The vampire romance is one of today's hottest genres in movies, television and novels, from Twilight and True Blood to The Vampire Diaries, Underworld and Interview with the Vampire, but it all started with Dark Shadows, the ABC daytime series that brought tormented hero Barnabas Collins into the homes of devoted fans every weekday for five years. Now, in an unprecedented event, the entire series - 1,225 episodes on 131 discs - will be released in a single deluxe set. On May 8, 2012, MPI will release Dark Shadows: The Complete Original Series in a custom coffin shaped box with bonus, in-depth interviews and other video extras, a commemorative booklet and more. The SRP for this collector's set is $599.98.
The creation of Dan Curtis (The Winds of War, Kolchak: The Night Stalker), Dark Shadows premiered in 1966 as a unique series in TV history - a gothic daytime serial set in a forbidding, mist-shrouded Maine estate inhabited by a wealthy extended family as well as ghosts, demons and, most frightening of all, vampire Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid). For five years, 200-year-old Barnabas and his Collins family relatives made their way through hauntings and possessions, jumped through time, mysterious parallel worlds and were the victims of other eerie events. Add in a vengeful witch, a horrifying werewolf, a count with mystical powers, a female doctor obsessed with Barnabas and young, beautiful women encountering love and other dangers - all framed by haunting music - and you have a series that became a nationwide cult sensation.
Now, 41 years after the series went off the air, the cult continues to flourish. Dark Shadows has spun off novels, audio dramas, feature films, a Grammy-nominated hit song ("Quentin's Theme") and soundtrack album, DVDs, television reruns and regular fan conventions attended by original cast members. On May 11, 2012, director Tim Burton's hugely anticipated reimagining of the show will hit the big screen, with lifelong "DS" fan Johnny Depp portraying Barnabas Collins. Original series cast members Jonathan Frid (Barnabas), Lara Parker (Angelique), David Selby (Quentin) and Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie/Josette) make cameo appearances in the new film.
Dark Shadows: The Complete Original Series includes more than 100 bonus interviews with the actors and production personnel - its cast included Kate Jackson, Oscar nominee Grayson Hall and Hollywood Golden Era movie star Joan Bennett, plus a 96-page booklet with photographs and episode summaries, DVDs of bloopers, behind-the-scenes documentary and cast reunion - all housed in a coffin-shaped box.
Dark Shadows truly lives on in this remarkable release sure to thrill longtime fans and create a new generation of enthusiastic followers.
For fans who do not get the opportunity to purchase the $600 box set, MPI is releasing Dark Shadows: Fan Favorites and Dark Shadows: Best of Barnabas on April 10th. Priced at $14.98, each release offers 9 complete episodes that are among the most popular in the history of the show, serving as an ideal introduction to new viewers as well as an enticing overview for devotees of the series. Included in Dark Shadows: Fan Favorites are Barnabas' return to Collinwood after being release from his chained coffin; Barnabas and Dr. Julia Hoffman (Grayson Hall) discovering the secret of the werewolf; Maggie Evans (Kathryn Leigh Scott) becoming the victim of a vampire, and more. Dark Shadows: Best of Barnabas includes Julia's attempts to cure the cursed Barnabas; eerie trips back in time to 1795 and 1897; the popular Parallel Time story line, and more. Each set includes informative new introductions by Kathryn Leigh Scott and Lara Parker (Angelique).