Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Sexy Female Vamps of "Dark Shadows"

Dark Shadows is a franchise that started out as a daytime soap opera on the ABC network in 1966.  The original run of the show lasted over a thousand episodes (as it aired daily) and finally ended five years later in 1971.  The show also spawned 3 movies,  House of Dark Shadows (1970), Night of Dark Shadows (1971) and Dark Shadows (2012) as well as TWO revivals (one that aired on the NBC Network in 1991 and one that was made but never aired for the WB Network in 2004.
The cast of the un-aired 2004 Dark Shadows revival Ivana Milicevic (Angelique), Alec Newman (Barnabas) and Marley Shelton (Victoria)
While the original series started out in 1966 vampires didn't come into play until 1967 when the character Barnabas Collins was introduced.  It would go into other supernatural entities during it's 5 year run but it was the vampire storyline which carried the series (much like ABC's other supernatural daytime soap Port Charles) and this would even effect the original films as the vampire related "House" was much more successful than the ghost centered "Night" film.

Vampires of Dark Shadows (original run 1966 to 1971)

Marcia Wallace (Megan Todd)
Megan Todd was a vampire in episodes 963 thru 971

Danna Wandrey (Roxanne Drew)
Roxanna was a vampire in episodes 1081 thru 1177

 Those are the only main character vampires exclusive to the original series (there were some random nameless female vampire thrown in here and there).  The rest as you will see are used in different forms throughout the Dark Shadows universe.  One character who always appears in most incarnations of the franchise is the character Josette.  Josette is the original love interest of Barnabas Collins.  As the story goes the witch Angelique was jealous of their love which resulted in her cursing Barnabas with being a vampire for all eternity forcing him to live without Josette who kills herself via jumping off a cliff.

In the original series evil witch Angelique shows Josette a vision of what she would be like as a vampire in episode 425
Katherine Leigh Scott as Josette in the original series
 In the 1991 revival timeline the story of  Barnabases turning is changed to where Angelique turns Josette into a vampire who ends up biting and turning Barnabas as seen in episode 9.
Joanna Going as Josette in the 1991 revival
 This means had the show lasted longer than 13 episodes their would have possibly been a vampire Josette siting but going by logic the Alena/Katherine story on Vampire Diaries  is probably the direction it would have went (innocent new love vs evil lookalike bitch that turned you) since that show seems to borrow from this series quite a bit.   

Now as was popular with the whole "vampire is a guy with a tortured past longing for a lost love" storyline there is always an exact reincarnation of that lost love that appears in the future.  In the Dark Shadows universe Josettes doppelgangers name is Victoria Winters. 

How Victoria ends up in Collinwood changes from series to series but the one thing that is always the same is that she looks exactly like Josette and Barnabas is obsessed with her because of it.  She has vampire moments in two versions of the newer Dark Shadows story...

Bella Heathcote (2012)
(!!SPOILER!!)In the 2012 feature length comedy Barnabas saves Victoria who attempts suicide the same way Josette did by turning her as she fell off the cliff. 

But this is where everything gets weird as from story to story situations stay the same but who lives them changes from genre to genre.  For example in the 1991 series we get a fantastic moment as episode three started out with a great vampire dream sequence in which Daniel Collins (Joseph Gordon Levitt) dreamed that all the Collinwood women (including Josette and Carolyn) were vampires.
The thing about the 1991 series is that it takes many elements from the original show and the movies and tries to recreate them exactly but still change them (if that makes sense).  For example we have this scene that is stripped directly from the "House of Dark Shadows" film but in House of Dark Shadows (top) it was Carolyn Stoddard (Nancy Barrett) who turns and in the revival (bottom) it was Daphne Collins (Rebecca Staab)...

This is what I mean by exact reproduction but different.  The stories are exactly the same just with different characters doing it.  Nothing of interest happens to either character really in the 2012 film.  Actually I take that back, Daphne isn't mentioned at all in the film but Caralyn (Chloe Moretz) does become a werewolf. 
Another character that gets the creative license treatment in the 2012 film is that of Dr. Julia Hoffman played by English actress Helena Bonham Carter.  In the original stories Dr. Hoffman becomes a major ally to Barnabus and helps him throughout his undead life.  This changes in the updated film where Dr. Hoffman promises to go that route but eventually Barnabas finds out she's instead been using his blood to try to make herself immortal which he permanently puts a stop too.  This is the only version of Dr. Hoffman who becomes a vampire in the Dark Shadows universe.

Now that we got those out of the way we get to one of my favorite villains ever and thats Angelique Bouchard Collins.  Maybe it's just me but there is just something about the sexy supernatural psycho stalker angle I can't get enough of.  Long before True Bloods Violet and Lorena or Vampire Diaries Katherine and Tesa; Angelique was obsessing over Barnabas Collins and planning on destroying anyone who gets in her way of getting him including Barnabas himself.

In most cases Angelique meets her mortal demise around the same time Josette does leaving Barnabas completely alone with the exception of her ghost until she eventually is reincarnated in modern times.  In the original series she gets resurrected as a vampire by Nicolas Blair and that's when that series got fun as Lara Parkers portrayal of Angelique fanged out quite a bit.
 Sadley due to the horrible shelf life of the franchises revival we never get to see what Lysette Anthony could have done with a vampire Angelique character (though if you want to see her with fangs she plays a vampire in Dracula Dead and Loving it and on an episode of the syndicated series Night Man).
Lysette Anthony as Angelique (1991)
Fact is I could probably end this Dark Shadows blog with Parker but that's not going to happen.  Even though her turn is implied after Barnabas bites her and she wakes up at the end the fact is Eva Green plays Angelique as a full blown sex pot in the 2012 movie and that is worth mentioning.  Yeah, she'd be a vampire if there were a sequel but that's probably not happening considering she was the only thing worth watching in that film but I can only imagine how great sexpot vampire Angelique would have been.  Since it's not going to happen we can just end this by staring at what we did have. 

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