I have mixed feelings about Showtime’s new classic horror amalgamation “Penny Dreadful,” but if nothing else, the series is a unique concept.
Creator and Producer John Logan has all the lovers of classical horror stories in a frenzy with “Penny Dreadful,” but the problem with it is, is that it is not cohesive. The concept of the tale is to bring together all of the favorite monsters of literature and then intertwine a story. The main plot goes something like this (I think): Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton), an explorer, has had his daughter Mina, abducted by malevolent forces in turn of century London. He recruits a dream team of demon fighters to retrieve her: Vanessa Ives (Eva Green), a medium with scary temper tantrums; Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett), an American who performed in the Buffalo Bill Cody Wild West show who likes to kill people intensely; Dr. Victor Frankenstein, the physician who likes to play with electricity; and Sembene (Danny Sapanni), an African associated with darkness.
This part of story is good enough, because we know from our classical horror readings that Mina was the girl abducted by a vampire in Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” But then we meet some other characters that seemingly have nothing to do with the plot. Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney), who had better not look in the mirror when he is combing his hair, waltzes around mesmerizing people; but why? Jack the Ripper has a cameo, but for the hell of it, I cannot figure out where he fits in. And there is a Frankenstein monster (Rory Kinnear), who is well versed in Shakespeare, and by the way is one of the highlights of the show, who is terrorizing his master, but I can’t figure out what he has to do with the vampires.
I love classical horror and I have read all of the masters’ novels; and the idea of putting them all together had me chomping at the bits ─ but by God, lets try to make some sense of it.
Reviewers Note: Do not eat food while watching.
My Rating: 3 of 5 Nightmares