Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Everything we know about Master of Dark Shadows

Jonathan Frid's "lost" appearance on the The Dick Cavett Show has been recreated for Master of Dark Shadows.
To be honest, I wasn't that excited about Master of Dark Shadows. That's not to say I wasn't grateful that it was happening ... a reconsideration of the works of Dan Curtis is long overdue. For a man who never intended to become a filmmaker he developed an incredibly distinctive, powerful style. It's not a coincidence that we're still talking about his work in the decades since his creative peak.

That being said, I wasn't sure what Master of Dark Shadows had to offer those of us who are graduates of his work. I expected the documentary to be 100-level stuff for the uninitiated ... which is perfectly fine. It's a wise choice, since it's difficult to engage new audiences if you talking over their heads. But I was sure this would be stuff I've all heard and seen before.

And then the list of bonus features arrived in my mailbox and OH. MY. GOD. While the documentary was probably going to be worth the cost of the disc alone, the bonus features are priceless. Some of this stuff I didn't even know existed, such as video of Jonathan Frid's 1969 visit to the White House. There's also the Art Wallace-penned episode from the CBS anthology series The Web which served as the template for Dark Shadows more than a decade later. This screened at the 2016 Dark Shadows Festival but I was only able to catch a few minutes of it ... so it's great to get a second chance to revisit this once-lost gem.

There's also ... well, see for yourself. Below is the official summary of Master of Dark Shadows, a list of guest stars, the final key art, the trailer and a list of the bonus featurs to be included with the DVD and Blu-ray editions of the documentary. Master of Dark Shadows is available for pre-order from Amazon HERE and is set for release April 16.

In 1966, a phenomenon was launched when Dark Shadows debuted on ABC-TV as a daily Gothic suspense series. Airing in the late afternoon, the show attracted a massive youth audience as it shifted to the supernatural with the introduction of vulnerable vampire Barnabas Collins. Witches, ghosts and scary storylines turned Dark Shadows into a TV classic that led to motion pictures, remakes, reunions and legions of devoted fans who have kept the legend alive for five decades.

The feature-length documentary MASTER OF DARK SHADOWS reveals the fascinating, far-reaching impact and appeal of Dark Shadows with a compelling blend of rare footage, historical images and behind-the-scenes stories while also exploring the dramatic talents of creator-producer-director Dan Curtis. Known as the "King of TV Horror," the Emmy-winning filmmaker followed Dark Shadows with other iconic genre favorites including The Night Stalker, Trilogy of Terror and Burnt Offerings before earning accolades for the epic mini-series The Winds of War and War & Remembrance.

Narrated by Ian McShane (Deadwood), MASTER OF DARK SHADOWS offers insights from Curtis himself in addition to Oscar-winning writer-producer Alan Ball (True Blood), screenwriter William F. Nolan (Trilogy of Terror), author Herman Wouk (The Winds Of War), veteran actresses Whoopi Goldberg (Ghost) and Barbara Steele (Black Sunday), actor Ben Cross (Chariots of Fire), original Dark Shadows stars Jonathan Frid, David Selby, Kathryn Leigh Scott, Lara Parker, John Karlen, Nancy Barrett, Jerry Lacy, Roger Davis, Marie Wallace, Chris Pennock and James Storm plus other colleagues and family members.

Kathryn Leigh Scott, David Selby and Lara Parker at the Lyndhurst Estate during the 2012 Dark Shadows Festival.

DVD and BluRay bonus features:
  • Jonathan Frid on "The Dick Cavett Show"recreation of Frid's second of three appearances on the longtime talk program host's ABC series in 1968 using surviving original audio master along with previously unseen production photos of Frid with Cavett, rare images of Frid on a promotional tour and other "Dark Shadows" related visuals.
  • David Selby - "Light & Shadows" offers a musical performance of one of the actor-writer'soriginal "Dark Shadows" themed songs shot at the 2012 cast reunion on Coronado Island in California.
  • "Dark Shadows In Hell's Kitchen" Kathryn Leigh Scott visits the former "Dark Shadows" ABC-TV Studio 16 in Manhattan a few months prior to its recent demolition. 
  • "The House" episode of "The Web" The 1954 CBS-TV anthology series installment written by Art Wallace which was a precursor to the story bible he put together for Dan Curtis as the foundation for the original "Dark Shadows" story.
  • Original 1966 ABC-TV "Dark Shadows" promos Four different commercials serving to preview and promote the series which include rare location footage and atmospheric voice-overs by famed vocal artist Paul Frees
  • "Dark Shadows In Print" Kathryn Leigh Scott & David Selby reminisce and talk about the Pomegranate Press book "Dark Shadows - Return To Collinwood."
  • "Master of Dark Shadows" Film Trailer 
  • "Dark Shadows" Big Finish Audio Drama Promo

BluRay only bonus features:
  • Barnabas At The White House (1969 color newsreel footage of Jonathan Frid in costume for a UNICEF Halloween party hosted by President Nixon's daughter Tricia)
  • Jonathan Frid: "Shakespeare & Poe In The Shadows" Originally broadcast on the New Jersey Network Public Television "Dark Shadows Special" in 1983, the actor performs "The Tell-Tale Heart" in full as well as an excerpt from "Richard III" 

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