Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Dark Shadows Daybook: March 28


Taped on this date in 1969: Episode 725

Quentin is still a zombie, Jamison is still possessed, and Barnabas is still trying to straighten it all out. Rescuing him from the cusp of an open grave, Barnabas attempts an occult ceremony to cure Quentin, but fails. Meanwhile, Reverend Gregory Trask arrives from the Worthington Hall school, eager to add Jamison and Nora to his roster. Judith resists, but is fascinated. Obsequious to the core, Trask insists on performing his own exorcism, but wants Barnabas nowhere near. Barnabas has no choice but to agree.

So much of art is about saying no. It’s neat, tidy, selective, and disciplined. And then there is Jack Davis. MAD Magazine artist extraordinaire, Davis was the genius behind film posters for movies like ANIMAL HOUSE and AMERICAN GRAFFITI. Big collections of far too many characters chasing each other around with zany abandon. Yes. Exactly. Roger Ebert said that BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS is like a Jack Davis poster, and he was right. So is DARK SHADOWS 1897. It’s an orgy of ‘yes.’ What more can be thrown in when you have a zombie Quentin and a possessed Jamison? Why not a Trask? But one with a libido! Yes, yes, and again, yes. The joy of a moment like the introduction of Gregory Trask is that, with an imagined laugh track, it turns DARK SHADOWS a sitcom as Barnabas rolls his eyes at yet another, cosmically inevitable impediment. Barnabas? Just wait for Petofi.

On this day in 1969, Dwight D. Eisenhower died. Despite ruling over the fifties, President and General Eisenhower was no mindless conformist, and wisely warned us against the rise of the military-industrial complex. Not sure anyone listened.

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