Showing posts with label Dark Shadows. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dark Shadows. Show all posts

Thursday, September 22, 2022

[Review]—In "Barnabas Collins and Quentin's Demon," Things Get a Little Hairy

It's another Thursday, so it's time for another Dark Shadows review. Don't I sound ecstatic? I lost track of how many of these Dark Shadows I've read, and, after a time, they started to blur together. Today we're looking at Barnabas Collins and Quentin's Demon, the fourteenth installment authored by Daniel "Dan" Ross under the pen name Marilyn Ross (his wife's name). What a split second, what happened to Barnabas Collins and the Mysterious Ghost, book thirteen? It's not accessible as an eBook on Kindle for reasons unbeknownst to me, so I had no alternative but to skip it and move on to the next.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

[Review]—"The Peril of Barnabas Collins" by Marilyn Ross

The cursed vampire played by Jonathan Frid in the original Dark Shadows soap opera and the theatrical spinoff "retelling," House of Dark Shadows, captivated young and old audiences in the late 1960s and early 1970s. If my memory serves me properly (it's been a while since I've seen the series), Barnabas Collins was continuously looking for a cure to restore his humanity. The Dark Shadows novel series, written by William Edward Daniel Ross under the pen name Marilyn Ross (borrowing his second wife's first name), strayed away from soap opera plotlines, but with the 12th book, The Peril of Barnabas Collins, he resurrects the "cure" narrative, but with a few intriguing twists.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

[Review]—'Barnabas Collins Versus the Warlock' by Marilyn Ross

I haven't seen an episode of the Dark Shadows soap opera in many (many) years. According to what I recall, the creator, Dan Curtis, and his writing staff ran out of supernatural concepts, or, to put it another way, they basically used and reused every horror trope imaginable. As a result, the series came to an end. While his plots swayed away from the television storylines, William Edward Daniel Ross (a.k.a. Marilyn Ross) took the same approach with his Dark Shadows novels by incorporating every horror trope into his stories. This gave him the freedom to place the cursed vampire Barnabas Collins in unusual situations. 

Thursday, August 25, 2022

[Review] - 'The Phantom and Barnabas Collins' by Marilyn Ross

Victoria Winters, the orphan governess, had vanished by the time "The Phantom and Barnabas Collins" was released in September 1969. It's the tenth book in Marilyn Ross's original Dark Shadows novel series (otherwise known as William Edward Daniel Ross). Victoria Winters abruptly left Collinwood, and Maggie Evans took over as David's governess. As a result, Victoria's parents' mystery remained a mystery.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

[Review] - 'The Demon of Barnabas Collins' by Marilyn Ross

If you perchance to buy a Dark Shadows novel at a thrift store or used book store with only the bare minimum knowledge of the series, you'll be confused or disappointed after reading the book. Whether you have seen a few episodes of the original ABC daytime soap, the short-lived NBC series, or Tim Burton's spoofy remake, you know the vampire Barnabas Collins is imprisoned in a coffin and is released 100+ years later. Barnabas didn't make his way into the book series by Marilyn Ross (the pen name of William Edward Daniel Ross) until the sixth novel, and his backstory was different. Instead of being chained in a coffin, Barnabas lived among the living. Every once in a while, he would change his identity to a made-up son, grandson, great-grandson, etc., so nobody would find out about his vampire secret.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

[Review] - 'The Secret of Barnabas Collins' by Marilyn Ross

The cursed vampire Barnabas Collins finally makes his debut in the Dark Shadows lit-verse - that I couldn't read because it's not available on Kindle. All well! I had to skip over the self-titled sixth novel Barnabas Collins and jump right into The Secret of Barnabas Collins.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

[Review] - 'The Curse of Collinwood' by Marilyn Ross

I skipped The Mystery of Collinswood, the fourth novel in the Dark Shadows series because it's not available on Kindle. Instead, I'm reviewing the fifth installment - The Curse of Collinwood. Despite Barnabas Collins appearing on the cover, the cursed vampire doesn't make an appearance. The character's name is never even mentioned. 

Thursday, July 14, 2022

[Review] - 'Strangers at Collins House' by Marilyn Ross

Did you think I had given up on reviewing the Dark Shadows novels? If your answer is yes, then you're dead wrong. Starting today, I'll be posting a new Dark Shadows review every Thursday. 

From 1966 to 1972, William Edward Daniel Ross published 32 Dark Shadows novels (minus the House of Dark Shadows novelization) under the pseudonym, Marilyn Ross. The book series didn't follow the soap operas' storylines. The first book, Dark Shadows, was partly a retelling of Victoria Winter's arrival in Collinsport. The second installment, Victoria Winters, was more or less a rehash of the second half of Dark Shadows, where Victoria gets mixed in with a mystery connected to the new guests at the Collins House (Collinwood).

Monday, April 11, 2022

[Review] - Victoria Winters by Marilyn Ross

Most tie-in novels tend to stay in the continuity of whatever television or movie series it's from, but that wasn't such the case with the Dark Shadow novels by Marilyn Ross (William Edward Daniel Ross). Between December 1966 to March 1972, Paperback Library published thirty-three Dark Shadows books (minus the House of Dark Shadows novelization), and all shared a different continuity than the 1966 - 1972 soap opera series. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

[Review] - Dark Shadows by Marilyn Ross

One Upon a Time in the '80s, I was a little bitty kid who would curl up with his grandma in the extra bedroom/laundry room and watch reruns of Dark Shadows on PBS on an old black & white television. That was my first introduction to the mysterious world of the Collins family and their vampire ancestor, Barnabas Collins. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Movie Review - Dark Shadows

I’m an avid Dark Shadows fan as I use to watch the original soap when it aired in reruns on the former Scifi Channel, and I recently watch the DVD of the 1991 revival series. I was aware of all the mixed reviews that Tim Burton’s remake received, but I still wanted to see the film. Dark Shadows happened to playing at my small local theater last weekend and I went to see the film at the Sunday matinee.

The film starts in the year 1760, where the Collins along with their young son Barnabas leave Liverpool and travel to the United States, where they open up a fishing port in Maine. Years go by and Barnabas (Johnny Depp) grows up to be somewhat of a playboy, fooling around a servant, Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green), who is actually a powerful witch. Barnabas falls in love with Josette du Pres and rejects Angelique’s affections, but the witch doesn’t like rejection. She forces Josette to jump off a cliff, and one by one the Collins die. All but Barnabas as Angelique has cursed him into a vampire. When the town people find out about the vampire, they chain Barnabas inside a coffin and bury him.

It’s now 1972 and a young woman named Maggie Evans is arriving at the Collinwood Manor. She is running away from her haunting past and uses the name Victoria Winters as she accepts the job as David Collin’s governess.

Monday, May 28, 2012

DVD Review - Dark Shadows: The Revival

After a heavy advertising campaign, NBC aired the reboot of the 1966-1971 Dark Shadows soap opera in January 1991, but only this time it was aired in primetime instead of daytime. The series followed the basic plot of the original with Victoria Winters (played by Joanna Going) traveling on a train to Collinsport where she has taken a job as governess at the Collinwoods. She’s really there to take care of David (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who claims to see ghosts at the “old house.” While this is happening, Willie Loomis breaks into a crypt looking for jewels, but instead he releases the vampire cursed Barnabas Collins (played by Ben Cross).

    Barnabas makes Willie is servant. Then he quickly introduces himself to the Collins as a cousin from England, in which the family gives him the “old house.” When Barnabas sees Victoria, he wonders if she is the reincarnation of his lost love Josette Du Pres. This here is a major change as in the original Maggie Evans was the look-alike for Josette. Barnabas peruses a relationship with Victoria.

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.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

DVD Review - Dark Shadows: The Best of Barnabas

I stumbled upon Dark Shadows: The Best of Barnabas part of The Greatest Episodes Collection at my local Wal-Mart for under ten dollars. Dark Shadows aired from 1966 to 1971 normally in the late afternoons. At the time of it’s peek Dark Shadows had around twenty million viewers, which is an incredible number compared to the low ratings of today’s soap operas (Sadly, there are only four on the air.). And it was known for having errors, such as actors forgetting their lines; stagehands walking in the background; microphones where in the frame shot; etc, because of the tight filming schedule demanded by ABC.

There have been dozens of Dark Shadows sets released over the years. The complete series is coming out this summer but at a whopping $599.98 retail price tag. The show has become more popular due to Tim Burton’s remake starring Johnny Depp being released on Friday, resulting in MPI Home Video releasing The Best of Barnabas to DVD.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Movie Review - Night of Dark Shadows

After the success of House of Dark Shadows, MGM greenlit a sequel Curse of Dark Shadows. By the time production near, the soap series was canceled by ABC and actor Jonathan Frid didn’t want to return as fear of being typecast. Therefore, the co-writer and director Dan Curtis (creator of Dark Shadows) changed the title to Night of Dark Shadows and focused the main character onto Quentin Collins (played by David Selby), whom was absent from the previous film. This time the plot didn’t involve vampires, but returned to Dark Shadows original theme of ghosts.

    Quentin Collins along with his wife Tracy (played by Kate Jackson) arrives at their newly-inherited estate, Collinwood, as most of the Collins were killed in the previous film. Actress Grayson Hall returns, but she’s playing a new role as the housekeeper Carlotta Drake. The couple is introduced to her and the caretaker Gerard Stiles. There is no mentioned of the events that happened in House of Dark Shadows.

    The couple’s novelists’ friends Alex and Claire Jenkins (Played by returning actors John Karlen and Nancy Barrett, but in different roles.) move into the small cottage that is located on the estate. Quentin soon has weird and realistic dreams about his ancestor Charles Collins, who had an affair with Angelique (Once again played by actress Lara Parker.). Upon hearing about his dreams, Carlotta tells him that she is the reincarnation of Sarah Castle, a girl who once lived at Collinwood, and that he is the reincarnation of Charles Collins. Charles had a passionate affair with his brother’s wife, Angelique. Because of their actions, Angelique was hanged and Charles was buried alive in her crypt.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Movie Review - House of Dark Shadows

     After the success of the ABC’s daytime soap Dark Shadows, the creator Dan Curtis directed a darker version from the script written by Sam Hall and Gordon Russell and produced by MGM back in 1970. The script was based on the popular Barnabas storyline and starred the original cast such as Jonathan Frid, Grayson Hall, Kathryn Leigh Scott, David Henesy, and Roger Davis. The movie was shot in six weeks with a budget of $750,000, which is now considered a low-budget.

    The movie uses an altered version of the Barnabas plot. The recently fired handyman Willie Loomis visit’s the Collins’ family Old House in an attempt to steal rare jewels, but instead he unleashes the vampire cursed Barnabas from his 150-year confinement. Using his vampire powers, Barnabas makes Willie his slave. Barnabas wastes no time and introduces his self to the Collins family as a cousin to England.

    Barnabas meets the young governess, Maggie Evans, who looks exactly like his lost-love Josette. While during this time, Barnabas turns Carolyn, whom is later staked by Professor T. Eliot Stokes.

    The family doctor, Julia Hoffman, examines the blood of the victims and, for some unknown reason, knows that vampirism is behind the deaths. She soon realizes that Barnabas is a vampire and she offers to cure him. Barnabas accepts the offer. For a short time he is cured and begins to romance Maggie Evans.