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Messages - Gothick

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4606
Current Talk '06 II / Re: parts you can't re-watch?
« on: August 15, 2006, 03:56:00 PM »
There are no entire storylines that I refuse to re-watch as a whole.  I seem to watch the series differently from most others because as far as I am concerned, the plots and scripts varied wildly throughout--there are marvelous moments, to my taste, right in the middle of the most ridiculous plot arcs, where somehow everything clicked on a specific day with the writing, the actors and the direction.

Basically any scene with Roger Davis challenges my nerves.  My finger starts to itch towards the fast forward button.  I'm getting the same way with poor well-meaning Hallie Stocks.  A lovely girl and no doubt a very nice person, but her voice makes me heave and her attempts at acting are very alarming.

cheers, Gothick

4607
To Ian and others who have never seen house of DS--

be aware that it's much more like a late Sixties low budget vampire flick (with a gore quota comparable to, say, Hammer's Taste the blood of Dracula, but far less stylistic finesse) than it is the series we all know and love.  The movie is populated by people with names like "Barnabas Collins," "Julia Hoffman" and "Eliot Stokes" who exist as characters only because of the superb non-verbal acting ability of the artists portraying them.  Nearly every scene, dialogue sequence or set-piece that actually established the people in the movie as characters was axed in favor of a higher gore content (slo-mo stakings, close-ups of blood running, etc.)  I well remember that as I walked into the theatre back in the Summer of 1970, I heard one person ask his friend "So, what'd you think?" and the other man's reply:  "Lots of teeth, lots of blood."  I still think of this single sentence as the ideal review of house of Dark Shadows.  They could use it in the New York Times television section.

Grayson does look fabou throughout, of course.  Love the bed-head do!  And the costumes in the ball sequence, though we see everything far too briefly, are the most lavish and exquisite yet.  The one for Barnabas was used on the show subsequently, and I think one or two others as well.

G.

4608
Just to chime in that whoever arranged for this to be shown deserves extra kudos.  The Great Ice Rip-Off is a very interesting movie--not a great picture, but well worth seeing.  I believe it was one of the last things Lee J. Cobb ever did.  Grayson's work in the picture is very plausible and toned-down--no throat-clutching or mugging here.  Her character actually has more dimensionality than the two male leads even though she has less screen time.  She does get to do a fair amount here, particularly in comparison with many of her other later film roles.

Bob Cobert's music is very UN-Dark Shadows, but at one moment, they do make a nod to the fans of their other, "legendary" project.

I'd love to see a decent print of this.  The copy I got from another fan is a bit on the grainy side.

G.

4609
Current Talk '06 II / Re: Grayson Hall--Better than Heroin!
« on: August 10, 2006, 09:42:50 PM »
Hey, Julia, I hope you include the dialogue when Peggy tells the Keach character that their meeting was "veddy Noel Coward."

After you get past the shock value of the rest of it, in some ways it's a brilliant moment.  I also love the short scene where he finds her on the beach (I believe this was actually filmed in Great Barrington, Mass.).

Best, Steve

4610
Polls Archive / Re: DS Religions
« on: July 30, 2006, 03:51:34 AM »
My first hint that Atheism was a religion in everything but name was the antics of this professor at U. Penn in the early 1980s who actively worked on converting his grad students to Atheism.  He would start arguments about it and refuse to let it go.

The remarks about Heathenism and heavy metal are why I try to avoid discussing my religion in public, whenever possible,  Can people please try to have some respect for minority religions here?

I am going on vacation tomorrow for a week and I suspect it's just as well.

cheers, Gothick one of "those people out there" who follows a polytheistic religion

4611
Connie dear, that's adorable!

Many thanks for all the good wishes! I surely do appreciate them.

G.

4612
Current Talk '06 II / Re: Vampire bat
« on: July 28, 2006, 04:21:41 PM »
Thanks!  It's nice to know that some of you find my more arcane ramblings of interest.

I'm reading one of Doreen Valiente's books at the moment and in a passage I read just this morning, she discusses some lore around the "Fetch" of the Witch.  She cites a tale by Dorothy L. Sayers, "The Cyprian Cat," which uses some of this lore as a springboard.  Valiente does indeed mention bat, cat and wolf as favorite forms a Witch would take when projecting her spirit out of body in disguise.  So there is an obvious link between Witchcraft lore and legends of lycanthropy.

G.

4613
Current Talk '06 II / Re: quentin in the "present"
« on: July 28, 2006, 04:18:37 PM »
Another stellar element of the 1840 storyline is Chris Pennock's work as Gabriel Collins.  By far Pennock's most nuanced, emotionally plausible characterization on the series, I think.

I also enjoy John Karlen's work as Kendrick Young in PT 1841 because it is so unlike anything else he did on the series.  He gets to play the young romantic hero--more in the vein of Jane Austen than Bronte (that's Frid as Bramwell--even his name is Brontean), I think.  His courting scenes with Nancy Barrett are adorable, and of course I love watching him cross swords with Grayson's acid-tongued Aunt Julia.

G.

4614
Polls Archive / Re: DS Religions
« on: July 27, 2006, 09:02:49 PM »
I personally regard Atheism as a religion in everything but name.  Technically, Atheists have DEFINITIVE views on the nature of reality every bit as ironclad as the metaphysical propositions of many of the world's religious systems.

Agnosticism, on the other hand, seems more to me a way of looking at the world and thinking about things.  Technically, it is too open ended to be codified into a system.  Just my view.  I haven't checked the all high and mighty Wikipedia which is the New Bible of the Holy Church of the Information Superhighway to see what it says on these topics.

I realize that many folks use Atheism and Agnosticism interchangeably but from my own studies I regard them as creatures of two very different world-views.

G.

4615
Thanks, again, to all of you for wishing me well!  I had a lovely day.

Jean-Claude, you know you're KIILLING me with that card!

cheers, G.

4616
Current Talk '06 II / Re: quentin in the "present"
« on: July 27, 2006, 04:09:57 PM »
Hi Mscbryk,

I certainly respect your decision not to watch the final months of the series--I've done that with other shows--I only watched about half of the final season of Babylon 5 (although I did finally view my tape of that last episode, mainly because it was originally filmed as the finale of Season 4), and the same with Beastmaster--both shows in which I found my interest failing due to poor writing and poor production strategies.

Despite some spectacularly awful plot decisions, there are some gems in 1840 and PT 1841.  I think the most notable to me are Virginia Vestoff's performance as Samantha which really is some of the best acting in the entire series, and some of Grayson's scenes as PT Aunt Julia Collins (originally a widow, she then became a spinster, poor dear--no wonder she often seemed tetchy!).  I also ADORE Joan's early scenes as Flora, the pixilated romantic novelist.  Hysterical!  Unfortunately somebody or other decided they needed to tone the character WAY down and she soon became yet another version of Joan's iron matriarch character--still fun, but not all that noteworthy.

cheers, Gothick

4617
Current Talk '06 II / Episode 21
« on: July 26, 2006, 09:37:21 PM »
I just love the selection of snapshots from Episode 21 on today's slideshow.  It almost seems like the theme is "Dark Shadows Salutes the Bright Lights of Broadway"!  In the first one, it looks as if Burke and "friend" are singing "I Whistle a Happy Tune" from "The King and I."  The second one could be Vicki and Carolyn doing that big number from "West Side Story," "I have a love" (I'm probably getting the title wrong), while the third one has to be Collinwood's unique version of "How you solve a problem like Maria" from "The Sound of Music."  (Don't you think Liz would be a natural as a Mother Superior.)

I'm not sure which big B'way hits involve telephones so I am at a loss to come up something with the final shot of Burke on the phone.

G.

4618
OMG, Heather, that is too funny!  I LOVE that scene!!!

Thanks, to Midnite and all, for remembering my solar return!  I was almost ten when I started watching DS in June of 1968--YOU do the math!

Bette, you're a genius!  A Grayson Hall marathon is just the thing to make my day perfect!  Heck, a Grayson blitz would make ANY day Heaven on Earth!

cheers, Steve

4619
Current Talk '06 II / Re: Vampire bat
« on: July 26, 2006, 05:02:45 PM »
The original bat in 1795 is what in Ceremonial Magic is often called a Servitor.  It is a being fashioned out of the Sacred Elements in combination with the Will of the Magician and exists to perform specific tasks.  In Angelique's case, she created it to spy on Barnabas and be her eyes and ears where she was not present.  When you create one, you are supposed to be very specific and sensible craftsmen with solid training will usually give a specific date or circumstance for the dissolution or "death" of the creature so it doesn't run around wreaking havoc after it's done what you wanted.  They often take the form of mythological animals such as griffins or unicorns but such beasts as cats or bats are also popular. Somewhat confusingly, there is another tradition of a Witch creating a cat, a bat, a bird, a wolf or other animal as her "Fetch."  It is linked to her life essence and if it is harmed, the Witch can suffer harm as well.  There is a story about this in the Silver John stories written from Appalachian folklore by one of the old writers--Manly Wade Wellman, maybe?  And some folklore was collected in a recent volume on faery and werewolf legends by a French scholar that has been published in English.

When Jeb summoned the Bat from Hell during the Leviathan period, that bat was clearly of demonic nature.  I think that technically speaking, it was a critter of a very different kind from Ange's bat in 1795.  Of course both were played by the same Bil Baird puppet, and I'm sure I have written far more than anyone wanted to know on this subject.

cheers, Gothick

4620
Current Talk '06 II / Re: quentin in the "present"
« on: July 26, 2006, 03:09:29 PM »
Hmmm. Well, maybe when Barnabas and Julia time-warped, even though when they got back everyone SAID it was 1970, it was really... 1975???

What really bugs me, Mscbryk, about the sloppy continuity in this part of the show, is all the hints and clues they gave during the Summer of 1970 about the Java Queen, Gerard's pirate crew, Gerard and Daphne's shipboard romance, Tad and Hallie's closeness to Gerard and Daphne, etc. etc. and then in 1840, NONE of this shows up!  at all!

Of course the same thing happens in the run-up to the 1795 storyline.  Nearly everything we're told about the histories of Barnabas, Jeremiah, and Josette ca. 1837 is disregarded when Vicki arrives in 1795.  Somehow, though, the 1970 continuity gaffe just seems WAY more outrageous to this viewer.

A New England curmudgeon,

G.

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