Home Uncategorized The Dysfunctional 60s Show Johnny Depp Tried To Resurrect

The Dysfunctional 60s Show Johnny Depp Tried To Resurrect


Not only was “Dark Shadows” only middlingly reviewed, but audiences rejected it. On a budget of $150 million (!), the film only grossed $79 million domestically, a considerable bomb in Hollywood. “Dark Shadows” would also make an additional $165 internationally, but there wasn’t enough audience goodwill to warrant a sequel. No legion of defenders has stepped forward to rescue the reputation of “Dark Shadows” (an increasingly unlikely endeavor in 2024).

Burton’s film, however, is a hoot. Its premise is a little broad — the vampire-out-of-water humor wasn’t exactly fresh — but its stylish execution reveals both a deep love and a gentle ribbing of the original soap opera that many audiences, perhaps, didn’t necessarily register. 

The story of the film follows the series up to a point. In the 1760s, at the wealthy Collinwood estate, Barnabas is engaged to Josette (Bella Heathcote) but is having an affair with the witch Angelique (Eva Green). When Barnabas spurns Angelique, she kills his parents, hypnotizes Josette into walking off a cliff, and transforms Barnabas into an immortal vampire. She then assembles the whole town to attack Barnabas and bury him alive. 

He remains buried until 1972, awakening to a world that says “groovy” a lot. One can instantly see Burton’s homage to the above-mentioned hippie language that leaked its way into the original show. 

In 1972, Barnabas returns to Collinwood to find Collins descendants living there. The family is now a gaggle of decaying recluses who have long been rejected by the town and behave … very oddly. Burton stages early conversations between Barnabas and the family matriarch Elizabeth (Michelle Pfeiffer) with deliberate staginess, making sure their footfalls are a little too loud, and their dialogue a little stilted. This was an homage to the cheapness of the original show.

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