Soon to be seen on the cover of nearly every upcoming monster 'zine will be images of a certain, familiar denizen of the dark. That's right, on the leathery wings of the latest of vampire crazes, it won't be long until dark shadows -- and an eponymously-titled film -- will be stretching its way across a big screen near you. Due for release this May, DARK SHADOWS, a Tim Burton/Johnny Depp feature, is bound to be a little different than we all would expect, I can guarantee you that.
In what looks to me as the first major monster mag to feature an article about the film -- as well as a cover image -- HORRORHOUND magazine states that Depp has had a life-long infatuation with the show, and especially its leading character, vampire Barnabas Collins (originally played by Jonathan Frid) -- so much, in fact, that he personally purchased the rights to the franchise.
The movie is in post-production, so it looks like it will be released on the heels of another anticipated comic book blockbuster film, THE AVENGERS. What seems to be a little odd (and that's not saying much when you're talking about a Tim Burton movie) is that there doesn't appear to be any readily available trailer yet. Usually, by this stage of the game the YouTube virus is cranking up the temperature on the brow of many 'a fan.
Another, more controversial topic, however, is the buzz about Johnny Depp's Barnabas make-up. Lording over a huge make-up department for DARK SHADOWS is Oscar-winner Joel Harlow. Director Burton has apparently spared no expense on getting his (and partner Depp's) life's vision on the screen. Harlow is a big name among the make-up and special effects cognescenti. He has worked on such make-up heavy films as PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GREEN LANTERN, BATTLE: LOS ANGELES, TV's MADMEN, and another Burton remake, PLANET OF THE APES. But what seems to be vexing among hardcore fans is the Depp's Barnabas make-up that appears to be, as one blog-poster comments, "slathered on". Others are joking about Depp looking more like Michael Jackson than Barnabas Collins. We'll have to see how things turn out after post production, I guess.
Personally, I am anticipating the release of DARK SHADOWS just about as fervently as I did last year's franchise "prequel", RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES. Let's hope that the shadows fall, but in a good and creepy way.