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Messages - Gothick

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4246
Calendar Events / Announcements '08 I / Re: Happy Birthday to Bette!
« on: February 04, 2008, 06:21:07 PM »
Many wonderful birthday wishes to a gal who's just the best!

Birthday hugs,

Steve

4247
Calendar Events / Announcements '08 I / The Lair and DS
« on: February 04, 2008, 04:19:12 PM »
A friend loaned me the miniseries from here! TV, "The Lair," yesterday, and my roomie and I watched the first three (of the total six) episodes last night.  This show is really the TV equivalent of junk food, but it's a fun way to put your brain on hold.  Each episode only lasts 25 minutes and the scripts are written like a vampire version of Mary Hartman! Mary Hartman! so it goes by fairly painlessly.

I was struck by a number of plot details and even some visual reminiscences that reminded me of DS.  The show also seems to owe a debt to Forever Knight (another favorite show of mine).  The only ref to Buffy tVS I could detect was the fact that one of the major vampires has a funny bleached-blond spikey hairdo but the guy is nowhere near as exciting as James Marsters' Spike.

For the record, in case it isn't glaringly obvious from the DVD art and promos, the show is aimed at a gay audience, and a lot of the strictly softcore sex is reminiscent of something directed by Chi Chi Larue, but there are very few instances of full frontal male nudity so far and the sex really isn't graphic enough to bother anyone who's reasonably open-minded in sexual matters.

Elements reminiscent of DS include the character of Damion, the leader of the vampire cult, who's brooding, conflicted, wears eyeliner, exudes an air of being powerful yet vulnerable, keeps a portrait of himself from the 18th century that he has to keep touching up because, like Quentin's portrait on DS, it changes to reflect the evil deeds his "curse" compels him to perform.
Then there's Frankie, who Damion always addresses as "Francis," who seems like Fred Olen Ray's take on the character of Willie.  The actor who plays Frnakie actually does a pretty good job with it.  There's a scene where Damion's hand is slowly reaching for Frankie's throat, and there's this ring with a very ornate bezel on the forefinger, that I found visuallly reminiscent of a shot in House of Dark Shadows. 

Another element coming up in the latter episodes is that the character of the protagonist, a reporter named Tom, turns out to be the reincarnation of Damion's lost lover from the 18th century.  The frame of the series is that Tom is being kept in a cell awaiting Damion's rising to come and claim him as his vampire consort--again, reminiscent of Maggie being kept in the basement cell in the 1967 storyline.

"The Lair" is probably too awkward and poorly-written to appeal to more than a very specific kind of audience, but I would be willing to bet that at least a few cousins on this board would have fun with it (I can imagine Penny Dreadful laughing her head off at some of the scenes).

G.

4248
Current Talk '08 I / Re: The Julia In My Head
« on: February 04, 2008, 04:04:31 PM »
I do take the point of this thread, but I don't entirely agree that Julia became a boring character after the characters got their Spring 1968 makeovers.  Julia still led the way when it came to duplicity and general craftiness (I just love it when Liz is having yet another meltdown into catatonia and Carolyn learns that Amy has disappeared just as she did in Liz's nightmare and hysterically asks Julia "What should I do??" and Julia glares at her and lets a beat pass and grits: "LIE to her!"  Classic stuff). 

And some of Julia's finest moments were in the Leviathan storyline, particularly the first six weeks or so, when Barnabas has also been recast with a suavely evil, debonair veneer, once again hiding a horrifying secret that he keeps this time from Julia herself.  Apart from their scenes together, a highlight of the series as a whole for me is Julia's confrontation with Angelique on Little Windward Island.

As I've written before, in my opinion EVERY storyline on DS had its moments of gold and its moments (sometimes hours unfortunately) of lead.  One circumstance that has led to many fans re-evaluating certain storylines is that we watch the show very differently now from how it was intended.  Many fans watch the show in marathon sessions--to relax on a Friday evening at the end of the work week, for example.  I don't hear much about fans having the discipliine (or just having the time in their schedules) to watch one episode per evening.  I certainly don't.

G.

4249
Current Talk '08 I / Re: Dark Shadows: Why Such a Huge Gay Following?
« on: February 04, 2008, 03:54:07 PM »
I'm looking at the article again and laughing--I would never use language such as "we get screwed in the end" in something meant for print publication, even in a draft.

Note to Joeytron:  do you own a copy of the zine itself?  I've never seen how it looked.

G.

4250
Current Talk '08 I / Re: Dark Shadows: Why Such a Huge Gay Following?
« on: February 04, 2008, 03:50:41 PM »
Just a further clarification--that article wasn't by me.  Sorry for the confusion.  (I was on the Boards briefly last night and tried to post that this wasn't my essay, but my attempt to post bounced due to a stupid bit of software wank.)

I'm pretty sure that the article Joey posted WAS by the editor of the zine.  I vaguely recall having seen this somewhere before.  In an academic book published ca. 1999 on media fandoms, fan fiction, "slash," etc. there was an article about the gay contingent in DS fandom that may have cited some of this, which may have been where I saw it before--I honestly can't recall.

cheers, G.

4251
One of my all time favorite moments on Strange Paradise that has a weird relationship to the culture of these boards is this week when a spirit winds up trapped in the body of a black rabbit. 

Cosette Lee is magnificent bellowing to her terrified hubby Quito:  "Quito!  You must find that rabbit!  It is EEE-vil!  And when you find it--you know what you must do!  CRUSH it!  Kill, Quito!  KILL!" 

This snippet of dialogue would make a fabulous voicemail outgoing message, IMNSHO.

G.

4252
Greetings, fans,

For those who've been curious to see an episode for the Canadian-produced "answer" to Dark Shadows, a complete show (originally produced and aired in the US in December of 1969) is now available on YouTube.  Here's the link for part one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbHcrMyZyI8

Despite all the negative comments on this, I personally think this is a great episode of a fabulous series!  I'm afraid most of the people who criticize this have not a concept what 1960s daytime television entailed in terms of production, logistics, etc.

cheers, Gothick

4253
Calendar Events / Announcements '08 I / Re: OT: Sweeney Todd
« on: January 23, 2008, 07:21:54 PM »
I'm enjoying reading this thread. Sweeney Todd from the reviews I've seen has the same gore quotient as The Texas Chain Saw Massacres and although I enjoy classic horror I really can live without the splatter biz, so I'll be giving it a miss.  But it's interesting to see all the comments about it.  I'm just a little disappointed that nobody thought it was a dud--there's usually at least somebody who proves to be the odd man (or woman) out in the group. 

Two very short responses to comments above:  I used to own the Original Cast Recordings for Mame and Dear World, and I saw Lansbury do Everything's coming up Roses (when she was doing her triumphal revival of Gypsy) at a Tony show back several decades ago, and I think that in her way, Lansbury may have had one of those archetypally golden Broadway voices.  I can't really say more about it than that, just my opinion.  Her singing on Dear World (a show that regrettably flopped) is particularly exquisite.  God, I need to get the CD for that show...

As for Johnny Depp, although he seems like a very likeable, wonderful fellow, I have yet to see him do anything that made me raise my eyebrows, much less knock my socks off.  (His stunt cameo as a prison drag queen in that Javier Bardem thing did amuse me, I'll admit.)  The MB advised me to hie myself to the video shop and check out Depp's thesping in From Hell, but I have yet to manage to do that.  I'm afraid all I can conjure up in the notion of Depp as Barnabas is a cartoon rendition of the character, although I do attempt to keep an open mind. 

I'm not sure who I would nominate as the greatest actor of our times.  Different actors show different strengths in different roles.  It would probably be someone like Viggo Mortensen or Ewan MacGregor, though.  I realized all over again today how little I know or comprehend about "the industry" nowadays when I read in an obit for poor Heathie Ledger that Ledger, who I regarded as a major box office draw today, was "not a marquee movie star."  WTF?

cheers, Gothique

4254
Congratulations to Penny Dreadful AND to the fabulous Mr. Garou!  Honors well deserved indeed.

I didn't even realize that you all were already up to Season Four!  Go Team!

I'll be voting later today so long as no mad scientist walks off with my head this afternoon (it's been known to happen!).

cheers, Gothick

4255
Current Talk '08 I / Re: Death at Love House
« on: January 22, 2008, 11:14:19 PM »
MB--it's amazing that you saved that ad!  Very cool.

I remember the original broadcast of Death at Love House fairly clearly.  The set-up for the story was quite promising but as I recall it, the whole thing fizzled out with a rather limp ending.  I do remember some great sets and wardrobe and some fun bits and pieces here and there, and it would be fun to see it again.

I wonder whether another telefilm in which Sylvia Sydney appeared at this time, "Do Not Fold, Spindle or Mutilate," will ever surface again.  I remember taking great delight in the broadcast of that movie and my Mom looking on with furrowed brow saying something like "What's up with all the old biddies?"  I'm afraid that to this day she finds my adulation of old Hollywood dvias rather puzzling.

G.

4256
Testing. 1, 2, 3... / Re: !!! Even Bigger Changes Ahead !!!
« on: January 21, 2008, 08:25:29 PM »
What brilliant work, Mysterioso Dahling!  Even in IE, I'm noticing much better speed in navigating the boards on this new host.  Most excellent!

I keep wanting to ask about your new avatar, but then THE HORROR overwhelms me and I'm dumbstruck.

cheers, G.

4257
Calendar Events / Announcements '08 I / Re: *waves*
« on: January 21, 2008, 05:07:40 PM »
Hey Ian!  Nice to have you back.  I'm sure all the Quentiniennes adore your new banner!  It's quite luscious.

cheers, G.

4258
Current Talk '07 II / Re: how $14 and a writers strike got me to 1991
« on: January 21, 2008, 05:04:26 PM »
Good golly!  The DS Forums are back and looking more spiffy than ever!  Io Evohe!

MSC, the 1991 stars did attend the first DS Festival I ever attended which I believe was the 1993 one in NYC.  I remember Lysette Anthony, Jim Fyfe, and I think Barbara Blackburn was there as well.  I saw a lengthy autograph line at Lysette's table when I arrived. 

My impression was that the 1991 stars were either too busy working or simply were not sufficiently courted by the DS Festival machine (I vaguely recall Nancy writing about how the thing is organized but I can't remember the details sufficiently to know whether one should speak of a committee, a volunteer-run thing, or a top-down business run as a side venture by Dan Curtis Productions--this has never been something I understood, just as I have never understood all the legal rigmarole about who owns the DS master tapes and where the tapes lived during the years between the end of DS and the beginning of syndication in the mid 1970s).  I have read several times that only some actors have their plane tickets and hotel rooms paid for by the Festival.  If the 1991 stars did not fall into that privileged category, there may have been no real incentive for any of them to want to have anything more to do with the Festivals.

Again, it's been noted in the past, but my understanding is that at most conventions these days, you pay the star for their autograph. Some are charging very high sums for their John/Jane Hancocks--I've heard upwards of $50 for some actors.  I'll never forget how at a Lost in Space event held in Boston in circa 1995, you could pay $99 and get a large color photograph signed by all the surviving cast members (obviously Guy Williams was no longer with us then).  At the time this seemed unbelievably exorbitant to me, but I went just to gawk and people were lining up with memorabilia in hand to meet the stars and pay their money for the signatures.

G.

4259
Current Talk '08 I / Re: Dark Shadows: Why Such a Huge Gay Following?
« on: January 16, 2008, 05:25:13 PM »
I was thinking about this thread again this morning and something I personally feel was a touch of artistic genius in Jonathan Frid's performance:  no matter how many flubs he made with his lines, in his non-verbal moments he would turn those sad, soulful eyes towards the camera with this look of such tragic mournfulness, I think every viewer in the audience felt that she or he could identify with the secret sorrows of Barnabas Collins.

I'm phrasing this very awkwardly, but I do think that this was what made Frid's work in the role so brilliantly memorable.  When he was on with the lines, no question about it, the Voice was a truly magnifcent instrument.  One of the best known scenes is the original 1967 recounting of Josette's death, but there were many other moments throughout his four years in the role.

I just post this because although I do think that Barnabas had a special appeal for gay children and older gay men as well, I can see how the qualities of Frid's performance gave the character an appeal that touched many people across generations, sexualities, etc.

I'll also echo Gerard's thought that I know many gay men who fail to see the fun or fabulosity of Dark Shadows.

G.

4260
Calendar Events / Announcements '08 I / Re: OT: Farewell Vampira
« on: January 16, 2008, 05:14:51 PM »
I think Penny Dreadful mentioned that a short clip of Vampira doing her thing back in the day had surfaced and was available somewhere.  I checked YouTube yesterday and couldn't find it.  The footage may not be available for free download.  I think there may be a documentary about her, too, and the footage may only be available as part of that.

She was an unforgettable presence in Plan 9 from Outer Space and obviously had a huge influence, although forerunners of her look could be found in Carroll Borland's performance in Mark of the Vampire (1935, released on DVD in the fall of '06) and, of course, the redoubtable Gloria Holden in Dracula's Daughter.

G.

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