvious gap in the trilogy.
#3. “Strong Guy Kills Weak Guy” is not headline news.
This ends the lit-crit theory portion of today’s post; we will now spend the rest of our time watching Dr. Julia Hoffman act like an unbelievable badass.
Continue reading Episode 619: The Gunslinger
“I hope I disappoint you, and die before dawn.”
Barnabas Collins looks around, and tries to focus.
“Where have you brought me?” he moans. “What is this place?”
His wife, Angelique, drifts to his side.
“You’re near the sea,” she says. “Far away from anyone who may want to find you.”
Unimpressed, he surveys the room, clearly thinking: Near the sea? Dude, we live in Maine. Everything here is near the sea.
Continue reading Episode 618: Stop Trying
“Do you think a woman’s just going to volunteer to risk her life for something as insane as this?”
Jeff Clark — an 18th century lawyer who’s been transported through time to 1968 — rubs his neck, and tries to concentrate on the journal he’s studying. He’s in the basement of a spooky old haunted house, where he’s helping a mad scientist assemble a female Frankenstein monster, because the local male Frankenstein monster has threatened to kill Jeff’s fiancee if he doesn’t.
So he’s leafing through the journal of his former employer, who was murdered by a witch in the middle of the last experiment, and Julia is next to him, painstakingly pouring some suspicious-looking red fluid from one test tube into another.
Jeff stands up, and says that he’s going to Collinwood — but then he stops, and sighs. Julia walks over to him, concerned.
“Jeff,” she says, “there’s something bothering you.”
Continue reading Episode 580: Temporary Sanity
“I can’t put together the parts of a body into a human, with life or breath.”
Sexy vampire Tom Jennings approaches his victim, Julia. As Tom bares his fangs to bite her, he crosses his eyes.
Continue reading Episode 570: Fridspeak Friday
“When you see his neck, Julia, you will know at once whether or not I am right.”
Julia walks into a haunted house, and finds a vampire sitting in an armchair.
“Barnabas, you look exhausted,” she says, because this television show takes place in a world where people worry that the living dead don’t get enough sleep.
Continue reading Episode 557: A Race of Monsters
“I’m not delirious. You know what she is.”
One of the things that you learn when you watch Dark Shadows is that there are several different kinds of weird. This is not a particularly helpful thing to learn, and learning it will not improve your life in any measurable way. It just happens, and there’s not much you can do about it.
There’s the everyday, domestic kind of weird, which involves eccentric people doing unusual things — say, a college professor taking an enormous feral Frankenstein home with him, and teaching it to read the word “clock” off a flash card.
There’s the fancy, bespoke kind of weird, which involves people acting in a completely illogical way just for the sake of an exciting cliffhanger — like burying their dead friend in the woods, and then realizing that he’s come back to life, and they only have half an hour to dig him up again.
And then there’s the kind of weird where you honestly have no idea why the scene that you’re watching even exists. That’s the kind we’re going to be talking about today, thanks to scriptwriter Ron Sproat, among other mistakes.
Continue reading Episode 539: Grieve a Little Grieve