The craze for sanguinary entertainment is hardly slowing down. In an attempt to appease fans while making profits, studios are reworking many vampire fan favorites into film reboots. This trend of remaking bloodsucking classics has inspired movies from "Bram Stoker's Dracula" on down. The mother of most modern vampire films is 1922's "Nosferatu" which was remade in 1979 as "Nosferatu the Vampyre."
In the latest attempt to bring back vampire classics, the late 1960s TV series "Dark Shadows" has been resurrected as a kitschy film starring Johnny Depp. "Dark Shadows" was an early prototype for many popular TV series today like, "The Vampire Diaries," "True Blood," and "Being Human." While the supernatural elements in "Dark Shadows" were introduced slowly and sparingly, its subject matter made it the first of its kind on network television.
There was an ill-fated remake in 1991 on NBC with the same title that lasted only 12 episodes. Now, in the 2012 film adaptation, Johnny Depp and Tim Burton collaborate to create a campy, tongue-in-cheek version of the melodramatic soap. The film's producer, Graham King, told Tje Los Angeles Times, "People say this is a remake of the old TV series but it's really not. I feel it's a very commercial, accessible film for people to go to and have a really fun time."
The "Dark Shadows" film revolves around vampire Barnabas Collins (played by Depp), who is cursed by a witch in 1752 and awakes centuries later in the 1970s (arguably one of the funniest decades to date, at least fashion-wise). Barnabas must juggle modern conveniences, his living descendants, and old grudges.
'Van Helsing' a 'Fright'
The 2011 "Fright Night" remake, which made a respectable dent in box office sales, proved a pair of pointy teeth on a hot actor (enter Colin Farrell) is a prized commodity. The storyline, however predictable, demonstrated an absence of romance surrounding the danger and intrigue heaped on vampires that compelled many viewers overdosing on "Twilight's" sugary plot.
Fang-ridden throwbacks persist despite some inevitable failures. A rumored remake of "Van Helsing," an 8-year-old box office failure starring Hugh Jackman, has circulated since 2010. Tom Cruise's name was dubiously attached and recently Universal Pictures confirmed "Van Helsing's" comeback with the indomitable Cruise slated to play the lead role.
Cruise has proven prowess when it comes to fervent couch-jumping; wielding pointy wooden stakes should be a breeze. With this kind of agility in his arsenal, there is no telling the damage this latest Van Helsing will unleash on the supernatural and on moviegoers.
'Buffy' Is Back
"Avengers" director Joss Whedon created the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" TV series from a popular 1992 film. The series had a wildly successful seven-season run, spawning a spinoff in "Angel," but Warner Bros. decided Whedon's input wasn't necessary for the current film revival.
Heather Morris, who stars as the ditzy, Ke$ha-eque Brittany Pierce on "Glee," is rumored to be taking over slayer duties from film Buffy Kristy Swanson and TV series Buffy Sarah Michelle Gellar. Although Gellar and Whedon have been quite outspoken about their opposition to the new project, the "Buffy" concept is a perfect specimen of the type of romanticized, supernatural drama that carries mass appeal. Evidently, studios are never wont to toss a lucrative formula.
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