'Dark Shadows DVD Collection 25'
(Joan Bennett, Louis Edmonds, et al / 4-Disc DVD / NR / (1966) 2006 / MPI Home Video)
Overview: At Collinwood in the year 1840, Daphne Harridge describes strange occurances she viewed in a room in the east wing. Dr. Julia Hoffman warns her to beware of the parallel time band she has witnessed. Barnabas begs Angelique to use her powers to help save Quentin Collins from being executed for practicing witchcraft. Using Quentin's stairway through time, Barnabas, Julia and Professor Stokes travel back to the future. In 1841 parallel time, Bramwell Collins insists that Catherine Harridge marry him instead of Morgan Collins. And so much more!
DVD Verdict: Are creaking coffins, cobweb-filled doorways and flickering candelabras your thing? How about romantic, angst-filled Gothic vampires, in endless conflict with their mortal souls and their immortal longings? Nah, it ain't that overly-slick, too-hip-for-its-own-good "Buffy" show that people talk about. We're talking about Dark Shadows, the FIRST vampire series on tv; the Granddaddy of all Gothic shows. Premiering in 1966, it began as your basic routine, lovey-dovey serial tear-jerker with all those little coffee cups and handy hankies. But low ratings forced the mighty cancellation axe too close for comfort, so producer/creator Dan Curtis said, "Aw, the heck with it. If we're gonna go out, let's go out with a bang. Let's introduce a vampire!" And so, BARNABAS COLLINS was born. At first glance, Barnabas seemed another bastardly knock-off of ol' Drac himself...but this is daytime television. In soaps, you have time to peer beneath the surface of your favorite characters. We got to know him, this Barnabas, and rank imitator, or two-dimensional camp caricature he never was. No, this was a vampire with a soul. With a purpose. With longings far beyond the jugular of the next available neck. Ah, Barnabas. Television's first sex symbol of the undead. An instant American icon. You invited him into your home. You loved him, and you loved for him to scare the...out of you. But wait, there's something else here that's even scarier than Barnabas! Ya see, this was taped back in 1966. It is LIVE on tape, that is, whatever they taped was what you saw. There was very little in the way of editing. This is television at its most raw, and most compelling. Everything is left to chance, or fate. If the candles accidentally fall off their holders, that's okay! Keep rolling! It's too expensive to stop and go back! Did that legendary soap actress really flub her lines? Who cares! We gotta be out of the studio by 5:00! Keep going! Keep going! Watching Dark Shadows is terrifying far beyond its subject matter...because you just...never...know what's going to happen next. It could be a door that won't open. It could be a fly landing on the ingenue's nose. It could be a piece of scenery crashing to the ground. All these things could happen, and all of them did! And it's right there for you to see...forever. This is not that canned, over-rehearsed and edited-to-death, spontaneity-free junk you've been watching the last 30 years. This is REAL television! This is a Full Screen presentation (1.78:1) and comes with the Special Features of:
Bonus interviews with actors David Selby, John Karlen and Lana Parker and costume designer Mary McKinley
Recreation of the only lost episode of the series, hosted by Lara Parker
Fold-out episode guide