Friday, March 2, 2012

The Creep Factor: Bonus Round

Welcome to The Creep Factor, a new feature that will scientifically determine which episodes of Dark Shadows are the scariest. The results of this evaluation were arrived at through a process involving the I Ching, no fewer than three seances and several experimental blood transfusions. They are presented in no particular order. Also .... SPOILER ALERT!

The Creep Factor: Bonus Round
The original intent of this feature was to highlight the 10 scariest moments of Dark Shadows (IMHO.) But there were two entries that hit the cutting room floor that deserve some kind of mention.

Dark Shadows was never afraid to take crazy chances. I can’t think of any other television show that sidelined its main characters and central narrative to tell stories that took decades earlier ... and then add werewolves, astral projection and parallel dimensions to the mix.
But there was only one scene in the entire series that left me wondering “WTF did I just watch?”
While under the dubious tutelage of Nicholas Blair, Adam received many questionable pieces of advice. The worst was that real men take what they want, a concept that Adam embraced in the worst of ways. When Carolyn comes to visit he locks the door and begins to maul her. When it looks like he’s finally listening to her pleas Adam throws down the door key. As Carolyn kneels to pick it up he attacks again.
We don’t see how Carolyn escapes,  only seeing her later as she stumbles down the stairs of the main entrance of Collinwood, visibly shaken and her hair a mess. The audience is left to draw their own conclusions but “monster rape” might be an easy bet.

The John Carpenter Memorial Award for Tension
House of Dark Shadows lifts a lot of material from the first Barnabas Collins television arc, with a few differences. In the film Dr. Julia Hoffman sabotages the treatments that are making him human, accelerating his age. He later sneaks back to Collinwood to drink from Maggie, who is recovering from a previous attack. It’s a quiet, eerie scene as we see a door open behind a sleeping police officer (played by Dark Shadows producer/Marty McFly grandpa George DiCenzo.) It’s a really great moment in an occasionally flawed film.

Previous Installments:
Day Ten: Joe Haskell goes crazy
Day Nine: Barnabas Attacks Carolyn
Day Eight: That's Just Gross
Day Seven: Reach Out and Touch Someone
Day Six: Adam's Ghosts
Day Five:The Head of Judah Zachary
Day Four: The Death of Dr. Woodard
Day Three: Funhouse of Madness
Day Two: Apocalypse at Collinwood
Day One: Adam Attacks

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