DVD Shopping Bag: Dark Shadows - Mania.com

DVD Shopping Bag: Dark Shadows

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DVD Shopping Bag: Dark Shadows

Return to Collinwood?

By Robert T. Trate     April 17, 2012
Source: Mania.com

With any big theatrical release today there is always some sort of tie-in. Last week every incarnation of the original Dark Shadows arrived on DVD. The mega box set, which included over 1,000 episodes, was for the true die hard fan. I, however, am not one of those people. I never watched Dark Shadows. I wasn’t alive when it was originally on, but today that really isn’t an excuse. No, the only thing I ever watched of Dark Shadows was the Ben Cross reboot for NBC. The first Gulf War took care of that pretty quickly. I ignored it on the SCi-Fi Channel yet now I have this strange curiosity to visit Collinwood.

Where does one jump in to a series that has over 1,000 episodes? That number alone makes it tough to comprehend. What if I like the adventures of Barnabas Collins? Where do I find the time to watch 1,000+ episodes? Well, the good people at at MPI Home Video made it easy to get started. They released a Fan Favorite Collection and a Best of Barnabas DVD. Hosted by Lara Parker (Angelique) she fills the audience in on what has happened before each particular episode. With this knowledge I felt I was at last ready to venture in the gothic nightmares of Dark Shadows.

The first episode of the Fan Favorite Collection introduces us to Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid). The vampire returns home after living aboard for years and poses as a long lost cousin. It is mere “coincidence” that his name and appearance look like the founder of the family, Barnabas Collins. We are introduced to the drama of Collinwood and all the family. Yet, not once does Barnabas reveal that he is a vampire. Not to one member of the family or the audience. Surprisingly enough we don’t see him vamp out all all for the first few episodes (of the Fan Favorites).

We then jump 153 episodes later and learn of Barnabas’ sister, a ghost living in the original part of the estate. A séance is held to talk to her and upon its completion Victoria (Alexandra Isles), the children’s tutor, is transported back in time to 1795 where she meets a non Vampiric Barnabas. Wait, what? I was quickly reminded that when Barnabas met Victoria in the pilot he stated she reminded him of a Victoria he knew in his youth. Easy for me to make this connection having just watched the pilot, but 153 episodes later for the fan of the day? That was enough for me. I jumped over to Netflix and started watching from the beginning.

I got this Lost vibe mixed with old Hammer Films for this series. It has been fun and interesting to say the least. Having been on the other side of a production before it becomes second nature to see mistakes, which are a staple of Dark Shadows. Wobbly camera shots, visible boom mics, and really bad shadows. Yet all of this adds to the charm that is Dark Shadows. Will I get through the actual 1,225 episodes? I doubt it, but so far it has been fun and what more can you ask of a TV show about vampires, ghosts, and werewolves that has some time travel elements to it?

Top 5 Picks of the Week:

1. Roger Corman’s Cult Classics: The Nurses Collection
2. Young Justice: Season One - Volumes 1, 2 & 3
3. High Road to China [Blu-ray]
4. Buck Privates Collector's Series [Blu-ray Book + DVD]
5. Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo +Digital Copy)


Dead Or Alive 2 Starring Show Aikawa, Riki Takeuchi and Edison Chen

In Too Deep [Blu-ray] Starring LL Cool J, Omar Epps and Stanley Tucci

Lost Detective Classics from the Vault: The Hunter (1952) / The Shadow: House of Mystery (1932) / The Private Eye (1951) / Dick Tracy: Shakey's Secret Treasure (1952) Starring Barry Nelson, Dabbs Greer and Ralph Byrd

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo +Digital Copy) Starring Tom Cruise and Jeremy Renner

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol Starring Tom Cruise and Jeremy Renner

Operation Condor 2: Armour of God [Blu-ray] Starring Jackie Chan

Roadracers [Blu-ray] Starring John Hawkes, David Arquette, Salma Hayek and William Sadler

Roger Corman's Cult Classics: The Nurses Collection (Candy Stripe Nurses, Private Duty Nurses, Night Call Nurses, Young Nurses) Starring Candice Rialson and Katherine Cannon


The Legend of the Legendary Heroes: Part One (Limited Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Ian Sinclair, Luci Christian and Eric Vale

The Legend of the Legendary Heroes: Part 2 (Blu-ray / DVD Combo) Starring Luci Christian, Eric Vale and Ian Sinclair

Someday's Dreamers Complete Collection (2012)

Tsubasa: OVA Collection (Tokyo Revelations / Spring Thunder) Starring Justin Liebrecht, Christopher R. Sabat and Vic Mignogna

Tsubasa: OVA Collection (Tokyo Revelations / Spring Thunder) [Blu-ray] Starring Justin Liebrecht, Christopher R. Sabat and Vic Mignogna


American Dad!: Volume Seven Starring Seth MacFarlane, Wendy Schaal and Scott Grimes

Ben 10: Ultimate Alien Ultimate Ending (2012)

Conan The Adventurer: Season Two, Part 2 Starring Michael Donovan and Janyse Jaud

Shaun the Sheep: Shear Madness (2012)

The Super Hero Squad Show: The Infinity Gauntlet Vol. 3 Starring Tom Kenny and Steve Blum

Young Justice: Season One - Volumes 1, 2 & 3 Starring Jesse Mccartney, Khary Payton, Jason Spisak and Nolan North


The Chocolate Soldier (Oscar Straus) Starring Rise Stevens, Eddie Albert and Akim Tamiroff

Dearest Enemy (Rodgers and Hart) Starring Anne Jeffreys, Robert Sterling, Cyril Richard

Griffith, D.W. Classics: Judith of Bethulia (1914) / Transformation of Mike (1912) (Silent) Starring Blanche Sweet and Henry B. Walthall

Listen, Darling Starring Judy Garland, Freddie Bartholomew, Mary Astor


Buck Privates Collector's Series [Blu-ray Book + DVD] Starring Alan Curtis, Bud Abbott and Lee Bowman

Criterion Collection

Alambrista! (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring Ned Beatty, Trinidad Silva, Edward James Olmos

Alambrista! (Criterion Collection) Starring Ned Beatty, Trinidad Silva, Edward James Olmos

Late Spring (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring Chishu Ryu, Setsuko Hara, Yumeji Tsukioka


7 Below Starring Val Kilmer, Ving Rhames, Luke Goss and Bonnie Somerville

7 Below [Blu-ray] Starring Val Kilmer, Ving Rhames, Bonnie Somerville and Luke Goss

Aggressive Behavior Starring Marysia Kay, Martin Hobbs, Eleanor James and Ryan Elliott

Episode 50 Starring Josh Folan, Chris Perry and Natalie Wetta

Halloween: Resurrection [Blu-ray] Starring Thomas Ian Nicholas

The Survivor Starring Jenny Agutter and Robert Powell


High Road to China [Blu-ray] Starring Tom Selleck, Bess Armstrong and Jack Weston


The Asphyx: Remastered Edition [Blu-ray] Starring Robert Powell, Robert Stephens, Jane Lapotaire

The Asphyx: Remastered Edition Starring Robert Powell, Robert Stephens, Jane Lapotaire

The Amazing Bulk Starring Jordan Lawson, Shevaun Kastl, Terence Lording

The Divide [Blu-ray/DVD Combo] Starring Lauren German, Michael Biehn, Milo Ventimiglia

Hell's Labyrinth Starring Leah Rose, Ryan Schaufler, Adrienne Rusk and Matt Ukena

Robotropolis Starring Zoe Naylor, Graham Sibley, Edward Foy and Lani Tupu


Eight Is Enough: The Complete First Season Starring Dick Van Patten, Betty Buckley, Grant Goodeve

Meet the Browns: Season 5 Starring David Mann and Michael L. Covington

Murdoch Mysteries: Season 1 [Blu-ray] Starring Yannick Bisson and Thomas Craig

Treme: The Complete Second Season Starring Steve Zahn, Wendell Pierce, John Goodman and Kim Dickens

Wanted: Dead or Alive - Seasons 1 & 2 Starring Steve McQueen, Lee Van Cleef, Warren Oates

Robert Trate writes three weekly columns for Mania: the DVD Shopping Bag, the Toy Maniac, and The Geek Life. Follow Robert on Twitter for his for Geek ramblings, Cosplay photos and film criticisms. 


Showing items 1 - 3 of 3
Hobbs 4/17/2012 8:16:14 AM

holy shit!  1225 episodes...it would takes years to get through that all.  I was curious what would asking price would be and amazon has it for over 500 bucks.  I could get an ipad for that price but to be fair on the price, 1225 episodes is a lot.  This was a soap opera, wasn't it?

I wonder what the return policy is on this?  It would suck to get to episode 1000 two years from now and find out the disc doesn't work.

I never watched the show but I'm aware of the cult following it has and people are passionate about it.  That's why I predicted fans would be pissed at the Tim Burton adaption. 

RobertTrate 4/17/2012 9:03:57 AM

 Hobbs, they are all on Netflix. IT was a limited edition box set and there are tons of volumes to get. I had the same thing with my Farscape box. Got to season 3 and one disc wasn't even there! Imagine missing how discs with a ton of 30 minute episodes! 

decepticons2 4/18/2012 6:50:12 PM

Misiion Impossible is an ok movie. But the imax filmed scenes are spectacular on my 50" tv. Where 3d centric films seem like crap. Do we need another slow mo shot commin towards the screen?



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