Today I went to the Vista Theatre for a special screening of House of Dark Shadows
(1970), the kickoff of this weekend's Dark Shadows Festival. I had worried I wouldn't find parking and gave myself lots of extra time for that. I easily found parking on a side street and then had to stand in line for over an hour in the broiling sun, ugh. (My shoulders are very sunburnt.)
Eventually Jonathan Frid arrived and put his handprints in the cement outside the movie theater. Then we finally got to go inside, and I had a great wide-rangingly geeky conversation with a couple from Chicago before the film started.
It was great fun to get to see House of Dark Shadows
on a big screen in a movie house full of like-minded Dark Shadows
fans, though, as I'd recalled, the film lacks the charm of the TV series. In its attempt to shoehorn a sprawling soap opera into a 90-minute film, the movie feels like a weird short-hand alternate universe of the TV show. It looks beautiful, and it has a polish the TV show lacks--no one stumbles over their lines--but the story moves at light speed, to the expense of the characters. ( 40 year old spoilers )
Tomorrow I'm off to Burbank for the Dark Shadows Festival!
Meanwhile, in Ryan's Hope-ville: the Writers' Strike of 1981 episodes have begun to reair on Soapnet. Goodbye subtle writing, hello bizarre melodrama!