It was during the peak of the Vietnam War that a Soap Operative evolved from an ordinary into a cult classic. I was only 10 years old and I crushed over the all girls but my favorite was the innocent Victoria Winters (Alexandra Moltke) who is still alive.
The girl is to the left is the fictional Sarah Collins, the cherubic and sad victim of witchcraft in the series who is only about a year or two younger than myself. She is 57. On the right of course was the star-crossed maiden who was the focus of Barnabas Collins. There was a bit of controversy over her, that she played a dumb girl with no sense but Victoria was the innocence that seems out of vogue these days.
As an aside, she was married to a famous man herself who was very rich and was suspected of murdering a past wife before Alexandra. If I am not mistaken he was a billionaire in the 70s. But she was the glue along with Maggie Evans/Josette. Barnabas tried to kill the evil witch Angelic, but she put a curse on him and he turned to a vampire.
Angelic really screwed up his life and Barnabas was star-crossed by the young beauties.
Who can blame him really? The actors were recycled through the winding plots when the term ‘narrative’ hardly existed and purity of heart when in vogue. Sadly the star whose real name is Jonathan Frid passed away in April 2012. With his passing I felt loss, both as Barnabas the vampire and the actor. The cast members (those remaining) still collect royalties from fan clubs and appearances.
Shot originally in black and white, which gave the macabre effect of something ancient and mysterious and even the cemetery seemed surreal. The episodes had quite a few mistakes and fortunately they were not edited out. I have the entire series on DVD which not ironically is in a coffin. The feel, the actual aura gives the viewer a sense of life and the death which are underscored as cast members die.
We are left to ruminate over the scenes and haunting music and the narration of Vicky. Her voice portrayed a laconic yet powerful burst of other worldness. It’s like dying yourself, a tragic person trying to find love in the most strange and awkward. It seems as Barnabas was coming of age despite his age and happiness just out of reach and you felt sorry for his pain and bad luck.
This was called the ‘Old House’ were some of the series darkest secrets, with coffins and caveats and expiring young ladies and tragic children with melancholy natures and secrets too terrible for children so young. Giving the idea of paradox and wistful associations.
This old house was a treasure trove of restless ghosts and troubled children while the young adult girls were the food of these particular gods. As a virtual child myself when computers were like the size of the WOPR on War games. (the movie).
The then young Vicky is around 67 and yet my affections have not changed and I am no stalker but I know I am not alone in that or the debates which naturally happen with cult followers, Much like the survivors of Auschwitz, the leading men and ladies enter for real into a place of dreams and conclusions.
Poor Vicky, the girl who appeared on a teen magazine was actually younger the Elizabeth Stoddard who was supposed to be around 16-17. So, I guess my be my way back to a time when I could be lost in nostalgia and pine for that kind of happiness that youth and dreams confer.
As she was about to be hanged she disappeared. She was kind of like a Jack in the Box with regards to séances and one has to wonder about the psycho-sexual component of the virgin’s predicament. I think she was getting a bit anxious about being a seemingly helpless waif and wanted to move on. These days she remembers this all a bit more fondly as I am sure the teen boys in the 60s and early 70s would and will appreciate.
So as we march to the Stairway to our own heavens, we glide past signs and seasons to an inevitable end and if the journey is replicated by long dusky hallways and a row of doors on either side, I will take what is behind door #2. No reason but a spontaneous relish for the sublime and poetically sad riffs like a waning tide. To a place where, we are just long forgotten shadows and a dream to the newer batch of melancholy souls.