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Topics - Midnite

PennyDreadful is the newest Senior cousin.  She zoomed past several posters like they were standing still.

[zoom]Belated congrats, PD![/size][/color]

This superb and timely review of the '91 series DVD (Happy 15th Anniversary!) was just published in Videoscope #57, available later this week at your local Barnes & Noble, Borders, Virgin Megastores, Tower, etc., is posted here with permission of the author.

Dark Shadows: The Revival (1991)
2 1/2 antennas
D: Dan Curtis, others. Ben Cross, Jean Simmons, Joanna Going, Barbara
Steele, Roy Thinnes, Jim Fyfe, Michael Weiss, Joseph Gordon Levitt,
Julianna McCarthy.
592 minutes. DVD
Sony Home Entertainment

     This is the short lived but superbly Hammer-esque revival of the legendary Gothic horror soap opera Dark Shadows. A wonderful produced show in it's own right, Dark Shadows: The Revival, like the late Mr. Dangerfield,  can't get no respect! Sony's abysmal presentation of the series' 13 episodes makes a 4 antenna production get a mere 2 1/2.

     The dissing of the Dark Shadows revival began the night it's first episode aired on NBC, which was also the first night of the first Gulf War. NBC pre-empted the show for several weeks to cover the war. With no announcements whatsoever, they ran the show at 1AM, then shook their heads in disbelief when no one watched!!!! By the time Dark Shadows aired in it's normal timeslot, several weeks later, most people didn't even know  it was on!

     So NBC changed it's timeslot, again with no announcement! When it didn't immediately become NBC's #1 show, they cancelled it. Thousands of Dark Shadows fans held vigils at NBC affiliates all over the country. They were ignored, and one of the most promising horror series in years was gone after 13 episodes.

     It was a wonderful series. Unlike the stagebound, videotaped original, Dark Shadows: The Revival was shot on film in a real mansion. Cross played Barnabas Collins with the same tragic aura that Jonathan Frid displayed in the 1960s. But the younger, sexier Cross gave Barnabas an erotic intensity that Frid could never have conveyed. When Barnabas Collins feasted upon blood in the 1990s, the results were truly orgasmic, for both the vampire and the victim.

     Collinsport Maine in 1991 was a scary place! The residents actually ran through the storms that were, in the 1960s, only seen through windows. The thunder, lightning and howling winds were real, and terrifying.

     Former horror movie queen Steele played the lovelorn Dr. Julia Hoffman in 1991, who tries to cure Barnabas of vampirism while loving him from afar. Steele was about 53 when the series was shot. Still youthful and beautiful, she gave Julia a seriousness, and a sexiness, that the frumpy, over the top Grayson Hall failed to convey in the 60s. Going's Victoria Winters was no dummy, unlike Alexandra Moltke's earlier portrayal of the character. While Moltke's recurring line was "I don't understand! Help! Save Me!", Going's Victoria strong and savvy. But still vulnerable.

     Dark Shadows: The Revival took a wonderfully fun, sometimes cheesy but innovative show from 1960s daytime TV and gave it all the blood and thunder we saw in the best of the early Hammer Films.

     NBC, in their foolishness, destroyed it. And now, Sony Home Entertainment does the same.

     Sony's first blunder was to repeat NBC's mistake of burying the series. Dark Shadows: The Revival has been released on disc with no fanfare, no publicity. On Dark Shadows message boards, fans have been asking when/if the series will be released. You know the publicity department is not on the ball if the show's hardcore fans are not sure if it's even available!

     The second, and perhaps greatest mistake on the part of Sony is the presentation. The three discs that comprise this set are letterboxed. Why? The series was shot full screen for God's sake. This is a TV show, not a film. The purpose of letterbox bars is to preserve a director's visual images when a film is seen on the small screen. In this case, the letterbox bars DISTORT that image!! Worse, the show's opening and closing titles are boxed on all four sides! This makes the credits hard to read and is  annoying. What was Sony thinking?

     There are no extras. On other discs, Dark Shadows creator Dan Curtis made himself readily available for interviews. MPI home video had produced a very good behind the scenes doc on this series, Dark Shadows Resurrected. Surely there's material that Sony could have included on the discs, especially since the set costs $30.00!!! Sony was so cheap in their presentation, they didn't even include the sub-title options one finds on their other discs. Sony took Dark Shadows: The Revival, and threw it away.

     What makes this all the sadder is not only the superb quality of the series, but the vibrant colors and sound found in each episode. The print quality is incredible! This has got to be one of the biggest missed opportunities in the history of DVD!

     Sony, you are sitting on a potential goldmine. Recall these discs at once. Consider rereleasing Dark Shadows: The Revival next year, but do it right. Present it as it was shot, full screen. Give us those much needed extras.

     After 15 years, it's time to give Dark Shadows: The Revival the respect it deserves.
-----------------------------David Nahmod

This is OT, but...

Who says lawyers can't administrate?  ;)

And who says vampires can't run for office?--

I vant to get your vote!
Self-proclaimed vampire running for governor of Minnesota

The Vampyres, Witches and Pagans party?

Calendar Events / Announcements '06 I / Happy 19th to AndreDuPres!
« on: January 09, 2006, 05:42:17 PM »

Happy Birthday

Calendar Events / Announcements '06 I / Happy Day to Brian!
« on: January 07, 2006, 09:13:47 AM »
Happy Birthday, Brian!

Les Liaisons Dangereuses with Michael T. Weiss (Joe Haskell/Peter Bradford in the '91 DS) previews tonight (Jan. 6) and runs through Feb. 5 at the Boston University Theatre.  Visit for more info.

Artistic Director Nicholas Martin: "I have always loved this brilliant, sensuous play, and Michael T. Weiss starring as the dangerous Vicomte Valmont, hot on the heels of his remarkable performance in Burn This, is a coup for the Huntington."

MB, I am SO jealous... Photo Library for Les Liaisons Dangereuses

So much for his death watch-- Abe Vigoda will appear in the new Godfather game by Electronic Arts.  "The Godfather The Game" is due for an early 2006 release and will be available for XBox, PS2, PC and PSP.  Cost is $49.95.

You can access a screenshot of his game character here:
Just navigate to "image 3 of 4" and enlarge the thumbnail.

So when your [age appropriate ;)] kid (or friend or spouse) is playing it, you can announce, "He played really old guys on the original Dark Shadows!"  :D

He also showed up on Conan over the holidays as a Christmas tree.   [ChristmaS15]

Calendar Events / Announcements '06 I / Happy Birthday to jennifer!
« on: January 02, 2006, 07:21:36 PM »
Happy Birthday, jennifer!

Calendar Events / Announcements '06 I / Today's Birthday -- Dark Shadows
« on: January 01, 2006, 11:25:58 AM »
Happy Birthday to Dark Shadows    (the cousin, hee!)

Calendar Events / Announcements '05 II / Happy Birthday to vampire675
« on: December 31, 2005, 07:03:19 PM »

Have a fangtastic birthday!

Calendar Events / Announcements '05 II / Today is AAvolan's Birthday
« on: December 28, 2005, 05:09:19 PM »

Wishing you a very special day!

Calendar Events / Announcements '05 II / Ivana Milicevic in new series
« on: December 26, 2005, 06:28:00 PM »
CBS picked up "Love Monkey," which stars Ivana Milicevic (the sometimes stunning, sometimes gross-looking Angelique in the 2004 pilot), as a midseason replacement.  The show will premiere on Tuesday, January 17 at 10 p.m. Eastern/Pacific.  The series focuses on four single guys, and Ivana plays a friend named Julia.

I can't for the life of me recall what's usually on in that timeslot, which I suppose is the point of replacing it.

Calendar Events / Announcements '05 II / Happy Birthday to jtfolden
« on: December 24, 2005, 05:00:55 PM »

Happy Birthday, jtfolden!

Calendar Events / Announcements '05 II / Happy Day to Irishcoda
« on: December 19, 2005, 04:31:56 PM »
Happy Birthday, Irishcoda!

For subscribers to the LA Times, today's magazine cover article on Craig Ferguson includes, in its opening paragraphs, insights on Ferguson from DS Forums cousin Ben-- the only late-night TV expert quoted in the article.  If anyone is interested in the text of his quote, just say the word.