Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Counterfeit Dark Shadows DVD Warning Issued

MPI Home Video, the official distributor of Dark Shadows on DVD, have responded to reports that inferior illegal copies of their Dark Shadows: The Complete Original Series DVD box set are being sold. The official sets are available from Amazon at this link. MPI's statement is as follows:
Dear Customer 
It has come to our attention that there are counterfeit sets being sold and distributed for Dark Shadows: The Complete Original Series Deluxe Edition (MPI item # DVD7991). These counterfeit sets appear nearly identical to the authentic sets. If you are experiencing playback issues with your discs, it is possible that you have purchased a counterfeit set. If so, please alert us as to where you purchased the set. The more detail you can provide us (seller, links, pictures, etc.), the more it will help us put a stop to this illegal distribution. Below is a list of ways you can tell you have purchased a counterfeit set:
  • The authentic set is wrapped in a plastic polybag whereas the counterfeit set is shrink wrapped.
  • The authentic set has a thread that prevents the coffin lid from opening too far. The counterfeit set will open all the way (i.e. no thread).
  • The colours are much purer on the authentic set (stronger reds and blacks).
  • The pages in the booklet are a thinner/poor quality whereas the authentic set is a thicker glossier stock.
  • The corners of the set might be banged up on the counterfeit set.
  • MPI used eco-friendly trays in the amaray cases which have holes in them to save on plastic where the counterfeit sets have solid black plastic backing behind each disc.
  • The picture quality of the actual program will be poorer. The counterfeit sets use a single-layer disc, compressing the quality onto one disc, whereas the authentic version contains dual-layered discs.
  • The counterfeit set will have defective discs whereas the authentic set should not.
MPI is not responsible for the purchase or quality of counterfeit sets. If you have purchased an illegal set, we recommend contacting eBay and putting a claim against the seller of the counterfeit set. We also encourage you to make your purchases through established retailers such as Amazon.com. eBay is not a recommended outlet for this item, and MPI does not sell this item via eBay. 
MPI Home Video

Friday, April 4, 2014

News Digest

  • The departed Jonathan Frid (Barnabas Collins) has been posthumously nominated for the Cineplex Legends Award, awarded by his native Canada's Walk of Fame Association. Jonathan is one of nine nominees this year, alongside Bonanza's Lorne Greene, who worked with Jonathan at the Toronto Shakespeare Festival in the 1950s. To vote for Jonathan online, click here
  • David Selby (Quentin Collins) and Susan Sullivan (Ghost) are to star on stage in a new production of A Delicate Balance, which runs at Los Angeles' Odyssey Theatre from April 26-June 15. For more information and to book tickets online, click here.
  • Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans) and Lara Parker (Angelique) are to appear at Alabama's Mobicon convention, which takes place in Mobile on May 23-25. To visit the event website, click here.
  • Big Finish Productions have announced several new Dark Shadows audio drama titles. Recent releases include Curtain Call, The Harvest of Souls, The Happier Dead and Carriage of the Damned with The Devil Cat and The Darkest Shadow due out in May and June. To order the stories online, click on the hyperlinked titles.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Dark Shadows Sleepy Hollow Cemetery Tour

The Dark Shadows Festival has announced an additional event for its previously announced fan weekend, taking place on June 28-29 in Tarrytown, New York. After the Festival weekend events end at the DoubleTree Hotel at 5.00pm on Sunday, June 29, attendees are invited to join an optional no-host fan field trip to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. By special arrangement, the cemetery will be open after normal closing hours, allowing fans to enjoy a private guided tour of the historic site where House of Dark Shadows filmed back in 1970.

Opened in 1849, the 85-acre cemetery was a filming location for the scenes involving John Karlen's Willie character breaking into the Collins Family mausoleum, along with Carolyn Stoddard’s memorable rain-lashed funeral. The cemetery will extend its normal Sunday hours exclusively for Dark Shadows weekend guests, offering a one-hour paid tour.

To take part in the tour, please send a brief confirmation email to ShadowGram@aol.com, indicating how many adults/children would like to visit. The attendance fee of $10.00 per person must be paid in cash upon arrival at the cemetery. 

Fans may carpool or take a five-minute group taxi ride to and from the DoubleTree Hotel Festival venue and Sleepy Hollow. The cemetery is located at 540 N. Broadway, Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591. For more information on the Dark Shadows Festival's Tarrytown weekend, click here.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Dark Shadows Cruise For 2015

The Dark Shadows Festival is to hold a Caribbean Cruise from January 10-15 2015, setting sail from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Martinique and the Virgin Islands on the Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Seas ocean liner. 

Dark Shadows viewers will know Martinique as the beautiful island where Barnabas Collins first met both his beloved Josette duPres and the evil witch Angelique. Joining the trip will be Josette and Angelique themselves, actresses Kathryn Leigh Scott and Lara Parker, along with co-stars Jerry Lacy (Reverend Trask), Kathleen Cody (Hallie Stokes) and Marie Wallace (Eve).

Activities will include special Dark Shadows screenings and a themed costume party with the stars, question-and-answer sessions, autographs, a special Dark Shadows Origins in Martinique presentation, performances by the stars and a bus tour of Martinique.

Rates are per person based on double occupancy and include all meals, all shipboard entertainment, all port charges and the Dark Shadows registration fee. Fans who book with a refundable deposit by March 31 2014 will be able to attend a private cast party on the ship. For further details and to make reservations, call Hartford Holidays Travel on 1-800-828-4818, or visit their website by clicking here.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Doctor Mabuse and Dracula Screening

On Wednesday, April 30, the world premiere of Doctor Mabuse: Etiopomar will be held at the historic Vista Theatre in Hollywood as part of a double feature celebrating the 40th anniversary of Dark Shadows creator Dan Curtis' Dracula in a newly-restored print. Guests from both films will be in attendance to sign autographs and meet fans.

Doctor Mabuse: Etiopomar is a new independent film starring Dark Shadows actors, following on from last year's Doctor Mabuse. Jerry Lacy (Reverend Trask) reprises his role as the mysterious title character, alongside Lara Parker (Angelique) and Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans) as supernatural sisters and Christopher Pennock (Jeb Hawkes) as a new nemesis.

Dan Curtis' Dracula stars Oscar-winning actor Jack Palance as the legendary vampire in a critically acclaimed adaptation of the Bram Stoker novel which originally aired on CBS-TV in 1974 and was released theatrically outside America. Shot on location in Yugoslavia and England, the film includes an atmospheric music score by composer Dark Shadows composer Robert Cobert, who turns 90 this year. Cobert will attend the April 30 event and sign copies of the new CD of his Dracula soundtrack music, along with the Blu-Ray release of the film.

Doors open at 6.15pm, with the actors signing in the lobby, where a selection of merchandise will be available. A charity auction of special Dark Shadows memorabilia will be held at 7.30pm, before Doctor Mabuse: Etiopomar is screened at 8.00pm. Afterwards director/writer Ansel Faraj and cast will take part in a question-and-answer session, before Dracula is screened at 10.00pm.

The Vista Theatre is located on 4473 Sunset Drive, Los Angeles, California 90027; Telephone: (323) 660-6639. Tickets for the evening are only $15.00 per person and can be purchased via PayPal from ShadowGram@aol.com or by sending checks payable to: ShadowGram, PO Box 1766, Temple City, CA 91780.

To pre-order Dracula on Blu-Ray at a discount price, click here. To pre-order the Dracula soundtrack, click here.

Monday, February 17, 2014

News In Brief

  • Round 2 Models have re-released the original 1960s Dark Shadows model kits in a special collector's double pack, which includes brand new bonus heads featuring new improved sculpts of Jonathan Frid and the werewolf. To order the kits online at a discount price, click here.
  • Nostalgia convention Monster-Mania is holding a Dark Shadows reunion as part of their March 7-9 event, which takes place in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. In attendance will be Lara Parker (Angelique), Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans), Jerry Lacy (Reverend Trask) and Marie Wallace (Eve). For more information, click here.
  • The Dark Shadows Festival is now accepting registrations for its previously-announced June event in Tarrytown, New York. Joining the guest list are Sharon Smyth-Lentz (Sarah Collins) and Christopher Pennock (Jeb Hawkes). For more information, including a printable registration form, click here.
  • The new Colin Farrell film Winter's Tale features scenes shots at Lyndhurst, which appeared as Collinwood in both original Dark Shadows movies. It can be seen in cinemas now.
  • Kathryn Leigh Scott has just filmed a new guest spot for ABC sitcom The Goldbergs. Kathryn first appeared on the show last November, with her new episode set for broadcast soon.
  • Dynamite are to release a second volume of their Dark Shadows comics in a collected format. The 224-page trade paperback is out in June and can be pre-ordered by clicking here.
  • And don't forget, you can also follow the Dark Shadows News Page on Facebook and Twitter for daily Dark Shadows updates, on-this-day trivia and other exclusives. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Picture of the Week: Taping Dr. Jekyll

This week, it's a rare colour shot of Dark Shadows creator Dan Curtis and director Charles Jarrott on the set of Curtis' 1967 adaptation of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr Hyde. After Dark Shadows was commissioned in 1966, the show's producer wasted no time in getting more gothic-themed projects off the ground, and this lavish Canadian co-production was the result.

When the two-part TV special was first announced in October 1966, The Pittsburgh Press reported on plans to tape in London from a script by Twilight Zone supremo Rod Serling, and Jason Robards playing the title roles. By the time Dr. Jekyll finally stepped in front of the cameras in Spring 1967, Serling had moved on and taping had relocated to Canada via New York, with Jack Palance taking the lead role.

The finished production slouched in ABC's ratings but received critical acclaim, netting four Emmy nominations, including one for Dick Smith's special make-up. Dan Curtis used Smith again to create Jonathan Frid's memorable old-age make-up for Dark Shadows. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde is available on DVD and can be purchased by clicking here

If you would like to submit an image for Picture of the Week, email webmaster@collinwood.net.

Friday, January 31, 2014

A Poster Poser

Reader Alastair Baker has written in to shed some light on the distinctive poster art seen in David Collins' bedroom on Dark Shadows in early 1969: "I finally figured out the two posters on David's wall," says Alastair, "They've been driving me mad for months. They are from the Fillmore Auditorium in late 1967. The one by his bed is from August 22-27 featuring the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Cream and South Side Sound System. The second on a far wall is from August 29–September 3 1967, featuring Cream and Electric Flag."

During the mid 1960s, San Francisco's Fillmore Auditorium was a hub for counterculture and psychedelic music, playing host to Jimi Hendrix and The Doors, amongst others. "For a show not renowned for cultural referencing, aside from women's fashion trends, this was a surprise," says Alastair. "Do you know how they got on set? Did an actor or a tech visit San Fran on holiday and check out these gigs and decide to update David's room?" 

Who knows, but it's a rare example of contemporary culture making it across the threshold of Collinwood. Here are the original posters in all their retro glory. Click on the images below for a larger view.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

2014 Dark Shadows Festival Announced

The Dark Shadows Festival have confirmed that their 2014 weekend event will take place in Tarrytown, New York on June 28-29, marking Dark Shadows' 48th anniversary.

Activities begin on Saturday, June 28 from 12.00- 9.00pm at the historic Lyndhurst Estate, which served as Collinwood in the films
House of Dark Shadows and Night of Dark Shadows. David Selby (Quentin Collins) will be making his first return to the property since shooting the latter film over four decades ago and will perform a special music and dramatic tribute to Dark Shadows and its fans. Joining David will be James Storm (Gerard Stiles), Lara Parker (Angelique), Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans), Nancy Barrett (Carolyn Stoddard) and, health-permitting, John Karlen (Willie Loomis). Other guests will be announced in due course.

In addition to guest talks and high-definition screenings of both classic Dark Shadows movies, there will also be the premiere of Collinwood at the Cinema – Behind The Scenes, a new video featuring unseen material, and other surprises. These activities will be held in the Lyndhurst stable complex and tented courtyard, all with air conditioning. Additionally, each attendee may tour the interior of the historic Lyndhurst mansion, which featured prominently in both classic Dark Shadows movies. More information on Lyndhurst, click here.

On Sunday, June 29, day two of the Festival Weekend will move a few hundred yards down the street to the DoubleTree Tarrytown Hotel for the
Dark Shadows Celebrity Luncheon from 11.30am-5.00pm. Each attendee will enjoy a three-course meal and receive a Dark Shadows gift bag. After lunch, actors will be signing autographs, and there will be a special stage performance from Kathryn Leigh Scott, Lara Parker and Marie Wallace (Eve).

The Tarrytown DoubleTree Hotel is the host venue for the weekend, located at 455 South Broadway, Tarrytown, NY 10591. A special
Dark Shadows Festival sleeping reduced room rate of $149.00, plus tax, is available by calling 914-631-5700 and quoting the group discount code "DSF". The same code may also be used to receive the discount rate when booking online at the Doubletree Tarrytown Hotel website. Reduced rate rooms are limited and fans are encouraged to make reservations as soon as possible.

Festival membership rates and other information will be available soon at the
Dark Shadows Festival website. You can also receive an advance postal mailing for the event by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Dark Shadows, P.O. Box 92, Maplewood, NJ 07040

Monday, January 20, 2014

New Dark Shadows Merchandise From MPI

MPI Home Video have just mailed out a Dark Shadows merchandise bulletin, showcasing their latest products and promotions. New products include a Barnabas Collins tote bag, a ballpoint pen and a branded water bottle. Click on the images below for a larger view.

Additionally, MPI have teamed up with Amazon to offer their Dark Shadows: The Complete Original Series DVD box set at a new low price of $289.99, a saving of 52% from the original retail price. The 131-disc collection includes all 1,225 classic episodes plus bonus features in a coffin-shaped presentation case. To order the set, while stocks last, click here.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

New Merchandise From The Dark Shadows Festival

The Dark Shadows Festival has released a 2014 Vampire Calendar. Measuring 8 1/2 x 10" and printed on thick coated paper stock, it features 15 rare and unseen full-page photographs from Dark Shadows, each reproduced directly from the original negatives.

To order the calendar, send payment of check or money order of $14.99 (price includes postage within the US) to the address below.

The Festival is also distributing the independent film Doctor Mabuse on DVD. Starring Jerry Lacy (Reverend Trask), Lara Parker (Angelique) and Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans), this feature-length psychological thriller comes with bonus interviews and additional extra content. A sequel, Doctor Mabuse: Etiopomar recently wrapped and will be released next year.

A preview trailer can be seen below. To order the Doctor Mabuse DVD, send a check or money order for $19.95 plus $3.00 postage to: Dark Shadows Festival, PO Box 92, Maplewood, NJ 07040.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Lara Parker Goes On Tour

Wolf Moon Rising, the long-awaited new Dark Shadows novel from Angelique actress Lara Parker is released next week, and Lara is embarking on a tour to promote the book. Here's a list of confirmed dates and times.

Tuesday August 20 – 7.00pm Barnes & Noble at The Grove, 189 The Grove Drive, Suite K-30, Los Angeles, California. Telephone: (323) 525-0270.

Wednesday August 21 – 7.00pm
Mysterious Galaxy, 7051 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, Suite 302, San Diego, California. Telephone: (858) 268-4747.

Friday August 23 – 7.00pm
Borderlands Books, 866 Valencia Street, San Francisco, California. Telephone: (415) 824-8203.

Sunday August 25 – 4.00pm
Barnes & Noble, 7227 South West Bridgeport Road, Tigard, Oregon (Portland/Bridgeport area). Telephone: (503) 431-7575.

Friday August 30 – Sunday September 1
DragonCon convention in Atlanta, Georgia. Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans) will also be appearing. For more information on the event, click here.

Wednesday September 4 – 7.00pm
Barnes & Noble, 2416 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, Florida. Telephone: (407) 894-6024.

Thursday September 5 – 6.00pm
Booksellers at Laurelwood, 387 Perkins Extended, Memphis, Tennessee. Telephone: (901) 683-9801.

Monday September 9 – 7:00pm Barnes & Noble, 150 East 86th St. New York City. Telephone: (212) 369-2180.  

Saturday September 14 – 2:00pm
Dark Delicacies, 3512 West Magnolia Boulevard, Burbank, California. Telephone: (818) 556-6660 /1-888-DARKDEL.

Wolf Moon Rising can be ordered at a discount price by clicking here. UK readers can order the book by clicking here. And don't forget to check out our interview with Lara about the book, along with the novel's teaser Prologue.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wolf Moon Rising Preview Extract

Angelique actress Lara Parker has a Dark Shadows novel out next month, and we're delighted to be able to share a preview of the book's prologue. Wolf Moon Rising is an exciting new story stretching across a century, following on from 2006's The Salem Branch. You can also find out more about the book in our exclusive author interview with Lara from last year by clicking here.

Wolf Moon Rising: Prologue
The trees draw in their shadows, a violet stain seeps over the sky, and beneath the stone walls of a hundred year old mansion, the vampire stirs. Encased in a smothering blackness that smells faintly of blood, Barnabas can feel an unfamiliar surge of strength, but where he lies there is no space, no air, only his foul breath, and demon memories crawling beneath his eyelids like maggots. Panicked, he gasps to breathe, claws above his head. His fingernails rip his silken shroud, and wooden splinters dig into the quick. 

Then, in the midst of his struggling, a wave of sorrow washes over him and he lies back in his coffin with voices humming in his brain. Once again, he has died forever. Had he been royalty in the Elizabethan age, an effigy would have been carved to adorn his tomb. He is that figure of veined and polished marble, hands fixed, face motionless, and buried within, a scarred and blackened soul.

High in an upstairs bedroom of the Great House, another anguished immortal paces the floor. restless and loose-limbed as a caged carnivore. Head pounding from too much brandy, Quentin lurches toward the mirror of his bureau and grimaces at his loathsome reflection. He lifts a furred hand to blot it out, and a low growl rumbles in his chest. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Picture of the Week: Gypsy Denise

This week it's a ultra-rare photograph of a 10 year-old Denise Nickerson (Amy Jennings) in a Summer stock presentation of the Stephen Sondheim musical
Gypsy. Coincidentally, Dark Shadows' Marie Wallace (Eve) appeared as showgirl in the original Broadway production back in 1959. The picture comes courtesy of reader Dale Canter, who takes up the story:

"My neighbour allowed me to scan this photo to share it with you. Unfortunately, this photo is creased having been damaged in a drawer. Denise Nickerson is pictured at the left, circa 1967, in a summer stock presentation at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. Denise played the role of Baby June. The leading lady in the production is Gisele MacKenzie, in the centre, as Gypsy Rose Lee. The girl at the right is my neighbour, Nancy Zdeněk, age 12, in the role of Baby Louise. The play was presented for a period of one week. This photo is courtesy of Nancy."

If you would like to submit an image for Picture of the Week, email webmaster@collinwood.net.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

News Digest

  • For the whole of July, Pomegranate Press are offering Dark Shadows: Return to Collinwood in Kindle format for just $1.99. The book is a great illustrated guide to five decades of the show and can be ordered online by clicking here.
  • As we reported last week, actor John Karlen (Willie Loomis) is currently in hospital in Los Angeles. Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans) reports, "Johnny and I had a great visit. He was warm, funny and in great spirits... he's a sweetheart and deserves all the love and encouragement we can give him." Fans are encouraged to send John letters and cards; For more information and a postal address, click here.
  • Kathryn Leigh Scott also recently appeared on Variety as a guest writer, offering a response to the recent Mad Men storyline in which aspiring actress Megan Draper worked for a stint on a 1960s soap opera. To read Kathryn's essay, click here.
  • Jerry Lacy (Reverend Trask), Lara Parker (Angelique), Kathryn Leigh Scott and Christopher Pennock (Jeb Hawkes) have recently finished work on Doctor Mabuse: Etiopomar, a sequel to the independent film Dr. Mabuse. Kathryn and Lara will be discussing the film with director Ansel Faraj at the upcoming San Diego ComicCon on Friday July 19 as part of the Famous Monsters of Filmland Stake of the Union panel.
  • And finally, Big Finish Productions have just released two new Dark Shadows audio stories, The Phantom Bride and Beneath the Veil, with more CDs due in the coming months. To order online, click on the hyperlinked titles.