DARK SHADOWS’ Master of Makeup

In some ways DARK SHADOWS was really limited. They had the budget of your standard soap opera of the day, which is to say, not much of one, and there were times when it showed. I recall the scene where Barnabas Collins was attacked by the vampire bat on a fishing line. There Jonathan Frid is, acting his heart out, and it looks so hokey. There are other examples.

One area where the show didn’t look bargain-basement, though, was in its makeup. (Costumes and sets looked spiffy, too.) The most impressive example of makeup effects is when Barnabas Collins’ years caught up with him and the vampire aged to well over the century mark. Credit this visual miracle to artist Dick Smith, who was a pioneer in prosthetics. He transformed Jonathan Frid for the show in 1967, then repeated the effect for the movie HOUE OF DARK SHADOWS three years later. Dick Smith would go on to use the same trick to age Dustin Hoffman in LITTLE BIG MAN. He would also work on THE EXORCIST and win an Academy Award for AMADEUS in 1985. He was given an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement in 2012. And it all started with DARK SHADOWS.

By TheCheezman

WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced, and directed (and occasionally acted in) over two dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and True Crime genres. He obtained a doctorate in Occult Studies from Miskatonic University and is an active paranormal investigator. Is frequently told he resembles Anton Lavey. And Ming the Merciless.

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