Thursday, May 24, 2012

DVD Review - Dark Shadows: Fan Favorites

After reading two Dark Shadow books and watching the previous greatest episodes collection, I ordered the Fan Favorites DVD, which is much cheaper than buying the series’ DVD volumes or the upcoming complete series. I haven't seen the remake yet and sadly it's a box office flop compared to other Tim Burton/Johnny Depp films.

For the readers that don't know what Dark Shadows is about, please let me brush you up on it. Dark Shadow aired on ABC-TV from 1966-1971 in the afternoons with a blend of Gothic romance and supernatural horror plots, which was somewhat groundbreaking for a soap opera of it's time. The ghostly plot was added about six months into the series. Afraid of cancellation, the creator Dan Curtis brought in Jonathan Frid to play the vampire cursed Barnabas Collins to increase ratings. For several years the series was a success, taking in over twenty million viewers at its peak.

The episodes on this DVD include:
  1. Episode 212 - April 19, 1967
  2. Episode 365 - November 17, 1967
  3. Episode 370 - November 24, 1967
  4. Episode 699 - February 27, 1969
  5. Episode 725 - April 4, 1969
  6. Episode 1024 - May 28, 1970
  7. Episode 1065 - July 24, 1970
  8. Episode 1102 - September 15, 1970
  9. Episode 1115 - October 2, 1970
As an added bonus each episode has an optional introduction by Kathryn Leigh Scott who played Maggie Evans in the series. Unlike the previous greatest episode collection, there are no missing introductions.

I had a blast watching these nine episodes, which are better pick than the uneven Best of Barnabas DVD. There is a werewolf, ghosts, a witch, demon possession, time travel and a parallel timeline in this collection. The first three episodes are my favorites, where Barnabas introduces himself as a cousin to the Collins family; during a freaky séance Victoria Winters travels back to the year 1795; and the witch Angelique tries to hurt Barnabas. The video resolution is better than the previous collection. Make sure to look for a few Dark Shadows famous bloopers/mistakes, as the actors flub their lines and you can clearly see the microphone boom shadow in several scenes. The Fan Favorites DVD should satisfy most Dark Shadows fans and introduce the series to a new generation.

Trailer provided by Video Detective

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