Almost every day, circa 1969-1970, I rushed home from school and plopped down in front of the TV, just in time to see what you and the rest of the cursed Collins family was up against in the next episode of Dark Shadows. Daddy joined me as often as his shift schedule allowed. We'd sit on the edge of our seats, grateful the sun was shining outside to counter the dark suspense on the screen.
I lost track of you after you scared me half to death in House of Dark Shadows. Perhaps it was a mistake on my part to sit on the very first row of the theater during a movie consisting mostly of blood. (Maybe there was more to the movie, such as plot and dialogue, but blood - lots and lots of blood - is all I remember, flowing right after the very beginning when a little boy follows his ball down into a crypt.) But those were the only seats left for me and my five friends.
The series was in black and white, the movie in full living (and dying... get it?) color. Just too much for my 11ish-year-old self.
But last weekend I gave you another chance and you won me back.
Giving in to the eleven-year-old inside of me, I decided to ignore to-do lists last Sunday and go see the new Dark Shadows movie. I can't resist a Johnny Depp movie and I had already been clued that it was more funny than scary. Sure, I'm 53 now, but I like scary movies even less than I did when I was eleven. (No way was I going to traumatize myself again for you, Barnabas!)
TG and Daniel tagged along with me. Daniel had watched a few of the old episodes with me via Netflix, and enjoyed them, but TG knew nothing about it at all.
I don't care if it got a Rotten Tomato award or not... I absolutely loved it! And I think my kids enjoyed it just as much as I did.
It made me laugh out loud, paying homage to the darkness and original story of the television series with tongue firmly in cheek. And it stayed true to the campy '70s era... macrame, hippies and hitchhikers, and even Alice Cooper has a cameo.
There's some blood, alas, but I guess you have to expect a little in a vampire movie. Johnny Depp was so good in it, I forgave him those scenes. Michelle Pfeiffer was great, too.
If you enjoyed the series as much as I did, I think you'll like it.
Continuing the "Dark Shadows of the Soul" theme, later in the week I jumped at the chance to watch the new Jack Black movie "Bernie." For one thing, it meant I got to have popcorn for dinner twice in one week!
"Bernie" tells the true story of Bernie Tiede, a mortician in Carthage, Texas in the late '90s who befriends an unpopular, mean and stingy rich widow, kills her, and covers it up while spending her money to help the townspeople.
Everyone absolutely adores Bernie, because he's so caring and generous, so when the murder is finally discovered, the townspeople defend him. It gets so bad that the DA (gorgeous Matthew) succeeds in getting the trial moved to another small town, just to keep it fair.
Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey, and Shirley MacLaine are fantastic. And despite the dark subject, it's hilarious. I watched it with a native of Carthage... her regular hoots of laughter testified to the accurate portrayals of East Texans.
I believe this one has a limited distribution - we saw it at the local 'artsy' theater - but if it comes around near you, I recommend it, too.
Now I'm craving popcorn again... any movies you've seen lately you'd recommend?