Tim Burton has become something of a trial to the goths of the world. On the one hand, his contribution to the sub-culture simply cannot be overstated. Films like Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, and The Nightmare Before Christmas served as the gateway into the spooky side for many of us, and for that we remain eternally grateful.
That being said, he's become something of an embarrassment. He seems utterly incapable of tackling any sort of original thought anymore, and instead simply takes existing vehicles, and throws Johnny Depp, Danny Elfman, and Helena Bonham Carter at them until they are Burtonized.
Now he's doing Dark Shadows, and there is just no way this can be anything other than another depthless, stylized film aimed at the Hot Topic crowd. The time has come for the Gothic Council to stage an intervention, to go around the room and tell Tim how what he's doing with his career is hurting us.
Joining us this week is spooky dessertier Lynda Rouner, Becky Plexco of Morticia's Morgue, Jvstin Whitney from Church of Melkarth, stylist Carol Simmons, artist Darla Teagarden, co-founder of the Age of Decay festival Alethea Carr, DJ Martin Oldgoth, blogger at Night's Plutonian Shore Sarah Fanning, and living historian Morrighanne Burns.
Gothtopia: All right, everybody. Let's tell Tim where he's gone wrong.
Lynda Rouner: Don't forget to use the "I" statements. Example: I feel that Monkey Girl needs to go.
Gothtopia: That would be Lynda's name for Helena Bonham Carter. Why does she need to go?
Lynda Rouner: Because she's disgusting and talentless. Also, she's a skeezy whore.
Gothtopia: OK, that is a little sharper than we were planning for. Anyone else?
Becky Plexco: Tim, if you ruin my favorite vampire character ever, and the show that put me on the path to gothdom and Paganism with your remake of Dark Shadows, I shall make a bonfire of your DVDs in my backyard. And the "Barnabas as an elf" photos are scaring the crap out of me.
Jvstin Whitney: Batman was the only good movie you've ever made. Stop lying to yourself and everyone else.
Becky Plexco: Not true His slide into banality began with the Planet of the Apes remake. That's where I lost my "anything by Tim Burton" fever.
Jvstin Whitney: I can tell him whatever I want at his intervention!
Gothtopia: Guys, freakin' chill. I know it hurts, but let's try and keep this positive.
Alethea Carr: I just got tired of Danny Elfman phoning in the film scores.
Becky Plexco: I agree with Alethea, I loved Danny Elfman's scores, but then he stopped trying also and merely became annoying.
Carol Simmons: Tim, I like Johnny Depp as much as the next raving psychopath, but please, for the love of God, just let me remember Edward... He only needed to be pale and creepy the one time. You have plenty of money, why don't you take a nice vacation?
Gothtopia: This is better. Darla? You're usually the quiet voice of reason here. Thoughts?
Darla Teagarden: Tim Burton, I - I mean, you, have become a brand and not a creative force... at least... now that you have money out the ass, you've stop attempting to show your brain to us which means, making a movie of your own.
Sweeney Todd does not count, nor does Alice in Wonderland. No no no. I had such hopes for Tim's Alice, not some over slick regurgitation. Coraline recently however, was a nice departure and integration using technologies to enhance (And employ cottage industries, like tiny hair makers and miniature sweater makers. Cool!)
Also... oh wait... that wasn't you. That was Neil Gaiman and Henry Selick. Oops. Sooooo, yeah. I hope you someday date a hot goth girl... or (maybe even better) turn a hot chick into a hot goth chick again. I would feel so much happier for you! Right now I fear you are comfy and secure and I can't have anyone being that bourgeois on my watch. I - I mean both of us are not British. The end.
Gothtopia: Annnnnd, she's off down the hall pinwheeling her arms. Against our better judgment, let's move on. Oldgoth?
Martin Oldgoth: Dear Mr. Burton, I don't think I will ever quite forgive you for making the Corpse Bride a film that was far too short, and then from that point onwards I guess not caring as much as you used to. Although I have to say that don't share others views on your missus, she's alright.
Sarah Fanning: Tim, what happened to your imagination? You used to come up with the most fantastic characters and stories and set them in wonderfully creepy places. Now, you just remake things, and make the lighting dark and the faces pale... you've become predictable and boring (the same can be said for Mr. Elfman). And as much as I love Johnny Depp and Helena, please, stop using them all the time.
Please, take a break, reconnect with your creativity - collaborate with someone if you need to. Then when you return, give us something spectacular that's never been done before. And maybe introduce us to some newly discovered talent.
Morrighanne Burns: Sleepy Hollow was the last Tim Burton film I truly enjoyed. 9 was brilliant but that was a co-production. Tim needs some pain and misery to fuel his creative process so instead of talking him down I'll just shove him in a dark room, kick him in the bollocks and make him listen to random Pop-era U2 for three days.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.