Dark Shadows: Bride of the Monster

Adam has fallen in love with Carolyn. Unfortunately, he decides to take Nicholas’s insidious advice about being a man and taking what he wants, and he grabs her. Carolyn, fortunately, is able to fend him off. She then asks Professor Stokes to have a fatherly man-to-man talk with Adam.

The professor does, although with less emphasis on keeping his hands off girls and more on a delicate explanation of why Carolyn wouldn’t ever marry Adam–for it is marriage the big grabby lug has in mind. Stokes has had hopes of teaching Adam so that he can eventually go out into the world and look after himself, but it really doesn’t seem likely.

Honesty leads the professor to tell Adam all he knows about Adam’s creation, and that’s just too much for Adam. He’s upset at Stokes for keeping this from him up until now, but the person he really blames is Barnabas, whom he believes created him in the first place.

Stokes can do nothing to make Adam feel better, and it’s Nicholas who offers more “advice” on how Adam can solve his problem. One evening after dark, Adam sneaks out of his hiding place at Collinwood and goes over to the old house to astonish Barnabas and Willie with his increased articulation (he could barely put two words together the last time they saw him). He makes an even more astonishing demand. He wants Barnabas to make another person just like him, but a woman so that she will love him.

Bride of FrankensteinNow, this sort of thing never works. You can’t make someone love you, even if you make them from scratch.  Neither Barnabas nor Adam is familiar with Bride of Frankenstein, but the image that immediately comes into my head is of Elsa Lanchester in an electric beehive hairdo drawing back and hissing like a cat at Boris Karloff.

Beehive or no beehive, is Adam’s plan going to turn out any better?

Barnabas rightly points out that he wasn’t the one who created Adam; it was the late Dr. Lang. Dr. Hoffman only finished up the job by following his notes, but she’s not an expert. Barnabas himself has no idea how they did it. He’s not a mad scientist or a doctor. Adam refuses to believe him.

To force Barnabas to do as he wants, Adam kidnaps Vicky as she leaves the old house later that evening; she had dropped by to tell Barnabas that she and Jeff Clark are engaged. When Jeff comes looking for Vicky, Barnabas guesses right away what’s happened to her.

While he and Julia Hoffman are searching the woods, Barnabas is alarmed by the sound of a howling dog–always a sign on Dark Shadows that something supernatural is going on–and he has some kind of blackout. The next thing he knows, he’s at Collinwood. Jeff, who has also been searching, doesn’t find Vicky but he does find a man who’s bleeding badly from a bite on his throat.

Julia’s afraid that Barnabas did it, but he insists it wasn’t him. So, is there another vampire out there?

Adam, meanwhile, has taken Vicky back to his room in the abandoned west wing at Collinwood, tied her up and hidden her in a closet. Sadly, this isn’t the first time Vicky’s been through this kind of abduction; I think it’s the third. He then lies to Carolyn when she asks if he had anything to do with her friend’s disappearance. Barnabas had told her that Adam was responsible. Since she doesn’t see anything amiss, she believes Adam, but it’s too dangerous for him to keep his hostage where someone might easily find her.

Nicholas, hearing about Vicky’s disappearance the next day, heads over to Adam’s hiding place and takes charge of the kidnapping. He gives Adam a drug to dope Vicky up; while she’s unconscious that night, they convey her over to a nearly empty room at his house so that when she wakes up she has no idea where she is.

Vampire Angelique Vicky’s not the only secret being kept over at Nicholas’s house. When he goes down to that little room in the basement and opens Angelique’s coffin, we see that she’s young and blonde again… and fangy.

Hah! I knew she wasn’t gone for good. Did Lara Parker even get a whole week off work before she had to come back as Vampira?

Nicholas explains his own plan to vampire-Angelique. By forcing Barnabas and Julia to create an Eve for Adam, he isn’t so much interested in fulfilling Adam’s love life as he is with engendering a race of people that will help him take over the world. (So it’s Bride of the Monster in more ways than one).

Eventually, Barnabas and Julia do agree to work on creating Eve in exchange for Vicky’s release. Julia sets up a lab in the basement and starts studying Dr. Lang’s notes on his experiments so she can recreate what he did. They are going to need body parts for Eve; Willie gets chosen for this graveyard work and balks at first, even to the point where he doesn’t submit to their threats to send him back to the mental hospital–he’s that repulsed by the idea. But Barnabas does talk him into it and offers to go with him on the first dig.

Before this work gets started, Vicky is released. Nicholas lets the door to her room creak open just a little and she is allowed to walk out of the house. Nicholas also places her under some kind of hypnotic spell so that by the time she gets home, she’s forgotten all about the last three days. She enters Collinwood as if she’s just come back from seeing Barnabas and thinks it’s the same night that she disappeared. Jeff was already suspicious of Barnabas (not to mention jealous), and this only makes him more so.

As for Angelique, Nicholas has a new job for her too. Since he’s interested in Maggie for reasons that haven’t yet become clear, he lures Joe Haskell over to his house. Joe finds Angelique waiting for him. He doesn’t recognize her as Roger’s wife Cassandra even though she’s exactly the same woman with different colored hair. She tells him she’s Nicholas’s secretary, then gets an excuse to get her arms around him and sink her teeth in. Now Joe is under her spell.

The first thing he does at her bidding is go to visit his cousin Tom in the hospital–Tom was the man whom Jeff had found bitten in the neck in the woods. Joe leaves the hospital room window open, and Angelique comes in to finish off her first victim.

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Author: Kathryn L Ramage

Kathryn L. Ramage has a B.A. and M.A. in English lit and has been writing for as long as she can remember. She lives in Maryland with three calico cats named after the Brontë sisters. In addition to being the author of numerous short stories, reviews, essays, and period mystery novellas, she is also the author of a series of fantasy novels set in a dukedom called the Northlands on an alternate Earth whose history has diverged from ours somewhere during the medieval period.