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

3 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:



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:


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.


Source: Kino Gallery

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  1. Amazing!

  2. Looks fun ! :)

  3. My expectations are officially topped. Looks like a jolly good time.

  4. Looks like fun.

  5. Crazy Burton Fun! Count me in!!! Let’s hope this makes me forget the disappointment that Alice was!

  6. Looks like it could be a lot of fun.

  7. It looks like a funny movie, but having grown up in the 60-70′s with the orginal DS I would have liked a more horror feel like in Sleepy Hollow I think they may have missed the mark.

  8. looks creepy love it !

  9. more depp in weird make-up. having never seen an episode of dark shadows i cant say if this is a satire or homage. will get the blu-ray if it’s any good, maybe.

  10. As an “Addams Family” style comedy, perhaps this works. But for fans of the REAl Dark Shadows like me, this is a load of garbage!!! Just like Rogan’s Green Hornet, it is an insult to the memory of two of the best shows of the 60s and 70s, Green Hornet and Dark Shadows. I have half a mind to write Rogan, Depp, & Burton,and tell them so!

    • I actually found myself quite liking Rogen’s Green Hornet. But I had never seen theoriginal, I have since and found it awful. Never seen Dark Shadows before either but this looks like fun. I like fun.

  11. I thought for sure I was gonna hate this, but I’m totally down. Maybe Tim Burton’s back to making movies that don’t suck. Big Fish was the s***.

  12. SOLD! So many elements in one trailer. Classic Tim Burton written all over it.

  13. The Burton/Depp fans will love it. The dark Shadows fans will hate it. Depp looks silly here. Why on earth didn’t Burton do it straight? He seems incapable of doing a drama anymore.

    • I watched Dark Shadows religiously when it was on TV. I love this version.

      • I will say it does intrique me but sadly I cannot give it any creedence since this looks totally opposite of what dark shadows is to me…creepy old vam who pretty much has a b slave in the person of willy and the overall creepy or dread feeling of the show that the trailer does not have.

  14. (Especially with the overexposure of Depp in the last few years), I really thought I would dislike this film, but I found myself laughing at it. I may have to give it try.

  15. The problem is Burton does not have any creativity anymore. His lack of original ideas is appalling and taking an incredibly serious soap opera (yes Dark Shadows was a soap opera) and turning it into one of his typical zany nonsensical comedies is truly disturbing. I’m tired of Burton taking a dump on prior franchises. And the worst part of it all is that people around my age (I’m 22) and younger will continue to support this mediocrity. Burton felt that he could use a prior franchise and reinvent it for a younger audience. The problem is not in him wanting to do this, it is in his execution of this film. A fresh take on Dark Shadows would definitely be welcomed by all, Burton’s brand of horror would have made this film even darker than the series. However, his continual ignorance of the source material will ruin what this film could have been. I’m tired of Tim Burton making the same film over and over. I’m even more tired of those who will support him at the box office. And I’m extremely tired of Hollywood rehashing old ideas because the studios know that an established name will bring in money. There is no creativity in Hollywood anymore. Original ideas cease to exist. The fact that 21 Jump Street is a movie is preposterous. Once again, studios will ignore creativity to simply “make a buck.” The studios are not the only ones to blame, it is the people who will go and see this film that are just as deserving. When will everyone realize that the studio system in Hollywood won’t stop producing tired remakes? When people decide to pull their support from films like this, then this entire reimagining and remaking will end.

    • Brevity is the soul of wit.

      • If I was trying to make a joke I would have.

        • I’ll have to agree with you on Burton’s lack of respect for source material.. he completely massacred Sweeney Todd. He turned it into a farce.

    • John: I could not agree more with your comment. It took a long time to bring DS to the screen again, and if this looks as bad as the trailer, it will more then likely never be seen again. What a shame, or is it a sham?

  16. Chloe: “Are you stoned or something?” Depp: ” They tried stoning me my dear. It did not work.”

    Funny as hell. I didn’t know what t think of this film the first time I watched the trailer, but after a couple views, it’s growing on me. I might just end up seeing this, could be fun.

  17. Ok, this looks pretty hilarious! I just hope they can keep the gags going beyond just the trailer segments.

  18. I love it!!! It looks so funny!LOL
    Will definately check it out if it decides to show in my country.

  19. I’m poisoned with Eva Green.
    I’m cursed and doomed to
    see any and all of her.

  20. Looks Great to me. Remind me of a funny version of sleepy hollow. lol

    • Reminds me of a Leslie Nielson movie called Dracula: Dead and Loving It or a Geaorge Hamilton movie called Love at first Bite.

      • Or the master, Vincent Price’s House of the Dead

  21. I’m sold :)

  22. I can’t wait see Dark Shadows, it looks just great!!!

  23. A Movie you can sink your teeth into???? HaHAHA

  24. Never seen the original, but this looks like a lot of fun, plus very sexy Eva Green, yeah I’ll go see this.

  25. Ha! looks pretty funny. i might check it out

  26. I wasn’t sure what to expect since the original soap opera was mind-numbingly boring and campy. This, however, looks like it will be a fun movie to watch. Count me in.

  27. Are you kidding me. I expected something wayyy more darkly and less family opened. With two words. It Sucks

  28. This is completely disrespectful to the original. Vampires Suck looks like Gone with the Wind compared to this Burton-Depp craptacular.