Samantha’s Diary… ***Some DS Fan Fiction I’m playing with***

As a little girl, I remained in a Boston private school for girls, thanks to the generosity of Roger Collins and Elizabeth Stoddard.  They have been like surrogate parents to me in my absence from Collinsport for years. Roger always said that I wasn’t facing reality by avoiding going “home”.  But which place was or is home? Is it the house where my mother, Claudette tortured me for the first seven years of my existence, or Collinwood, which was my shelter from many of her storms?

Then there was that place in the mausoleum.  Willie doesn’t even know of it, I think.  I would sneak into there and dream I had a guardian angel watching over me there.  At least I knew my mother would never set foot in the cemetery.  I remember dreaming about that faceless dark angel with a calming voice.  He’d carry me through the woods, teaching me about the birds and trees and such and the sun always shone there. In short, this entity was the phantom father I created in my mind, I suppose.  At least the shrink says as much to me.   I’ve written many songs about filling that gaping hole in my memories as well as my chest.

I somehow learned to write with penmanship from a time gone by. I won awards for it and I still prefer my quill to a fountain pen. I mastered math in my head long before I had access to a calculator.  A large part of me wants to return, and another side of me totally dreads this.  I keep having dreams of a duel, people dying, voices calling my name, and for what purpose? The worst ones are of me drowning in another time and place when I was still quite young, a long dress weighing me down as if it were a ship’s anchor, and something cracking my skull and knocking me out after struggling to come back to the surface.  I always manage to wake up shaking and sweating after those. I fear water so much! Why me? Did my mother damage me so much that I cannot tell what is reality from fantasy any longer?  I’m wondering if the dreams are symbolic.  Whatever. It doesn’t matter at this point.

I know it is time to return to Collinsport.  Elizabeth and Maggie have begged me for months.  I suppose it is time to revisit the grave of the child I once was, and can never be again.  Sometimes an infected wound must be thoroughly drained and cleaned before it can heal.  Hopefully it will not leave a scar that is too noticeable.  At least it is what the one familiar male voice says to me in those damned dreams I have every night as of late.

Only now the dreams are getting stronger, and the voices more clear.  No matter how many psych meds the doctors put me on or how many gigs I do just so I can pass out and sleep after the ambien, they are there…They are waiting for me…It’s only the voice of that dark angel that doesn’t torment me.  All he says to me lately is, “Perhaps you should reconsider this endless journey you are on and come visit your family.  You are every bit a Collins now even if not by blood.” he says.   Funny how Roger and Elizabeth keep reminding me that they do  consider me thus.  There I go–talking like he does.  Dammit I am truly done for the night–until those dreams start-up again…

—S.R.T.  April 3, 1990

I Am Told Not to Judge a Movie by the Trailer…

The title is self-explanatory.  Yet a movie trailer is what is meant to lure the viewer in to see the film.   I was going to go see the new Dark Shadows movie that was made by that all familiar duo of Johnny Depp and Tim Burton, despite the fact that I didn’t care for a lot of the earlier films they did together.  Johnny Depp is a great actor. Do not get me wrong there, but I am not what is called in some fan circles as a “Die Hard Depper”.

After seeing the trailer for the new Dark Shadows movie, I got totally turned off of the idea despite the fact that I loved the original series and I loved the Revival series of the 1990’s too.  However, I cannot look at the trailer from the link below and see anything that I can remotely identify with from my childhood, or the Revival version–both of which were the vision of the late Dan Curtis.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isjg9O7ifwM

Many criticized the original in recent years for the bloopers and low-budget adjustments that had to be made by cast and crew–but to an entire generation of children, these characters seemed real. I would have kicked Lara Parker in the shins and ran for my life when I was a five-year old girl.   Barnabas, played by Jonathan Frid, was bullied by her in my young mind and I wanted to see him “get well”.  I viewed him as “ill and unable to help it”…I’m sure I am not the only little child who empathized with Frid’s rendition of the character in this way.

Then the show was gone.  My parents divorced.  Over the years my life changed and such…Then I went to work for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. It was in my room at the officer’s  quarters that I got very bored one night and began playing around on hulu.com.  It was there I watched episode after episode of the “Dark Shadows Revival” series.  I was hooked by the portrayal Ben Cross gave…It was here I discovered Ben Cross the actor as well and found his Facebook page.

I was still able to empathize with his Barnabas, even though at the time he beat Willie, I felt that Barnabas was WAY out of line.  Yet, Mr. Cross tempered that character enough to show a realistic point–it would be hell for someone in that character’s predicament to temper that battle within between the beast he could turn into and the man he once was.  He was a good man–and his flaw was messing around with the WRONG woman.

Oh well…Cest Le Vie…Now we have this new one coming out and from the trailer, I can already tell that I cannot empathize with Depp’s rendition.  He looks more alien than human–as if he’s a combination of Nosferatu and Beetlejuice.  Barnabas should NEVER look like this…I can also tell by Burton’s direction that this is going to be more of a farce that will make the Barnabas I grew up on and adored to look more like a buffoon.  The scene in the trailer between him and Angelique made me think more of “War of the Roses” than Dark Shadows. Sorry.

I also cannot picture a vampire, while trying to adapt to the time period he’s in, making boob remarks and telling a 15-year-old relative that is not married about how her “child-bearing hips” aren’t in use…Barnabas was a gentleman and in past movies and the two series I mentioned, Shakespearean actors were tapped to play him. I believe Dan Curtis had very good reason for casting his production in such a way and having those characters portrayed as they were.

One more thing I will point out is that I KNOW my history here. While a lot of upper class colonists did wait until later to marry, there were some who did marry younger.  That is the only reason why the writers will get away with that remark about those “child-bearing hips”.

I only have one more thing to add here…The voice…I heard and saw more of a cleaned up version of  “Jack Sparrow” than I did any Barnabas Collins that was ever portrayed. For what it is worth though, the schlock I saw in the trailer would have been perfect for a remaking of  “The Fearless Vampire Killers“.  Here’s a clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1q-sukI-ZpU

I apologize to the die-hard “DarkShadows” fans and to all the loyal Depp fans out there, but I cannot justify going to see this particular film. It is sad to me that an actor as great as Johnny Depp has chosen to portray the character a lot of us loved growing up in the fashion that this trailer makes him out to be.

One thing Hollywood critics need to get through their heads is that people are not going to pay attention to what they write for the most part–only the academy will.  The ones who will flock to see this are the ones who are die-hard Depp fans no matter what he does, and those who don’t know what all the fuss is about.  Unless one of my family members or friends buys the ticket, I’ll wait for the over-priced dvd.

Other than Frid’s performance,  this is how Barnabas should be portrayed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOL5DogfA2w

I don’t care how many people criticize the make up, Mr. Cross’s mullet and such.  He raised the bar too high for anyone to follow suit, and the trailer from the new movie only makes this viewer appreciate his rendition of the character even more.

On the other hand I heartily recommend this movie because the whole family can watch it!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOqSi-_cXeE  It has a taste of “Remember the Titans”, “Bad News Bears”, “The Mighty Ducks”–and any other good sports movie that was meant for a young and old audience alike!  This one will be one of the best of 2012 and will be in theaters on May 18th~! At least this trailer has a good feel about it!  The name of the movie is “Crooked Arrows” and is about a Native American Lacrosse team! It will be worth spending the money for the ticket on. Check out the likes on its Facebook page already!