Posted: 11/02/2004


Dark Shadows DVD Collection, Volumes 7-10


by Joe Steiff

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When last we left off, 20th Century governess, Victoria Winters, was on trial for witchcraft in 17th Century Salem. If you think that¹s strange, just wait till you watch what happens once she resumes her life in the late 1960s.

Upon her return, Barnabas fears his secret life as a vampire is about to be revealed, but instead, a mysterious Dr. Lang provides one bit of normalcy that can discredit any assumptions about Barnabas and free him from his curse: the ability for Barnabas to see daylight and be cured. Volume 7 follows love (and many other things) gone wrong as Roger Collins marries Cassandra — known to Barnabas and Victoria as the evil witch Angelique. Before these 40 episodes conclude, the series takes on another great horror tradition, Frankenstein.

Volume 8 follows Barnabas’ efforts to free the Collins family from Angelique¹s influence and schemes, finding inspiration in Dorian Grey. The past catches up with them all in interesting ways and the power of dreams is more than anyone can bear.

Volume 9 develops the Frankensteinesque storyline further as all attempt to escape Angelique and a new rash of vampire attacks.

Complications abound for the Collins family and Victoria Winters in Volume 10 as a preternatural genesis is brought full circle and Barnabas seems unlikely to escape his destiny. Will anyone be happy? Will the world of vampires and gothic fears ever dissipate into the light?

That, my friends, is why there are more volumes to come in this landmark television series now brought to DVD by MPI Home Video. Once again, the folks at MPI have brought us a beautifully rendered collection, each volume containing 40 complete episodes mastered from the best video originals they could find. With each new episode, the story becomes more and more mythic as the show’s writers try to create enough storylines to sustain the series.

MPI also includes a bonus interview at the end of each disk, ranging from the son of writer Sam and actress Grayson Hall as well as Alexandra Moltke, Jonathan Frid and the show’s creator, Dan Curtis.

Whether you¹re new to the fandom of Dark Shadows or a nostalgic long-timer, this is a collection you’ll want to own from start to finish.

Joe Steiff is a writer and filmmaker living in Chicago.

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