11 May 2012

The original Dark Shadows gained a cult following after being screened daily into US homes in the late 1960s. The first gothic soap opera made, it featured werewolves, zombies, witches, monsters and even parallel universes. During its run, 1,225 episodes were shown which is more than any other sci-fi and fantasy TV shows, including Doctor Who and the Star Trek TV series. The storylines were full of family drama with a supernatural twist.

Director Tim Burton grew up with the original Dark Shadows saying that, "I discovered it when I was a pre-teen feeling very awkward… I was crazy about its mash-up of vampires, witches and werewolves all swirling in this weird melodrama - there was nothing like it on TV! It formed who I am and the kind of films I would go on to make". It is no surprise that he has resurrected the show for a new audience in the new feature film out today. And of course, a Tim Burton film just wouldn't be the same without Johnny Depp who said that he was so obsessed with the vampire star of the show, Barnabas Collins that he wanted to be him!

The modern day Dark Shadows keeps the Collins family living at the top of Widows' Hill in a house called Collinwood in a place called Collinsport in Maine. Two centuries earlier, vampire, Barnabas Collins from the far away land of England has travelled to his relative's home to take up residence. He ends up being cursed by the jealous witch Angelique Bouchard who is after his heart, "condemning him to the shadows for eternity" (AKA locking him in a magical coffin for two hundred years). He emerges in 1972, the year after the original TV show was cancelled) and meets the new generation of the all American Collins family. As well as getting used to the mod cons of this new era and the financial demise of his family, he also has to deal with the return of Angelique who is still determined to make him fall in love with her by taking out her magical angst on him and the Collins. 

Dark Shadows is out today. You can buy tickets online, in person at the Box Office, or by calling 0871 902 5737.