13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Long before vampires were turned into sparkling emo teenagers, they were imbued with a sense of old-world romance and mystery.
And for a lot of people, that came from "Dark Shadows." This gothic soap opera had its cheesy moments here and there, but it had that rare quality of being addictive and entertaining even as it had vampires, ghosts and werewolves. Even better: it drips with traditional gothic atmosphere, with a young woman afloat in a dark, gloomy house filled with secrets.
Victoria Winters (Alexandra Moltke) arrives in Maine to be a governess to the reclusive Collins family, intending to find out about her past (since she seems to have some kind of connection to them... or something). Instead, she finds a big stew of weird -- the mansion of Collinswood apparently has ghosts and magic, as well as a vampire in the mausoleum.
Yes, Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid) is in the mausoleum... and his entrance (and subsequent transformation into the primary character) is the point when the show went from "okay" to "awesome." From then on, the story unfolds into a long, complicated tangle of lost love, amnesia, time travel, witchcraft, MORE ghosts, reincarnation, golems, body-swapping sorcerers, the ancient Leviathans and a parallel universe -- all centered on the Collins family.
It's really quite hard to summarize the entire series, but suffice to say that "Dark Shadows" is a pretty delicious series -- it drips with romanticized gothic atmosphere, with plenty of classic tropes (vampires, ghosts, even a Frankenstein monster). And for a soap opera of any type -- be it supernatural or mundane -- it's actually very well written, with distinct plot arcs and ongoing plot threads.
The slowest part of the story is actually the beginning parts, which were fairly low on supernatural events and focused on Victoria. But once "Dark Shadows" embraced the supernatural, it blossoms like a black rose. Does it have cheezy moments? Yes, sometimes -- but unlike the cheeziness of a lot of vampire-themed TV/movies, there's a dignified, almost classical quality to "Dark Shadows."
And it has a pretty decent cast over all, with Lara Parker, David Selby and Grayson Hall as a few of the most prominent standouts. But the best one is undeniably Frid as Barnabas Collins -- his character was such an intriguing one that he not only became one of the primary characters, but evolved from a tortured villain into a selfless, heroic anti-hero.
As for the layout of this series, nobody is 100% sure at this time of the content, but if it does have 131 discs it almost certainly has the complete series, both with and without the vampire subplots. But don't expect any special extras, probably.
For people burned out on current vampire stuff, "Dark Shadows: The Complete Series" is a refreshingly classic look at vampire/supernatural soapiness. It might take awhile, but it's worth watching.
on 16 March 2015
brilliant, classic series , the original vampire series.
I brought this collection off the American amazon site and saved over £60 pounds and it took less than seven days to deliver, I started watching this show back in 2012 and only got up to episode 350, I was instantly hooked and couldn't wait to watch more, for a show that started back in the 1966 and ended in 1971 it was ahead of it's time, this storylines were excellent and everything you wanted in a gothic soap.
I am extremely happy with my order and recommended to any dark shadows fan, you won't be disappointed.
16 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 27 March 2012
Speaking as someone who has been longing to see this for years I am gutted that this is such a wasted opportunity on two counts:
First - only 2000 made? Did I hear that correctly? What kind of stupidity is it that makes a company not want to sell as many of their product as they can? I can understand the concept of having a more expense limited edition run alongside the normal edition but to have the ONLY edition available a limited edition one seems like the craziest idea since, well, ever!
Secondly - I notice my fellow customers saying that they are going to replace their existing copies with another copy of this item. Their choice (I know) but this seems like a really selfish move! If there really are only going to be 2000 available why not allow 2000 people to purchase it who do not already have it. That would be 2000 new fans of the show. Instead it's just the elite few who get to have their multiple copies whilst the rest of us just "stand outside in the snow pressing our noses against the glass and longing for the promise within".
As I said at the beginning, what a shame for the rest of us!
Oh, and while I'm at it - when will England's "essential relationship" that I hear so much about from Obama and that bloke pretending to ruin (er, run) our country translate into products being available to your "old country friends across the pond"? We rarely get treated the same with your wonderful televisual delights and we are gagging for your products! Free market economy? Nah! Give us the opportunity to purchase your goods and we will gladly do so! See, 'tis easy lol.