Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
The Television Horrors of Dan Curtis has just been released, a new book offering a scholarly overview of the Dark Shadows creator's work. Here are some words from its author, Jeff Thompson.
When did you first start watching Dark Shadows and what attracted you to the show?
I first saw Dark Shadows in September 1967. I ran across it by accident when I was home sick from elementary school. The first scene of that episode involved David, Sarah and Barnabas, so the sight of kids my own age encountering a vampire hooked me on the show instantly! I watched Dark Shadows until 1971.
How did you come to write The Television Horrors of Dan Curtis?
In 2005, I wrote entries about five of Dan Curtis' movies for a multi-author book about loss of identity in films. In 2006, Dan Curtis died, and the Scoop website asked me to write an obituary for him. At that moment, I was pondering what the subject of my Ph.D. dissertation should be – I was considering film noir – when I realised that I should write more about Dan Curtis and give him and his works some scholarly recognition. My 2007 doctoral dissertation about Dan Curtis turned in to my 2009 book about him for McFarland.
How would you define the Dan Curtis' unique approach to horror?
Curtis's films feature a unique blend of classic horror and modern horror. Curtis was making his horror productions in the 1960s and 1970s, as classic Gothic horror – in the styles of Universal and Hammer films – was giving way to more graphic, brutal horror – things like Night of the Living Dead and The Last House on the Left. Curtis used elements of both traditional, atmospheric horror and more visceral, explicit horror in his remarkable films.
What do you think is Dan Curtis's finest horror production – the one that sums up this entire approach to the genre?
Dr. Will Brantley, the director of my doctoral dissertation, asked me this same question. I feel that Burnt Offerings is Dan Curtis' greatest horror film because of its bigger budget, star power, fidelity to Robert Marasco's original novel, and its effective blend of scary haunted house atmosphere and deeply shocking moments. Curtis himself felt that making a successfully scary movie was difficult, but that he had mastered the skill – especially in the last 15 minutes of Burnt Offerings, of which he was very proud.
Finally, why should Dark Shadows fans read your book?
We Dark Shadows fans can never know enough about our beloved show and its prolific creator, so we are always eager for new and in-depth information. Although I have loved and studied Dark Shadows for more than four decades, I learned a great deal more as I conducted research for my book. I believe that my fellow fans will enjoy perusing my findings and making new connections among Dan Curtis' films and their literary antecedents. Also, the book's 69 unusual photographs are not to be missed!
To order The Television Horrors of Dan Curtis from Amazon, click here.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
- Ben Cross (1991 Barnabas) can be seen in trailers for J.J. Abrams forthcoming Star Trek movie. Ben plays Spock's father, Sarek.
- Lysette Anthony (1991 Angelique) is a guest star in Dark Shadows audio producers Big Finish's latest series of Doctor Who dramas. Lysette guests in Hothouse, due out on CD and download in April. For more information, click here.
- Ely Pouget (1991 Maggie) guested as a psychiatrist in the March 11 episode of CBS' The Young and the Restless. The episode is available to view for a limited time here.
- Matt Czuchry (2004 Willie) has been cast in a new CBS pilot, The Good Wife. The show will also star ER actress Julia Margulies.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
- MGM have reissued their 1991 Dark Shadows revival series DVD with a new cover design. Unfortunately, the episodes are still presented in widescreen, rather than their native 4:3 picture format, but this remains the only official release available. To order the set from Amazon, click here.
- Fans of the Dark Shadows movies have a wait ahead of them for a release on DVD. The current plan is to issue the films to tie in with the debut of the Johnny Depp Dark Shadows movie project, which is unlikely to happen before the end of 2010.
- The ShadowGram newsletter has unveiled its official website, which will feature Dark Shadows news updates and actor information. To access it, click here.
- As his new film Confessions of a Shopaholic hits cinemas, The Australian has published a profile of director PJ Hogan, who helmed the ill-fated 2004 Dark Shadows pilot. To read the article, click here.
- And, finally, not exactly news, but here's a fascinating webpage from Dark Shadows fan and antique dealer Vince Garcia, detailing the history of Quentin's gramophone prop, with trivia and photographs. Pay a visit by clicking here.