The holiday shopping season is upon us! For me, the hardest part of Christmas has always been picking out thoughtful gifts, which is a much more loaded statement than it might appear on first reading. It's hard enough finding the right gift for someone you love; it's even more difficult finding the appropriate present for that relative you don't much like (but are obliged to shop for, anyway.) Many years ago, I solved this problem by giving almost everyone I knew a copy of Blue Oyster Cult's CULTOSAURUS ERECTUS album. Some people were happy, while others got a passive aggressive critique of their shoddy tastes in music. Merry Christmas!
If you're shopping for a DARK SHADOWS fan, you've got quite a few possible gifts from which to choose this year. Here are some of my favorites:
Get Lara Parker's DARK SHADOWS novels signed by the author
Over at her Facebook page, Lara has announced a holiday sale on her three DARK SHADOWS novels. You can get all three from her for $30 plus $5 shipping, and the books can be signed with your choice of dedication. Send your check to Lara Parker, Box 1254 Topanga CA 90290, and visit www.larapaker.com for all autographed merchandise.
Kathryn is selling a "holiday gift box" until Dec. 15, which collects Dark Shadows: Return to Collinwood, Dark Shadows: The Movie Book, Dark Shadows Memories CD, Scott's Dark Passages novel (plus bookmark,) Fiction: The Art and Craft of Writing Fiction and Getting Published, The Bunny Years, two signed photos and a surprise gift. The retail value for these items is $150, but Kathryn is selling them for just $50, plus shipping. Visit her website for details.
A subscription to Big Finish's 2014 DARK SHADOWS audiodramas
As I mentioned here a few days ago, Big Finish has announced its slate of DARK SHADOWS audiodramas for the coming year, which will bring back original cast members such as David Selby, Nancy Barrett, Donna McKechnie, Lisa Richards, Kathryn Leigh Scott, Lara Parker and Jerry Lacy. Click here to buy someone a subscription to the year's entire roster of stories!
DARK SHADOWS bobbleheads
MPI Home Video, the company that owns DARK SHADOWS, has significantly marked down its collection of bobbleheads. Each item is currently discounted to $9.98 each, which is 66% off the original list price. Visit MPI's official store to order!
Zazzle has a number of items available that would appeal DARK SHADOWS fans. Among their items for sale are shirts bearing the logos of DAN CURTIS PRODUCTIONS shirt, TRASK ACADEMY BIBLE CAMP, and our own COLLINSPORT HISTORICAL SOCIETY logo. (Note: The TRASK and CHS shirts are creations of this website.)
The complete DARK SHADOWS movie experience (Part 1)
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 $23 and HOLY CRAP $109.
The complete DARK SHADOWS movie experience (Part 2)
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.
DARK SHADOWS: THE COMPLETE ORIGINAL SERIES
This is probably the ultimate gift, and also one of the more expensive. Original selling for $599 upon its release in 2012, this 131-DVD collection has been hovering around $300 in recent months. It's an amazing package, and is so sturdy and heavy to almost qualify as a piece of furniture. It's so packed with bonus material that I've got doubts I'll live long enough to watch them all. GET IT AT AMAZON.
DARK SHADOWS figurunes by the Clayguy
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 Clayguy.com for the details.
DOCTOR MABUSE (2013)
The psychological thriller DOCTOR MABUSE, seen in limited theatrical release earlier this year, is now available on DVD, exclusively via mail-order from the Dark Shadows Festival.
The 95-minute drama stars Jerry Lacy as the nefarious and maniacal title character. Lara Parker and Kathryn Leigh Scott co-star as mysterious sisters in the supernatural. Exclusively available now via mail-order, DOCTOR MABUSE on DVD is $19.95 + $3.00 shipping & handling.) Please send total payment of $22.95 by check or money order, made payable to: Dark Shadows Festival, P.O. Box 92, Maplewood, NJ, 07040.
ON STAGE & IN SHADOWS
Broadway veteran Marie Wallace provides an intimate, informative, often humorous look behind the scenes of such stage classics as GYPSY and SWEET CHARITY, not to mention her work on DARK SHADOWS. The book features a forward by Jonathan Frid, and a preface by Ruth Buzzi.
ON STAGE & IN SHADOWS is available from AMAZON, and from Marie's personal website.
Are you a fan of Joan Bennett?
Immortal Ephemera has an impressive collection of vintage trading cards, photos and other collectibles featuring Bennett, and all at shockingly low prices. Click here to see for yourself.