‘Dark Shadows’ Trailer and Images: Psychedelic Tim Burton Madness

2 years ago by  

The original 1960s TV series Dark Shadows is a strange brew of soapy drama, supernatural mayhem, and often (unintentionally) campy style that inspired fervent devotion from viewers back in the day – and gave rise to a strong cult following over the decades since its final season aired.

Is it any wonder then that iconic off-beat filmmaker Tim Burton and screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), along with Burton’s reliable leading man Johnny Depp, are not only die-hard fans of the original Dark Shadows show – but have joined forces to create a cinematic adaptation/reboot that (judging by the official trailer) looks ever more bizarre and whimsical than its inspiration?

The Dark Shadows trailer arrives surprisingly close to the film’s actual release date, considering that the movie is a high-profile summer release. Going off the early footage, though, it’s all the more obvious why Warner Bros. has been taking its time trying to figure out how to properly market this thing – because, quite frankly, Burton’s film looks to be one of the more inspiredly wacky things he’s created in a long time (maybe even ever).

Just take a look at the Dark Shadows trailer – which also does a reasonable job of outlining the film’s plot – and see what we mean:

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Smith wasn’t kidding before when he claimed that “there’s an absurdist element” to Dark Shadows that many people might not be expecting. Everything from Depp hamming it up as the clownishly pale vampire Barnabas Collins, as a fish-out-of-water from the late 18th century who clashes with the psychedelic 1970s counter-culture – to the overall twisted comical tone of the film’s trailer makes Burton’s film look pretty freakin’ trippy.

In other words: Dark Shadows looks like exactly the sort of darkly whimsical flick that Burton and Depp’s most loyal of fans have been anticipating.

For a better look at the film’s characters – including Eva Green as the (er… long-tongued) sorceress Angelique, Michelle Pfeiffer as the dysfunctional Matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, and Helena Bonham Carter as the family’s peculiar psychiatrist, Dr. Julia Hoffman – check out our Dark Shadows image gallery:

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Depp and Burton have become an extremely bankable duo over the years, so there’s little reason to doubt that Dark Shadows will (at least) open strongly at the box office. Whether or not it will eventually climb to the box office heights of the pair’s previous profitable team-efforts like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – or even the billion dollar gross of Alice in Wonderland – will depend on just how receptive the moviegoing masses are to their latest dish of (quirky) colorful eye candy and zany horror-comedy.

Look for Dark Shadows to draw in (and weird out) large crowds when it opens in theaters around the U.S. on May 11th, 2012.

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Source: Kino Gallery

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56 Comments

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  1. i don´t know anything about the d.shad. series. but i like the depp/burton collaborations, and this looks creepy and fun the same time. i´ll definetely watch it.

  2. Recently I have found Burton and Depp quite tiresome, but this looks like great fun. I’m not familiar with the original series but this really does look like the “Addams Family” films (Which I count as a good thing!).

  3. How did I know that Helena Bonham Carter was going to be in this?
    “Tim Burton Presents: A movie with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter In: A Tim Burton Movie We All Know You’re Going To See.”

    • Lol

  4. Because the original show was very dark and drab, I don’t think that it was needed to make it upbeat and funny. Adding light comedy here and there when appropriate usually works better. I think a darker approach with the family being afraid of Barnabas but trusting the witch because she seems normal but meanwhile the witch tries to manipulate or harm the family to get Barnabas(because Barnabas loves the family) but to their surprise Barnabas protects them from her would have worked better.

  5. Ok, I watched the trailer again and looks like the witch is going to try and destroy the family too. Still too much slapstick in this though.

  6. This looks like junk-junk-junk! The original Dark Shadows was dignified and dramatic, despite any flaws due to a rushed filming schedule. This new version has cameos by 4 of the original most popular regulars, and I can’t understand for the life of me why they would want to attach themselves to this modern schlock-fest. I have met Jonathan Frid personally, and would like to think he was better than this.

  7. Ah, I guess I should have been expecting them to turn it into a comedy using the anachronism gambit (and not even to our current day but back to the 70′s which further adds to the comedic elements). Not really liking the idea because it pays no honor to the original series.

    These remakes with a complete plot twist are getting tedious and long in the tooth (excuse the pun ;) ) Next thing you know the Robocop remake will be made into a musical. /sigh

    • hmmm… a Robocop musical you say? ;)

      • oh gosh, please don’t tell me I’ve stumbled upon the secret real idea?! o.O

  8. This looks terrible…

  9. The original soap opera was fun at that time, although morose and sinister, I doubt the original format would have made an interesting movie. Burton, Depp and Bonham-Carter are perfect for telling the story while making it wildly entertaining and a standout of old show remakes! The trailer is hilarious and everyone I know is dying to see it…get over the old show. It’s available on netflix to your hearts content and you couldnt replace those characters and that series with anything that would have held today’s audiences. This movie is gonna be awesome!

  10. As a fan of the original Dark Shadows, this looks beyond HORRIBLE! A true atrocity!

    I strongly urge everyone to ignore this movie completely when it comes out, but rather spend that money watching THE AVENGERS yet again.

  11. Depp?! Burton?! Together again…that’s all I need to know to see this one. I’m a huge fan of both, and a bigger fan of the two together. Beyond that, this just looks genuine – as much as I would like to see Burton do more original work again, I know this will be a wonderful film.

  12. wish Depp, Burton, and Seth Graham Smith, had done something similar to The Raven trailer. bet Dan Curtis and Art Wallace are spinning in their graves. Why couldn’t they not get Sam and Matt Hall to write the script?

  13. I would suggest that fans of the original Dark Shadows NOT see this. What absurd hacks. I don’t understand why they even bothered. We’re in a deep recession, money is scarce and they spend millions on this trash?? A snarky remake of a genuinely moving daytime fable which had production problems because of the lack of resources and money. Yeau, Dark Shadows got wierd at the end but apparently the talent isn’t out there to even touch what was magical in the orignal.
    Totally uneccessary.

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