Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Dark Shadows Gift Guide

So, what do you get the DARK SHADOWS fan who has everything? First, you tell them to stop being so damn greedy and encourage them to share some of their loot! There's collecting, and then there's hoarding, which just ain't healthy.

But, if you must hoard (I can quit whenever I want!) there are a few interesting, unique items on the market that would make ideal gifts for the Collinsport Cadets in your life. Some of the more exciting items, such as the re-release of the Mego-style BARNABAS COLLINS figure, has been pushed to 2013, while others have just plain sold-out. There's still lots of cool stuff left for sale, though. Here's a small sample.
Signed photos from cast members
Here are a few items you can't buy at Target. First up, actress KATHRYN LEIGH SCOTT is offering signed gift cards with every order from her online store. All books and photographs are eligible for this deal, and there are no limits. Find Scott online HERE.

LARA PARKER is also selling signed photographs at her online store. Parker also has other DARK SHADOWS items from sale at her website, which you can find HERE.

DuffGems Productions is creating hand-made blacklight posters featuring the cast of the original television show. They're described as "highly blacklight reactive" and measure 22x28. Get them at Etsy!

These were some of the most-discussed products spotlighted by the Collinsport Historical Society in 2012. These are prints of original work by Mike Hoffman and are gorgeous. You can find Hoffman (no relation) online at a number of places, but you can buy prints of his work from him at Etsy.

Dark Shadows: The Complete Original Series
This is the crème de la crème for DARK SHADOWS fans, a delight that's proven to be too rich for the blood of many fans. That didn't stop the initial production of this collection from selling out, though, and the price has only dropped since returning to the market a few months later. The coffin-shaped box contains a whopping 131 DVDs holding all 1,225 episodes of the original series. It comes with a book of episode summaries and photos, bloopers, behind-the-scenes featurettes and more than 120 cast and crew interviews. Get it at Amazon!

Holy crap, I totally forgot to order these for myself when they were announced a while back. These are 8x10 prints of art done by Belle Dee for Video Watchdog Magazine. They're also marked as "limited edition" (so they might no longer be available) but here's hoping Mrs. Cousin Barnabas is reading the blog today. Get them from Dee's website!

A few hours after posting this, I realized we have it within our means to complete the full cinephile experience for the original DARK SHADOWS feature films. Available for the first time ever in high-definition, these movies have never looked as good as they do today. The bonus features are skimpy, but most of the content created for DVD "special features" is forgettable junk, anyway. The important thing is that we got a fully restored version of the film in the best possible presentation.  BUT ...

You don't have to end your viewing experience with the movies. While commentary tracks would have been nice, Kathryn Leigh Scott has published a book about HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS and its sequel/sidequel NIGHT OF DARK SHADOWS. The book includes the original shooting scripts for both films (which includes all of the excised scenes and director Dan Curtis's original hand-written notes) but also excerpts from her journal written during the making of HOUSE.

But wait! There's more! If you're a completist, there's also an out-of-print (and kind of expensive) CD that collects both of Bob Cobert's scores for HOUSE/NIGHT OF DARK SHADOWS. It's some of his most sophisticated work that builds on the melodies created for the original television show. As I said before, the CD can be a little expensive, currently selling on Amazon between $40 and HOLY CRAP $165.

Here are the links:

(Note: There are also a number of original one-sheet posters from HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS for sale on Amazon. Both STYLE A and STYLE B are available from different vendors.)

The 2012 DARK SHADOWS feature film had a decent amount of bonus features, even if they managed to successfully compile featurettes that failed to mention the original ABC television show in any meaningful way. While there was scant merchandise created for the film, the movie received a published guide to its art direction, which is almost obligatory for a Tim Burton film. It's packed to the gills with preproduction art that revised Barnabas Collins, Collinsport and the rest for a new generation. There's also a limited edition of the book available, but it's a bit more expensive.

DARK SHADOWS also had a pair of movie soundtracks collecting Danny Elfman's moody score on one disc, and the pop music featured in the film on the other.

The Links:

2012 has been a crazy years for DARK SHADOWS fans. Not only did we get a divisive new feature film and the original HOUSE/NIGHT movies on DVD and Blu-ray, but also a complete collection of the original series in an awesome new collection. Kathryn Leigh Scott commemorated the moment with a book looking back at the entire DARK SHADOWS phenomenon in RETURN TO COLLINWOOD. When we look back on this year, hopefully it will be in light of the renewed interest in a property we all love, and not the bickering that heralded the release of the Tim Burton film. I think there's enough room in fandom for all of us, and this book celebrates that. Get it from Amazon. (Kathryn Leigh Scott also has it for sale at her online store.)

A recreation of the classic '60s BARNABAS COLLINS model kit, this is a pretty neat item with ... problems. I've covered the experience of modelers and the Barnabas kit fairly extensively here, and those with better skills than I have managed to make this sucker (noo pun intended) work. It's not a beginner's toy, for sure, but with a little ingenuity and elbow grease you can have a gorgeous (if physically inaccurate) collectable on your shelf. Get it at Entertainment Earth!

Dynamite Comics has published a new DARK SHADOWS series set in the years after the original TV program and I wasn't a fan of what the book soon became. It took a creative nosedive that would have disgusted Eddie Murphy, but I thought the first few issues (written by Stuart Manning) were pretty darn good. It's a shame he didn't stick around. You can experience what might have been with the first trade paperback collection of the series. Get it on Amazon!

Barry Crawford is one of the original '60s "Monster Kids" and took his love for classic model kits into a different medium with his Clay Guy figurines. He's created statues for Barnabas Collins and Julia Hoffman (seen above) as well as for Angelique and Quentin Collins. Visit for the details.


Michael S. Terrell said...

aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrggghhhh!! I want one of each.......I just can't afford them at this time...ain't that a bummer?

Dr. Theda said...

I have one of the old model kits from my childhood and the large black and white poster some of the books and the album...

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