Fallen…Forgotten…

I was called Fallen.  I am the one you don’t see or hear.  I stood by you when you cried, and told you all would be well.  Yet you chose to simply let me fall.  I was crushed and broken, but you were no longer there. You built your own Utopia while I faithfully stood and waited.  Silently…Hoping for some sign that my fears had not come to pass.  Then the rain fell.  As each drop penetrated my being, I longed to be part of Mother Earth once again–to have that oneness with something again, for walking on this red road has become increasingly difficult.

At least if I am part of Mother Earth, at some point we will cross paths again and I will feel your warm presence–though you will not know mine for I will be supporting your footsteps as I always have. However, the Great Spirit has other plans for me.  I will one day leave this place behind, and the grief I have with it.  As the rain washes the tears from my fading tracks, you will come to look for me but I will be gone–as well as my tracks.  And when you seek the Great Spirit to return me to you, you will find that he has sent me to where I am truly needed…

And at that point I will no longer be fallen or forgotten. I will be appreciated, needed and loved.  I have a purpose yet to fulfill in this life and will not let you drive me to such depths of despair again–let alone distract me from what I must do ever again.  Farewell, for soon you will be fallen and forgotten as my purpose on this road unfolds before me.  Even now you seek me, but I am not to be found…Please do not ask  about me or for me again. I will no longer answer for the ship I am going to leave on is waiting. I shall not look back because I have now risen.  Of the two of us, I shall now fly to my new sanctuary. Peace.

My Sanctuary

Dark Shadows: The Revival…Getting “Revived” via fans?

Some will think this is crazy but it is true! The 12 episodes of the Revival series are getting more attention since the Depp/Burton trailer has been released.  Hulu.com is getting more traffic for that version now.  Why? Fans are wanting to see what the fuss is all about and the Revival series offers a true Dan Curtis version in only 12 episodes. The curiosity is aroused once again. Curtis retained creative control over all of his productions until his death.

Ben Cross now owns the role according to his fans and he's gaining new ones! He is getting some well-deserved and long overdue respect as is the rest of the Revival series cast. Perhaps Hollywood should take note of this when making films...

Now my question is, why not release to 2004 pilot so fans can compare differences?  I do know this much–the new fans of the Revival series that are coming on board are saying that Ben Cross now owns the Barnabas role since the trailer’s release. Some of these new fans prefer the original but now appreciate the portrayal of Barnabas by Mr. Cross more now than they did in 1991.  Like it or not, Cross stayed more true to the basic instincts of such a character than most.  He tempered that battle between beast and man and is somewhat different from Frid in his approach to it.

I always say that Jonathan Frid made him more human to me as a small child, but Ben Cross made him a real “being” to me a few years back.   That being said, I am glad that finally the cast of the Dark Shadows Revival series is getting some long overdue positive recognition for their attempt to breathe fresh life into the show.  The late Jean Simmons was phenomenal as Elizabeth…RIP…Adrian Paul–outstanding…So was the rest of the cast–especially the duo of Ben Cross and Joanna Going.

I’ve heard the complaints about Ben’s mullet….I’ve heard the complaints about the Day for Night shots, but I’ll take that over a comedic farce any day of the week and that is what the new version will end up being–this time around.  If you are fans of the Revival series, there is a page for it on FB here:  https://www.facebook.com/DarkShadows.Revival .  For fans of Ben Cross, his page is here and he’d love to hear from you:  https://www.facebook.com/actorbencross …I’m sure Adrian Paul wouldn’t mind either…Here’s the link to his page–and he’s a phenomenal human being!  Look at the things he supports!  https://www.facebook.com/adrianpaulofficial  If you ever watched “Highlander’ you know who Adrian Paul is, kiddies.

I also suggest Mr. Depp do one thing for his next film…Skip the White Face make up. It will not  help with the Lone Ranger remake he is in either. Barnabas looks like a cross between Beetlejuice and a Vulcan. Here are both pics…Once you look at them go back and think about Beetlejuice (which starred Michael Keaton wearing the same make-up), Sweeney Todd, Edward Scissorhands, Etc…All are relatives in Depp’s character genealogy.  Enough with it already!

As talented as Mr. Depp is as an actor, I am beginning to wonder what other shows I loved as a  child will get laid to waste? People on Facebook and other sites are asking this also. Hopefully he will start paying attention.  He is one of the best actors there is, and I will never understand why he and Burton seem to be putting more of the shows in their cross hairs.  It is said that he’ll make “The Night Stalker” into a movie also. God forbid! Even the ABC ran version based on the original was not good!

The Great White Alligator of Baines Parish Louisiana (Part 2)

It was quiet for the rest of the afternoon around the house.  Felicia went into the front yard and sat on a bench outside by the front sidewalk.  The sun was peeking out from behind a few clouds that were beginning to disperse.  She then  pulled out  a book and began to read it when a young man was walking by. He was a sandy-haired young man in his late 20’s.  To Felicia he was gigantic, however he did stand at around 6’2″.

” ‘Ello!,” he said smiling, “And how is that little girl named Felicia who teased my father?”

“Daddy isn’t coming home.” she told him.

“Oh love…I’m sorry.  I’ve come at a bad time and I was going to invite your family to our housewarming–“

“I don’t know what a housewarming is.  It can’t be cold in there.” she said.

“Well,” he said as he smiled slightly at her response, ” it is actually a get together neighbors have when a new person moves into the area–it’s like a party.”

“I don’t know if a party is a good idea now.” she told him.

“But why Felicia?” he asked.

A  tear escaped her eyes.

“Everyone is really sad right now. Daddy died in the war and I don’t remember him.  He went away when I was a baby.” she told him.

“Oh my.  I am so sorry.  I’ll come back at another time, alright.,” he said to her as he came inside the gate and knelt to be at eye level with her, “But my father did say to give you this book. If your family needs anything, please let me know.”

“Thank you. I forgot your name, I’m sorry–“

“It is Stephan. I’ll see you later, okay?” he said.

“Okay.  Thank you for the book. I’ll read it.” she said.

Stephan stood back up and Ida appeared at the door.  “Is there something I can help you with, young man?” she asked.

He went to the door and introduced himself.  When Ida realized that he was their new neighbor–along with this father, whom Felicia had already met, she invited him in.

They talked for a few minutes and he did take her up on her offer of muffins and coffee.  Annie did not come downstairs.  Ida then explained that although Michael had been missing since Felicia was a baby, she was concerned at the impact that knowing he was never going to return would have on the child.

“I’ve worked with a lot of children, and I think she will surprise you.  She is very bright and resilient.” he told her.

“Why thank you,” Ida said, “You’ll also find that she has a very large imagination when things get back to normal.”

“Oh yes! She already told me of the white alligator! It is actually a fascinating folk tale.  There is an old Indian in town that told me of it two days ago. I tend to think that he actually believes it!” he grinned.

“Big Bear.  He’s a full-blooded Lakota Sioux Indian and he always looks out for Felicia when we go into town.  He tells her all kinds of stories and tales, but she loves the one about that alligator! Big Bear can see things sometimes. He told me when Felicia turned one that her father would not be found alive. I didn’t want to believe him either–for my daughter’s sake.” Ida told him.

“Well, I thank you for your hospitality but I must really be running along now.  I am truly sorry for your loss. If you need anything let us know. I’d like to know when the service is if that is alright. My father and I will be there for your family.” he said.

“Why thank you. I’ll let you know Mr.–“

“Just call me Stephan.” he said as they went to the door.   Felicia thanked him again for the book and went quickly upstairs.  She laid the book on her bed and looked at Michael’s picture.

Grandma was right. You really aren’t coming back. I’m sorry, Daddy.  I’ll see if I can find the alligator another day so Mommy will be happy again. I’ll still talk to you though. I promise.” she said as yet a few more tears welled up in her eyes. It was becoming real to her now.  She took his picture to the bed and set it next to her pillow. She then fell asleep.

Meanwhile, Stephan went back to his house.  The painters were painting the outside a very pale bluish-grey color.  It was at that point his father, Jack, stepped outside.  He then went to the mailbox as Stephen approached.

“Well where have you been off to? I got three phone calls from different schools already.” Jack said.

“Then I’ll call them back, Dad. It’s not a big deal.” Stephan smiled.

“Was that little girl home today? She hasn’t been by and she usually comes by just to see what your old man is tearing apart!” he grinned.

“Dad, Felicia may not be around for a bit.” Stephan told him solemnly.

“What on Earth do you mean? She didn’t get into some kind of trouble or anything–“

“No, Dad…Her father was killed in the war. Her grandmother told me that he had been missing since she was a baby but this has to be devastating for her.” he said.

“I am sure that it is. Just let me know when the services are.  Does Felicia have a mother? Jack asked.

“Yes but I have not met her. I only know because her grandmother, Ida, explained that she hasn’t left her room.” Stephan said.

“Damned dreadful.” Jack said as he went back to the house.   Stephan could see Felicia’s house from the curb.

“Poor kid.” he said to himself.  He then got into his own car and headed into town.  He remembered how distant he felt from Jack after his own mother died when he was 8.  He thought it was totally heartless to not shed tears, but then one night a month later, he got up to go to the bathroom and saw Jack talking to her picture as rain was pounding the roof.

“God I miss you, Kate.,” he began as a tear did escape his eyes, “I cannot let him see me like this. He’ll think I am weak.  The truth is, I don’t know how to do anything the way that you did.  I was always a man’s man, but you had a way with kids that I just do not have.  Your mother suggested that I read him stories and such and I will try that, but I can never be you. I love that boy with my life and I’m so afraid to let him see what I feel. I want him to be strong–and I am not.”

“Dad, you’re a lot stronger than you think.  I found that out when I broke my leg that summer playing football.” Stephan thought to himself as he pulled into the store.  Big Bear, who stood at 6′ 4″ was sitting on a stump beside the door.  Stephan got out of his car, a brand new Chevy Volt and was about to enter when Big Bear uttered:

“Felicia will unite this place.  You are good with her. That will bring you great reward.” he said.

“Okay.  Thank you–“

“No need. You do it, not me. You see things that she sees. You understand her. Other grown ups do not, but they will.  Through her eyes, this town will be strong again.”  he said.

“I’ll be right back, Big Bear.” Stephan said, still unsure of what to think of this.

“I know.  You will by eggs, milk, bread, meat and more candy for Felicia.” he said.

“How did you–“

“Dropped your list. Felicia likes those home-made lemon drops.  She’s allergic to nutmeg though so steer clear of Emma’s grab bag. Makes the girl break out in hives.”  Big Bear said as he picked it up off of the ground and handed it to him.

“Thank you.” Stephan grinned.

“You are welcome. You and your father will both learn much from her.” he said.

Stephan really wasn’t sure how to handle what Big Bear told him, but several of his neighbors told him that they always go to him when they need advice.

Meanwhile, his father, Jack sat at the kitchen table scratching his head.  He was grateful that he and Stephan were close, but was even more grateful that he learned that tears were not a weakness before it was too late.  He opened up his brown leather wallet and looked at a picture inside.  It was one of himself, his wife Kate,  and of Stephan when he was a baby.   His eyes got misty as he talked to it…

“You would be proud of him Kate.  He has grown into a strong man with a big heart–just as you had hoped.  He still has to put up with the old man being himself though.  We  still have that piano and the drum set.  I still have the jewelry. I couldn’t part with it.  Maybe one day our son will have a daughter but who knows? I often wonder how things might have been had you been here today. No one could ever begin to understand me as you did…”   he mused as the phone rang. His brother from Surrey was calling…

Jack talked to his brother Ike for a long time.  45 minutes had passed when he looked up at the clock…”Just like his mother…Shops until he’s broke or talks until his tongue falls out!” he laughed.

Stephan picked up the items on his list and then walked back over to Big Bear.

“You think I’m crazy but I’m not. I see things. Felicia needs a real hero. You’re it.” he said.

“I hardly know her–“

“The spirits say you will save her. They don’t lie.  They say your father will learn to dream again too.” he said.

“Well I appreciate your thoughts.” Stephan said as he went for the car.

“And she’ll love the book.” he replied.   This really threw Stephan off. Only he and his father knew of it.

Stephan’s thoughts were on Felicia all the way back to his house.  He felt her emptiness. He felt her pain.  He was determined to speak with Jack about it as well.

As he pulled into the drive, the sun was still shining down on the neighborhood since it had cleared up.  Since Jack insisted on having the painters out, he was grateful that it didn’t mist or rain.   When he walked in, he noticed Jack had fallen asleep while in his recliner so he quietly carried in the groceries and put them away.  He then went outside and called the numbers to the three schools Jack had written for him. He then looked over at the stove and noticed that his mother’s favorite tea kettle was on the counter beside it.  He then looked over to the left and saw her favorite biscuit jar too–one she picked up when they went to Japan one year for a visit…She loved cranes and it had pictures of cranes on it.

He smiled and looked back at his father. “Dad you always strive to keep her alive around here.  I suppose that’s good, but I’m grown now so should you decide to put out those beer steins out she didn’t like, I’ll think you want her to come back to haunt you!” he said softly as he remembered how mad his mother got at Jack for gambling to win them.  She found out that they were worth a lot of money later and decided maybe she should leave him be over it.  These spats always gave Stephan a laugh or two as a child.

 

Farewell My Warrior

I stood up here again today.  I waited quietly for the sign or a word from you.  I felt so alone–isolated and unloved without you here.  I kept dwelling on why you were taken from me, weeping softly as the willow trees harmonized along with the wind.   It was then I felt the embrace of the South Wind.  The warmth of it made me aware of a presence I hadn’t noticed before.   I felt as if I were being embraced when I was asking why you were gone.  I looked to my right and saw a number of blue jays in a nearby try.  They didn’t move even if I moved closer, but kept watching me…

It was then I remembered something else–a story an old man in the village had told me about how the cardinals and blue jays watch over us at times.  I could almost hear you telling me that it was alright.  I could almost feel you wrap your arms around me in that wind.  Then the clouds started to blow in and a mist began to fall…I then heard the cry of the Eagle.  I knew the time to mourn would pass and that the Eagle would guide me to the point to where I could find you.

I began to walk further into the forest on that mountain and the rain began to fall.  I found a cave and went inside.  The storm grew worse, but I knew the Eagle guided me here for a reason. As the thunder roared and the rain quenched the thirst of the forest, I felt a slumber come over me.  I laid down on my jacket and closed my eyes.  I then walked through a field toward a magnificent lake.  The mountains there were much taller than here and had more green trees and beautiful flowers. It was there I saw the white stallion.  You once promised me that when I saw a white stallion, it would mean that I would go to another land, far away from the land of my tears.

I had little idea that when I arrived back home, a plane ticket to a place called Montana was waiting for me.  I guess that it is there that I will discover a new world–and a new life.  I did not know that I would be needed elsewhere, but you did.  You told me this long before I lost you.  I will go forth now and will shed no more tears.  This was meant to be.  What awaits me there, I am not sure, but I know that when you told me that I would leave here, I never thought that I would have to live this vision alone.  Until we meet again.  Farewell, my warrior.

The water behind the mountain ahead...

 

 

What Dark Shadows (The Original) and Dark Shadows (The Revival) Have in Common…And What they Don’t…

NOTE: My apologies in advance for the alignment of the pics with the text between further down. I tried my best to correct this but the text would keep showing up between the pictures of Lara Parker and Lysette Anthony

Earlier I wrote a post in which I described how certain people are telling me how I should not judge an entire movie by a two-minute trailer.  That is a statement made in ignorance (at best) because the trailers are the most important vehicle to make a viewer want to watch a film or decide to save their money.  I am going to describe what the two shows above have in common…I am also going to leave you with a question at the end to ponder.

Many people who know me personally know I ran home from school EVERY DAY so that I would see if “Barnabas was well yet”…I wanted him to be cured and that bully “Angelique” to get the royal ass kicking she deserved.  I have done a lot of reading and such and studying for the past few months.  This is what I PERSONALLY look for in any movie or show I watch, and if I don’t see it, I don’t view it again.  If the trailer sucks, it will result in more monetary loss than gain in the long run because those who came up with it failed to do their homework before filming the project.  Translated that means: THEY DIDN’T DO ANY MARKET RESEARCH FIRST.  If they had, they would have KNOWN that this was not a good thing they were trying to accomplish.

First off, what did Barnabas ever do to deserve being cursed and having his entire family tormented?  Bottom line, he screwed around with the WRONG woman…In today’s time, since he wasn’t married yet, it wouldn’t matter.  The man had a flaw and it got him in hot water–period.  Was this “hot water” truly deserved? No…It was not and that is what made us as children (especially if we got bullied) empathize with the Barnabas character…This was also played out in the Revival Series VERY well.

Then there is this element of “mystery”–which really was not a mystery to us in the 90’s when the Revival series came out, but while fans of the original series were looking for a “Jonathan Frid” many were not disappointed with Ben Cross‘s rendition of that character.  Dan Curtis‘s method of casting and directing ensured that BOTH actors were able to evoke and keep our attention.  The difference lies in that Frid’s rendition came across as more “human” than beast.  Cross’s rendition made him more menacing and flawed, but like Frid’s character,  he was still a good man with a good heart.  And in Cross’s rendition, the strong emotions his Barnabas experienced were portrayed very, very well.

The Two Best Men to Ever Play Barnabas Collins.  Sorry Johnny, but Mr. Cross raised the bar too high.  After the 2012 movie is released, I believe Mr. Cross will finally be more appreciated for his rendition of the role--and rightly so!

My apologies to Mr. Depp here, but after seeing that performance in the trailer, it proves that Mr. Cross raised the bar too high. No other actor since him has portrayed him as well.  It would be great if the original cast invited cast members from the Revival to take part in the fests also.  They are still part of that legacy–and are more recognizable now than they were then.  The Revival Series will probably now get the respect it so richly deserved. The Gulf War is what led to the show’s fate–not the writers, cast or crew.  They totally rocked and so did the direction of Dan Curtis in both series.  The formula Mr. Curtis had was not broken. Market research would have proven that had Mr. Burton or Depp done it and/or paid any attention to it. I find it no coincidence that Mr. Curtis tended to use actors with Shakespearean backgrounds in theater as well.  Look at Frid and Cross…Both carried the character very well.

In BOTH shows, our curiosity was aroused and our intellect was challenged enough that we responded!  Boy did we!

Now who is the visible villain in BOTH shows?  “Angelique” DUH! Really?!   Both had intense eyes.  For each time period–both were realistic–meaning that Lara Parker kicked ass at this part in the ’60’s but Lysette Anthony did in the Revival Series.  Ms. Anthony succeeded in doing an excellent portrayal of a voodoo witch with the correct (French) accent too since that character  came from Martinique.

There is one problem and that is the total lack of a hero or heroine.  That was not clear in either series really but Barnabas did show heroic tendencies at times.  The character of Barnabas Collins is also the first vampire to come across as romantic, despite the fact that a lot of women do not like the idea of a permanent hickey on their neck–oops! Sorry! Barnabas would say it’s just a “love bite”, I’m sure.  I am grinning here.

The reason this is an unknown is that the original series was intended to be a long running show and it was.  But what do fans want here?  I think they want a RESOLUTION to the dilemma.  Either cure Barnabas’s curse or put a stake in him and kill of Angelique so the rest of the family can live in whatever after may be–OR some enterprising writer needs to come up with new characters to cure him of his curse and make the story line so realistic that fans would accept any new characters brought in.  It won’t happen for this movie though. They are already talking about sequels–AGAIN–lack of true market research…They would have known this had they done that task. If they would resolve the Barnabas issue and move on to Quentin it might have fighting chance in hell of long-term success–but ONLY if they didn’t deviate too far from fans expectations.  It was never meant to have comedic schlock in it. That would work for the “Fearless Vampire Killers” but NOT for this one.

Why?  This is simple.  This show had been established for decades.  The comedic schlock only lowered the plausibility of it at this point. It also put a mar on the credibility of the franchise and it isn’t even out yet. Fans of the original and the Revival are in an uproar.  The humor that came about came naturally when it occurred in the original series and in the 1700’s flashbacks of the Revival.  That is how it was meant to be written.  Dan Curtis did show that Barnabas did have a “life”.  To add the type of humor in the new film shatters the audience expectations  of a show they love–and this all from a 2 minute trailer.  Never tell a viewer not to judge a movie by a trailer. That is what trailers are DESIGNED to do–enable a viewer to make a decision.

One great thing about BOTH shows is that either Barnabas and/or some other character is always in danger…There was that element that it wasn’t only Barnabas that could be destroyed in a given moment if found out–but Angelique had a pendulum swinging over the heads of his entire family.  One didn’t really know where that was going at times.

Then you have that “love story” aspect…It is there. It is tragic.  However if it had been kept in the spirit of the original–even with a surprise twist by adding a new hero or heroine to resolve it, it could have worked whether or not Josette Dupres remained part of the equation.  There were clashes of wills between the vampire Barnabas and Josette when she became frightened and jumped from the cliff. Clashing of wills was present throughout the original. In the Revival it was there also–even between Barnabas and Willie at the point where Willie had tried to dissuade Victoria from coming there and tried to get her to leave the old house before it got dark.  This was the result:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_zoTfRmm9o

In the original series, Victoria left Collinsport for good.  This would have been a perfect opportunity to bring in a character or two to resolve the issue.  Had that been done, I think the viewers would have been left with a sense of closure by the end of the series.  If it were me writing it, I would want the audience to feel closure at the end–whether it’s tragic or the “fairy tale” ending the women would LOVE…In the original series, Barnabas declaring his “love” for Angelique is not credible.  It was–for lack of a better word–bullshit.

Angelique would destroy anyone or anything to have control over Barnabas. That is obsession–not love. After all she had done to his family, I seriously doubt that he could “love” her.  To continue with that unrealistic expectation would be insulting to the fans as well and they are not going to buy into it.  At best, Angelique COULD be considered mentally off-balance.  AT worst, a psychopath OR a sociopath depending on which version one watches.

Just from the trailer, the things I mention do not appear to be present.  The new movie looks more like a Beetlejuice type of film.   I think those who watched that movie or “The Vampire’s Assistant” and liked them will love this movie.  Those who know what was meant to be in both the original and the Revival series will probably hate it–despite the names of Depp/Burton being attached to it. Big names do not always equal box office success either.  We will know soon, won’t we?  I’ll wait for the dvd myself.

There is one thing that the original Dark Shadows does not have in common with the Revival series and that is longevity.  Had it not been for the Gulf War, I’m sure the Revival series would have picked up and taken off eventually.  NBC really screwed up by not giving it a second shot…Those who watch it now tend to agree with that assessment.

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!

Centuries Under the Moon…

The wind howled as she made the trip toward her home, but the young mother of two was not going to get there on this night.  Victoria was being followed.  She was being followed by one who not only sought to make her his prey–but his mistress. The year was 1790 and she tried to hurry but people along the way kept stopping her, wishing to converse a bit.   As darkness fell, the dark one awakened.  He could almost hear her heartbeat even from his crypt.

His name was  Marius Caldwell.  He had died three days prior, but the whole town knew he was insanely jealous of a man named Stephen Wexley.  He had married Victoria three years prior and every day and night Marius dreamed of being with no one but her.  Nobody knew the circumstances of his death, but Stephen had been concerned about Victoria being out late at night coming back from her parents home.  Her brother Darren was with her tonight but turned back as she neared the path leading up to her home.

Her blond locks fell gracefully as she loosened the cap in anticipation of entering the gate.  As she smiled upon entering the front gate, the thoughts of her two children, Lilly and Jeremiah prevailed on her mind.   She looked forward to taking them to the river for a picnic with Stephen the next day.  Marius, Stephen’s cousin was spurned by her father when he had approached about marriage.

“For one, you are too old for my daughter.,” her father began, “And for two, Stephen Wexley had already approached me long ago.  They’ve been friends since childhood.”

This made 16-year-old Victoria feel better back then.  Stephen totally loved her and she him. They married two years later.

As she began the walk up the path, she heard rustling in the brush.  She turned to get a glimpse, her petite frame keeping steady as she resumed her walk.  As she turned she thought she had seen a figure in the brush again.  She then quickened her pace…She felt a chill and stopped to turn around and there  he was.

Before a single scream could escape her lips, he overpowered her and took her back through the woods. The more she fought, the more he seemed to enjoy the moment.  He decided to take his time as he carried her into his lair.  After she screamed and kicked him he pulled her face to look into her eyes.

“Enough Victoria!” he said to her.  She then fell into the trance he longed for.  This power of his was something he found to be amazing.

“I see  your thoughts, but after tonight, you are mine–as it should have been. You will not fight me any longer.” he told her. With that he kissed her.  He could see her thoughts and was angry that all of her thoughts went straight toward the man she married.

“We’ll see how long that lasts. You will find that there are advantages to being damned to this existence.” he told her as he began to remove her clothing.  Blood was not all that he hungered for.

“Please don’t do this–my children need me–“

“The children that should have been mine?  Thank your father for this.” he thought to her in response as his cold hands caressed her warm breasts, and her heart raced for fear.  He then tore her skirts from her so that she stood before him completely naked.

“I will take from you now what was denied me in my life–and you will be mine for as long as I walk this Earth, Victoria Wexley. You will live as I live and come to me when I beckon you to do so–unless I get killed in the mean time.” he said.

Despite his handsome features, he knew she was repulsed by his touch.  The tears rolled as he drove her into a forced frenzy and violated her more than once.

“Please let me go…Stop…I’ll tell no one, I swear it. Just let me go back to my babies and my husband.” she pleaded in her thoughts.

“After tonight I AM your husband–as it should have been all along.”  he thought to her as he looked into her blue eyes.

“Don’t worry,” he told her, “After your first feed, you will not feel this way any longer. I can make you forget your former life in time.”

As he violated her one last time, he saw the fear in her eyes as he allowed the creature that he became to reveal itself to her.  The red  eyes were the last thing she would remember seeing as he once again put her into a trance that she could not break free from.  She wanted to scream but only silence prevailed as he sunk his fangs deep into her small neck.  Once he drained her he told her, “In three nights you will come to me .”

As she lay dying, with her last breath, she made one vow:  “Not one member of my family will be touched by this existence and you will never have my heart–that is what you wanted.”    Once she passed, he dumped her naked body by the river and threw her clothes beside it in a rage. “I own you now. All of you.” he hissed.

The next morning, one of the neighbors who had been asked to help find her discovered her body and covered it with a jacket. He then found the other clothing.

Stephen was devastated when he got the news.  The shock and the numbness that followed would result in his parents moving back into the estate to help with the two children. Lilli and Jeremiah were only two years old and five months old .   Stephen was a handsome man.  He was tall with sandy colored brown hair.  His eyes were brown and very intense.  Once he got the news, he demanded to be taken to her body.

“But Sir, you don’t want to see her as she is–“

“You say a creature attacked her.  What makes you think I will believe that knowing that her clothing was removed?” he asked as the tears ran down his cheeks.  With that Stephen left his children in care of the maid and went into the town. At the doctor’s clinic he was taken to her body.  The doctor explained that she had been attacked and her blood was drained from her.

“Was she violated also?” Stephen asked.

“I am afraid so, my boy. I am so sorry that this has happened.  She was a very sweet and kind soul.” the doctor said as he put a hand on Stephen’s shoulder.  She was buried within two days.  The rumors flew all over town that strangers had done this to her.

“Why?,” Stephen asked himself as he stood weeping over her grave, “I would give my very life if it meant that you were here right now instead of me, Victoria. I should have accompanied you myself.” he whispered as the service ended.

Three nights later, Victoria did rise again, only to find Marius waiting.

“Very Good, Victoria.  No we will walk under the light of the moon and feed together.” he said.

“No I will not!” she yelled.

With one look, she knew she was weak and couldn’t resist him.

“My dear bride, you will do whatever it is you are told. I promise you that.” he told her.

“Her will is her own, Marius.” another voice echoed as she was released.

“Wha–you cannot interfere!”  Marius interjected.

“You have misused what you have to harm this woman with no cause.” another older vampire said as he appeared.

“She is mine! Rightfully she is mine!” he said.

“No Marius. I created you and you betrayed me.  Victoria go in peace. Do as you will.”  the older one said to her.

“I cannot have my life back–“

“Then decide the course of your current existence. That is far more than what this traitor gave to you.  Had I been here, you would never have been harmed. For that I am truly sorry. Now go while we deal with this one.” he said.

“We?” she asked.

Then many more appeared.

“We do not kill among the good and we take animal blood. He betrayed his covenant with me which would have meant peace between the families. We are not indiscriminate. You may join us one day if you like.” he told her.  She walked away and went toward her former home.

One of them was behind her.

“If you change Mr. Wexley, you are as bad as Marius.” the girl who once lived by day told her.

“I have no intention of feeding on him.” Victoria said.

“Visit him as a ghost. You have the power. He sleeps now.” she told her.

“What will happen to Marius?” she asked.

“He will perish. They will see to that. Our clan takes animal blood. There are deer over there and horses over in that area.” the girl told her.

They went together toward the deer, which never sensed danger.  Victoria’s friend showed her how to feed and then Victoria fed.   The moon shone brightly above and the breeze seemed to be more fresh than before to her.”

“Your senses are heightened, my lady. You will find that when you visit your man, the passion for you will be heightened so you must feed well before going in there lest you harm him when he ignites your passion again.” the girl said.  With that, Victoria fed again on another male deer.

The branches banged against the window of the 2nd floor bedroom that Stephen and Victoria shared.  When she entered, she saw their portrait next to him on the bed, a bottle of brandy next to his hand and a glass on the floor.   As Stephen slept, his position told Victoria that it was she that he reached for.

She appeared as a ghost would with the moonlight at her back.  Stephen briefly woke to see her there.

“Victoria! Oh God!,” he began as tears formed again, “I am so sorry I didn’t escort you myself–“

“It was not your fault, Stephen.  I am alright. I carry your love always.” she said.

“Don’t leave me. I would rather have a ghost than nothing–“

“You will find another, my love.  One day–“

“No! I will not! I want no other and I knew that years ago! Please, I beg of you to stay.” he pleaded.

“I will only come to you in this realm–your dreams.” she said.

“Then so be it!” he said as he approached her and touched her now cold skin and kissed the lips that once were red and warm.

“You’re cold. Come over here.”  he told her as he guided her to their bed.

Each night afterwards she would come.  Each night he would make love to her. She saw her children from time to time but never made her presence known to them or held them.   By the time Lilli was seven, she only came to Stephen in their room.

The years passed.  There came a day when Stephen was merely content to hold her.  He was old now.  The children had married and moved away.  One night she came and waited outside for the maid and their children and grandchildren to leave.  She already knew that he was dying and losing him was causing her pain as well…

“You still mustn’t condemn him to this.” her friend told her.

“I won’t.  But I will be there when he goes. I promised–“

“IF he decides to be with her in that existence, it is entirely their decision, Maribel.” the older one told them.

“How did you know to come–“

“My dear, I created your tormentor.  His thoughts led to you. I can see your thoughts, Victoria.  If he decides on his own to be with you, it is alright to change him.” he told her.

“This is no life for him.” she said.

“As you wish, but if you change your mind, it is permissible in this circumstance.” he told her.

She shook her head.  “I have to watch them all for centuries die. I will not put him through that for I love him far too much.”

“Vic–”   Stephen whispered.

“I am here, Darling. I promised I would always be here.” she said.

“I will be with you soon, my Love.,” he told her, “It won’t be long–“

“You will sleep soon.  Just know that I have always loved you and will carry that with me for many centuries under the light of the moon.” she said.

“We will be together again, my love. You will see. The powers that be sent you to me so we’d always be together.” he told her.

“We’ll see, Darling. Now rest–“

“Love, you  Vic–” he whispered as his voice trailed off.  Within two more minutes he passed.  She quietly kissed him and they all fled.  She knocked over his glass to make sure the maid overheard that part before fleeing.

It began to pour down rain that very night.  Just before the clouds covered the moonlight, the clan could hear Victoria’s weeping in the wind.   There were no words, just the cries of torment and mourning.

“Have you told her what you foresaw?” Maribel asked the elder one.

“No.  It is not time.  When it is time, she will know the purpose and such.  Time will be set right, or she will come to terms with this existence.”

Victoria fed on wild animals and visited the family crypt regularly, crying for Stephen each time.  Then she went dormant 150 years later–after the death of her last great  grandchild.  The story of her murder spawned legends.  The ones about her and Stephen’s undying love always moved her.

Then one night she heard Stephen’s voice.  “Victoria, rise.”

“You can’t be–“

“It is alright my love.  I know everything now.  You must come out of the crypt. Your help is once again needed.” he told her.

“But I watched you die–“

“Victoria, you watched me die in a different time. Rise now. There is much to be done for the sake of our relatives.” he told her.

With that she opened her eyes and sat up.  She saw him there looking exactly as he did when they married–only in modern clothing.

“How can this be–“

“I will explain later. Come. We have much to discuss.” he smiled as he offered his hand.

 

 

© Tina Thomas-2012-All Rights Reserved

Do not reproduce or use without express permission.

 

Rainbow Dream…

It eludes me, yet I pursue it.  I pursue it for the same reason the 3 wise men followed the Star of Bethlehem–according to what I was taught.  The rainbow I am pursuing has riches, but not gold.  It has many colors, but not all are visible.  All I know is I see it each time I close my weary eyes and know that it is getting closer to me.  I saw you in that rainbow yesterday.  You motioned for me to keep coming toward you, but  I wasn’t fast enough to reach you.

Yet I feel you as though you are bringing it to me.  Who are you that you keep telling me that my destiny lies with you and to keep trying?You keep telling me to have faith in myself and believe that I have received, but yet where is it?  What do you mean I already have this?  I do not understand and you still bid me to follow.  All I know is this:  You’re too congenial and peaceful to be perceived as a leprechaun.  You aren’t a wizard or a spirit trying to haunt me…So what are you?

When you are near, I feel peace.  I feel loved–but when I wake up, the real world is there for me with its cruel devices.  I protect my loved ones from this as much as possible.  And what is with the paint you are leading?  He’s a beautiful horse yet you never ride him. I don’t understand…He has a gentle disposition.   Both of you are wrapped in the colors of that rainbow–and when I reach for you both, you are too quick for me.  Please explain to me what this is to me?

I ask this again and you give me three words: “You are loved.”   Then it seems to be alright.  I think I know what this is now…I am dancing in a rainbow toward my destiny.  Somewhere you are out there waiting for me.  Fine…I will be there.  Eventually my speed will match yours and then I will be there beside you.

The blah blah blah of Writing…Characterization and random thoughts…

Have you ever reached a point to where you just want to kill off every character you put in your own story, much like they did in the “Black Adder” series once?  Well I have…I have heard it all this week…”Send the character over the cataract or make them a bloody messiah!”, “Give your main character a tragic flaw”, etc…etc…etc…

When breathing life into or smothering my characters to death, I do not see the logic in having   “A” tragic flaw rather than several.  I also see no logic for NOT having at least one sardonic bitch in my story be it male or female. I have met men who make better bitches than some of the other females that I encounter anyway.  I also like putting dark wit wherever possible.  Also my “villain”  might be someone people can actually empathize with–much to my mentor’s dismay…She likes villains to be pure a-holes–clearly defined as EVIL.  Why?  In reality you can say Charles Manson is an ultimate villain of sorts. But in reality, was Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton or even Obama?  OR is it a matter of perception only?  It’s just a thought I felt that I should toss about because anyone who has ever been pissed at a politician of either side of the coin can relate to it.  Better yet, are WE our own worst enemies in labeling people as such?  Hmmm…What a question to pose given the political climate of the past 35 years or so…The “villains” I had most empathy for in my lifetime were Barnabas Collins of  “Dark Shadows” (the 1992 version with Ben Cross–it seemed more plausible and realistic) and  Bruce Dern‘s portrayal of  astronaut Freeman Lowell in “Silent Running” (1972).   Quite frankly, I’d really LOVE  to see Mr. Cross and Mr. Dern work together…I know it probably will not happen, but they are both freaking brilliant in their portrayals of any character thrown at them.

I also had a tremendous empathy for Jonathan Frid‘s version of Barnabas…I felt that he was “bullied” by Angelique.  If I had met Lara Parker as a child, I am 100% certain that I would have kicked her in the shins and ran for my dear life! I was a kindergartener that ran home every day to watch the original version!

For those who have never seen “Silent Running” I strongly urge you to watch it.  Here is a damned good clip with Mr. Dern here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ji67t8xJF-s

And for those of you who really admire how Ben Cross played Barnabas, here is a clip–which he played pretty damned well, I might add…I used a clip showing the bad side of him too–and after watching it, I certainly wouldn’t want to be on that actor’s shit list! Not that he’d be like this, but that voice alone would definitely command some freaking respect, don’t you think? :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_zoTfRmm9o

Anyway there are times I write purely for my amusement and my version of Dark Shadows is one of those projects…One can tell when they read it, it is much inspired not just by my love of the show, but from movies such as “Spirit of the Beehive”, “Frankenstein”, “Paperhouse”, which is a strange movie but deals with the perspective of child emotions rather well, and I also deal with the perspective of a severely abused child–my main character, who thinks that while Barnabas guided her from his crypt, was only an imaginary friend. Barnabas, however, was meant to guide her in the present time.  Much of their encounters took place prior to her departure from Collinsport at age 8 to attend private school in Boston, per Elizabeth and Roger after they get guardianship of her.

In my version, the child is going to grow up to be the catalyst for resolving all things past and present.  I was really pissed off that Barnabas “declared” his love for Angelique in the end of the ’72 series when in fact, any psychotic bitch that did to a man what she did to him would never have been loved, but rather LOATHED.  To me that was unrealistic and done in haste.

While I am not giving my whole story away, I am going to point out there that I only wrote it because I get pissed off at all the crap that people toss  about with regard to characterization.  To resolve it and answer questions as to HOW Barnabas  knows about certain aspects of technology and historical information in the present, an outside character really has to be used for this. The characters of Willy, Maggie and others are “boxed” in due to the original adaptations of it, so I dug my own “good little girl” in the form of my character from the deepest recesses of the pit of my imagination.  Believe me, given what she has endured at the hands of her crazy bitch mother, the fact that she is actually “good” is amazing–but there are flaws she has…She trusts nobody-really…She keeps to herself even as a celebrity, and she feels that all she experienced was in her imagination.  She fears things that she remembers from time to time.  Her best friend up until she returns to Collinsport (outside of her band) is her dog…Can you fans of the ’92 series guess what I named him?    :-D

I will reveal one thing…If anyone plays the part of the ghost of my new character’s dad someday (if I ever get this out there), I hope to hell it’s  Matthew McConaughey because he’d be perfect for that part.  As for the part of younger Barnabas there would have to be two younger people playing him as a boy and a young man, and then an older man to play him at age 50-55 (the namesake) in the present time.  Don’t ask…I won’t tell how that works, but it’s in there :-) !  I dug deeper than hell to explain things in a logical light…That time-space continuum that my character has to fix is a bitch to deal with but I finally worked it out…

Now for the big decision…Do I make my characters “messianic” and admirable, make them grey or send them all over the bloody cataract?  Stay tuned…Same bat time! Same bat channel!