Davis: Depp realizes childhood dream

How often does a daytime soap opera get turned into a movie—in the case of Dark Shadows, three times?

How often does a daytime soap opera get turned into a movie—in the case of Dark Shadows, three times?

It originally ran weekdays on ABC from June 1966 to April 1971 but it was not a usual soap. Originally, there were no supernatural elements to it but, six months after it began, ghosts were introduced.

After a year, it became popular when the character of the vampire Barnabas Collins was introduced. Long before TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, True Blood and Fringe, it not only featured vampires but werewolves, witches, time travel and a parallel universe.

Like most soap operas, there were new episodes produced daily, and therefore amassed more episodes than most other sci-fi/fantasy genre series including Doctor Who and the entire Star Trek franchise.

The popularity of the series led to two movies: House of Dark Shadows in 1970 and Night of Dark Shadows in 1971.

The TV show is now considered a camp classic and the movie remake plays up on that campiness.

Both director Tim Burton and Johnny Depp were fans of the TV series so it was inevitable they would team up (for the eighth time) for the movie remake. Apparently, Depp was so obsessed with the character of Barnabas Collins that he wanted to be him (childhood dreams do come true).

In the movie, Barnabas is part of an immigrant family from Liverpool, England, who settle in Collinsport, Main in 1752. He grows up to be a wealthy playboy and is the master of Collinwood Manor. When he breaks the heart of a witch, she turns him into a vampire and buries him alive until he is accidentally freed in 1972.

After 200 years, he finds that his once-magnificent mansion is in ruins and occupied by his dysfunctional descendants, all of whom are hiding dark and horrifying secrets.

Also starring is Michelle Pfeiffer (who previously worked with Burton as Catwoman in Batman Returns), Jonny Lee Miller (TV’s Eli Stone), Eva Green (Casino Royale), Chloë Moretz (Kick-Ass, Hugo) and frequent Burton collaborators Christopher Lee (who has played Dracula numerous times) and Helena Bonham Carter (Burton’s wife) as well as cameo appearances by original TV cast members Jonathan Frid, Lara Parker, David Selby and Kathryn Leigh Scott.

In a sad coincidence, Dark Shadows marks the final film appearance of Frid, who was the original Barnabas Collins.

•••

Over the past week, I have become increasingly aware that many people do not know that Landmark Cinemas is opening a brand new, state-of-the-art, eight-screen theatre that is only weeks away from opening.

Although located just over the bridge in West Kelowna, the new theatre will draw from all over the Central Okanagan with all-digital picture and sound, large screens, stadium seating and the “Extreme” auditorium which will provide the best movie going experience in the interior of British Columbia.

It will also allow for even more movie selection at all theatres in the Central Okanagan. Stay tuned for more details.

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