Dark Shadows: The Visual Companion (book review).

A book for the coffee table and for ‘Dark Shadows: The Visual Companion’ you might want to make sure it has sturdy legs as this is a hefty brick of a book.

Presumably, the size of the book is in direct inverse proportion to the impact the film had at the box office and popular consciousness. As a fan of ‘Dark Shadows’ audios and the 1991 revival of the TV series and occasional visitor down the stairway of time to the 1960s but have yet to see the new film, here I am then, in the position of a book without its cover (story) but I’m never afraid to put the cart before the horse.

‘Dark Shadows’ has all the elements for success: a sexy vampire with a conscience (oh come back, Angel derivative though you are), an elegant female witch and a time ravaged alcoholic female Doctor (did someone say Doctor?). Add to this, the weird family and supernatural goings on and you have a ground-breaking soap of the sixties that occupied the formative years of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. Years later, the much vaunted and trailed film version has all this baggage accompanying it. No pressure, lads.

The book has a forward by Johnny Depp and an introduction by Tim Burton and the chapters cover the various aspects of the new film, including a page about the hair and make-up. There is also a good chapter which briefly covers the history of the original soap and how the film came to be developed.

One of the main things that this book shows is the incredible talents used in the making of this film, not just the obvious ones but every element that goes into any film. Particularly, this highlights the use of Pinewood Studios in the UK. It’s nice to know that this Gothic extravaganza set in Maine was filmed in good old Pinewood Studios in England.

Overall, this is a nice glossy book which hasn’t got too many words and has lots of photos. So it’s perfect for a fan. It’s glossy and shiny and will grace your table. If you love the film or even if you only mildly respect it this will prove a nice add on to it.

Sue Davies

December 2012

(pub: Titan Books. 192 page oblong hardback. Price: £29.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78116-255-2)

check out website: www.titanbooks.com




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