FESTIVAL OF FEINDISHNESS: BARNABAS COLLINS
A little bit ago, when I was consistently writing my blog and working my book and supplying you with much needed hits to feed your villainy addiction, I solicited input for who my next villain should be. My good friend, Miss Melodee, read what I said about Lestat the Vampire and suggested I tackle one of her personal favorites: Barnabas Collins from Dark Shadows.
So I will. And I’m going to owe my friend a hearty apology too.
I don’t know much about Dark Shadows. I remember it was a show that I clicked past when it was on TV in the late 70s/early 80s while trying to find my next episode of Silver Spoons—I loved that Ricky Schroeder and his in-house model train. Or maybe I flipped past it on my way to Friday Night Videos (yes, I’m hitting you with all the old stuff!) Either way, I never watched the show. So when Melodee suggested it and my wife said, “Oh yeah, I remember that!” I decided to give it a try.
And folks I genuinely tried to give this a fair shake. But boooooooo!! This ranks among some of the lousiest things I have seen. Seriously. And I’ve seen some raggedy shit: Escape From LA, Wings, TJ Hooker, my son’s 5th grade choir concert where they sang Rhythm Is Gonna Get You—poorly. I have a high tolerance for poor cinema but DAMN!
Before I go too far, I should probably introduce our subject for the evening: Barnabas Collins. From what I could surmise from the show and the movie, Barnabas was a well-to-do English guy come to the New World to exploit it. He fell in love with a woman, much to the chagrin of his housekeeper (who was a lot less Mrs. Garrett and a whole lot more of the red-haired chick from American Horror Story—go ahead and look her up, I’ll wait). Anyway, the housekeeper loves Barnabas from afar while Barnabas loves some girl same Josette. But instead of spitting in his coffee or refusing to give him turn down service or whatever, the housekeeper becomes a witch, murders his whole family and drives Josette to jump off a cliff.
Did you read that?
Your girl was so caught up with Barnabas that she learned dark magic to kill everything and everyone he loved. Oh yeah, then she cursed him to be a vampire so he’d have to live forever without the one he loved the most.
This is fucked up! That meant I was intrigued. I got my popcorn, some red Kool Aid and was ready to dive in. Now I had high hopes: Dark Shadows has had two television series since the 60s and was a just released as a major motion picture. But I was fair, went straight to the source material and tried to watch original series on Netflix. Guys, that shit lasted 17 minutes. I got as far as some dude looking entirely too old to be arguing with his dad about where he’d been and then he was digging in a mausoleum for God-knows-what and I threw that shit out my Instant Queue. Didn’t make any damn sense. This isn’t…I thought…it just sucked. Maybe I’d have better luck with the movie.
Now I really couldn’t go wrong: this movie is starring Johnny “Sparra!” Depp and Michelle Pfieffer’s sexy tail (she’ll always be CatWoman to me). Directed by Tim Burton. It even had Hit Girl from Kick Ass. This had to be awesome, right? And look at the material. Short of watching Johnny eat a bunch of people at a construction site, this was the most inane piece of drivel I’ve seen in a LONG time and I watch Maury on the regular. This is an actual line from the movie, “Mom, I’m a werewolf, no need to make a big deal about it. Woof.” She actually said Woof.
I sat through this garbage because I said I would. Because I swore there had to be something redeeming about it. I mean this was 2 hours I can NEVER get back just so I could watch Johnny Depp yell at the TV, kill a bunch of hippies, and fight with a witch who got killed by a chandelier? And if you thought I spoiled the movie, that would be supposing there was something worthwhile to see. I’m going to find some TJ Hooker…