Director: Tim Burton (Edward Scissorhands)
Screenplay: Seth Graheme-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter)
Cast: Johnny Depp (The Rum Diary), Michelle Pfeiffer (New Year’s Eve)
Runtime: 113 min.
Camp piled on camp would be over the top for the best cinema satirists except maybe David Lynch and the durable Tim Burton. The latter has taken on the campy '70's TV program, Dark Shadows, enlisted his usual suspects, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter, and made a comedy that holds up for laughs and wit, the latter being the province of the gifted Depp.
Depp's Barnabas Collins returning to Maine after sleeping for over 200 years, finds his dysfunctional family, well, still dysfunctional. His saving their fortune and indulging his enduring playboy inclinations, puts him fang to fang again with witch Angelique, played deliciously over the top by blonde barracuda, Eva Green.
Lurking in these shadows is Depp, who plays Collins with such uncharacteristic restraint that he captures his seductiveness and his menace in every turn of his smacking lips.
Burton and Depp have been together eight times starting in 1990 with Edward Scissorhands. Given the lack of financial success in Dark Shadows, it may be time to bury the relationship and resurrect it at a time when, like Collins, they can feed a nostalgic craze for them rather than noticeable box office yawns.