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I am OUTRAGED! Burton's "Dark Shadows" is a comedy!

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Initial post: Mar 17, 2012 7:25:59 AM PDT
Cavaradossi says:
I've just seen the first trailer for the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp "Dark Shadows" film and it comes off like an Adams Family clone! The Adams Family movies were sly comedic takes on a classic sit-com. The new DS looks like a farcical treatment of the Gothic horror original tv soap series, beloved of so many. Depp is said to be a great fan of the original; how could he have perpetrated this betrayal? We're told he bought the film rights and brought his friend Burton on board. I was really looking forward to this movie, but, now, I will cross continents to avoid it!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2012 4:32:51 PM PDT
Jonathan says:
First rule of thumb: never judge a movie by its trailer.
Next, judge by the director's previous output of films. It's most likely going to be no more jokey than 'Edward Scissorhands' and 'Sleepy Hollow'. On the other hand, we might be SOL and it will be in the same vain as 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'.
If I avoided every movie that had a bad trailer, I would have missed many good movies.

Posted on Mar 17, 2012 4:40:20 PM PDT
D. Larson says:
As Zapp Brannigan said, "This is the most shocking and brutal outrage I've ever heard of that I cared so little about!"

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2012 4:41:26 PM PDT
While not having seen the trailer, we will say that many "remakes" of television shows seem to be comedies these days (Land of the Lost, 21 Jump Street, et al).

Posted on Mar 17, 2012 4:49:59 PM PDT
I, too, saw the trailer and told my wife I felt sick. How can you take a gothic-horror and make it comedic? I hope Amazon commenter Jonathan Barker is right to say, "Don't judge a movie by it's trailer" because the trailer looked ridiculous. I will give it the benefit of a doubt but I don't think the trailer is going to bring in classic Dark Shadows fans.
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In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2012 4:52:28 PM PDT
J. R. SOUTH says:
I was worried this would happen, but I didn't expect it would be this extreme. Burton and Depp claim to have been huge fans of the series, but you wouldn't know it by this trailer. Touches of humor, okay. But it's obvious this is an out-and-out farce. It may bomb...big time. The movie's principal audience is "Dark Shadows" fans, and unless there's a lot more to the film that what we've seen, we'll probably avoid it like the plague.

Posted on Mar 17, 2012 4:58:44 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 17, 2012 4:59:15 PM PDT
Jonathan says:
Wasn't the remake series enough of a joke already? Why be surprised at Tim Burton desecrating a previous story or movie at this point...have we learned nothing from his 'Planet of the Apes' and 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'?

I still say a trailer is nothing to go by, but I could well be wrong, given a few of the last Burton screw-ups lately (and coming on the heels of the dreadful version of 'Alice in Wonderland'.)

Posted on Mar 17, 2012 5:07:59 PM PDT
D. Larson says:
"How can you take a gothic-horror and make it comedic?"

Uh..."Young Frankenstein" comes to mind. As does "Fright Night".

Could it be that the original Dark Shadows TV show was so meandering and incomprehensible that the only part of it with any commercial value was the title? It's not like a it was big hit when it was new. Or that it's Masterpiece Theater. It was a cheaply made soap opera with a faintly ridiculous vampire overlay.

Posted on Mar 17, 2012 5:22:48 PM PDT
KinoChelovek says:
When Burton started doing remakes of classics, well I stopped putting out my money and he lost my respect 100%, Helena Bonham Carter or no HBC!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2012 5:23:49 PM PDT
J. R. SOUTH says:
You're mistaken on two points, D. "Dark Shadows" was a hugely successful hit. It had a six-year run and spawned two big screen movies. And "Fright Night" was concieved as a farce, not turned into a comedy from another source.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2012 5:29:39 PM PDT
Jonathan says:
Re: "How can you take a gothic-horror and make it comedic?"

>D. Larson says: "Uh..."Young Frankenstein" comes to mind. As does "Fright Night"."<

I says: Try James Whale too: 'The Bride of Frankenstein' and 'Old Dark House' come vividly to mind.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2012 5:52:00 PM PDT
I wouldn't consider Whale's "Bride" a comedy, so much as a horror film with touches of comedy in it. Same for Fright Night. You take the genre seriously, but that doesn't mean you can't have humor. The humor comes from the situations. Tremors is an excellent example. Young Frankenstein is a parody of horror films, so we knew it was a comedy going in.

Even so this is completely different from taking something that was not a comedy and trying to reimagine it as one. Hollywood has had very little success with that formula, but they keep trying it. I honestly believe it is Hollywood showing it's contempt for television.

Don't judge a movie by it's trailer. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can't. Three Musketeers turned out to be just as inane as it's trailer made it out to be. Movies cost too much to waste money on garbage. Also I don't believe in feeding the trolls and rewarding Hollywood for making junk. If a trailer appears to be ridiculous, then it is safe to assume that a lot of that silliness made it into the final cut. For instance I have no interest in seeing a 21 Jump St based on the trailer alone. It told me all I need to know.

The market for this film is not Dark Shadows fans, it is going for fans of Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, and vampires in general. That triad is probably the only reason your seeing a Dark Shadows film at all.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2012 5:55:54 PM PDT
Georgedc says:


In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2012 6:15:24 PM PDT
Jonathan says:
>James N. Smith says:
"I wouldn't consider Whale's "Bride" a comedy, so much as a horror film with touches of comedy in it."<

Well I sure do. It's much funnier than Brooks's 'Young Frankenstein' even. And it's intended as so, just as 'The Old Dark House' and 'The Invisible Man' are. There are many sorts of comedy, not only parody and outright laugh-fests.
I see what Burton did with 'Sleepy Hollow', and all I can hope for is that his 'Dark Shadows' is that good. It was humorous for the mos part, drifting eventually into overkill, tedium. I don't expect Burton to ever make a movie as completely enjoyable and funny as 'Ed Wood' again, or as dramatically poignant as 'Ed Wood', either.

Posted on Mar 17, 2012 6:23:12 PM PDT
Cavaradossi says:
James N. Smith

I agree you can't judge a movie by its trailer, but, the fact is, none of the farcical scenes in it or Depp's bizarre take on Barnabas Collins as seen in it belong in a Dark Shadows movie that seeks any kind of close relationship with the original. This is a disgrace and a shocking betrayal on the part of Depp and Burton who claim to be big fans.

Posted on Mar 17, 2012 6:27:33 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 17, 2012 6:28:02 PM PDT
The fact that people can watch the Bride of Frankenstein and either think it a comedy, or one of the greatest sequels to a horror film ever produced shows how brilliant that script and director were. Either way, you'd have to be one helluva' director to take Dark Shadows, and go for that approach. I haven't seen that kind of brilliance in Tim Burton yet.

While I wouldn't let a trailer alone keep me from seeing a movie. It will give me pause from going out like a lemming on opening weekend. Enough people do that for me to begin to hear what word of mouth is about a film about the second week. This new Dark Shadows is definately a second weeker for me.

Posted on Mar 17, 2012 6:30:29 PM PDT
Cavaradossi says:
Jonathan Baker

The remake series of the early 1990s was not remotely funny. It was a serious, and effective, revival of the classic Dark Shadows. Why it didn't make it for more than half a season is a mystery to me.

The thing is, if people who don't really know Dark Shadows like the Burton reboot and then try the original series, they will be in for a real shock. I would hate to see that, for then they might not persevere and get to enjoy the original.

Posted on Mar 17, 2012 6:44:18 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 17, 2012 6:45:44 PM PDT
Cavaradossi says:
Yes, Bride of Frankenstein is brilliant and is a must see movie, certainly all the more so if you've seen its great predecessor.

I'm currently renting the original Dark Shadows from Netflix and thoroughly enjoying it all over again. I think that contributed to the "punched in the gut" feeling this morning when I watched the trailer. What I saw was definitely not anything I was expecting. I suppose there might be an outside chance that Burton and Depp pull off whatever it is they attempted and I guess, after calming down a bit, I hope they did. Maybe it will get more people interested in the original, which can only be a good thing. But, based on that trailer, that outside chance is really outside.

Dark Shadows doesn't deserve being trashed.

Posted on Mar 17, 2012 6:47:41 PM PDT
Laust Cawz says:
It's like "Dracula" meets "The Spirit Of '76"!! They should've brought in Julie Brown!
Then at least there would've been some good laughs. It looks like the closest we're actually going to get to a sincere re-working of the original series is the "Twilight" movies.

I just KNEW Alejandro Amenabar should've been called in to helm this!!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2012 8:06:55 PM PDT
Jonathan says:
Cavardossi, re: the remake DS series. I guess I need to see more than a couple episodes to get into it. What I have seen so far seems pretty laughable. Very well cast, though.
I understand what you're saying about people not being able to appreciate the original series if Burton gives a false impression with the new one. That's the danger of any redo I guess.
The people who will get the original won't be affected by the remakes, seems to me. And the more popular the title gets, the more people will be interested in discovering the original source. That's the hope at least.

To James N. Smith: I agree completely with your last post. Tim Burton is no James Whale, I doubt he'll be able to pull of the style it appears he's going for in the new 'Dark Shadows'.

To Laust Cawz, re: Alejandro Amenabar... I thought 'The Others' was brilliant. You rarely see that sort of classy horror film anymore, very influenced by the 'Turn of the Screw' style of psychological terror.
If Guillermo del Toro could lay off the CGI and get back to what he does best, he would have been ideal for this kind of movie too.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2012 8:32:38 PM PDT
RE: Judging a movie by its trailer

The point of a trailer is to offer a "teaser", if you will, of the film to get you interested. If you cannot capture the movie-going public in the trailer (at least pique enough of their interest to plunk down ten bucks to sit through 90-120 minutes), then maybe you should be thinking about splicing together something else.

Isn't the point of a trailer to put together one to one-and-a-half minutes of the best footage in order TO convince people to watch your entire film?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2012 8:47:05 PM PDT
Jonathan says:
Shadow Fire Promotions, Inc. . . .I'm just saying that I've been fooled many times about the tone and quality of a movie by bad trailers.
It's not only bad movies that have bad trailers.

The people who put trailers together are traditionally hacks who have no personal feeling for the individual movies their assigned to make trailers of. I'm not saying that's the case here (where the director probably oversaw the editing himself.) I've seen great directors who have signed off on terrible advertizing campaigns for their films.

Not unrelated aside: in my experience, nearly all Australian movies have godawful American trailers. Not sure why that is.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2012 9:29:09 PM PDT
Agreed! Sometimes one can be pleasantly surprised by a horrible trailer and a great film.

You can never tell until the film is released in full. Remember, poor reviews FROM FANS can kill a movie as much as a bad review from a professional critic.

All that said, you have a 50-50 chance of the movie being good, just keep in mind that the last several television show remakes were....what?

Posted on Mar 17, 2012 10:17:59 PM PDT
EmmyBee13 says:
OMG... just saw the trailer... they made it A COMEDY????!!!! WTF???!!!!!
HOW COULD THEY DO THIS??? Everything I saw and read talked about how Depp was a fan of the original- HOW COULD HE LET THEM DO THIS???!!!!
I was really looking forward to seeing this film. now, I only hope people will skip it and go watch the original show on Netflix... What a disappointment!!!

Posted on Mar 17, 2012 10:57:16 PM PDT
Jonathan says:
Just a reminder, the MGM channel on youtube has the Dark Shadows remake series' complete episodes available for free:

They also have the original Outer Limits completely free:
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Discussion in:  Movie forum
Participants:  135
Total posts:  996
Initial post:  Mar 17, 2012
Latest post:  May 7, 2013

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