Fans of the 1970’s soap opera will be excited to learn that the Dark Shadows movies have arrived on Blu-ray.
House of Dark Shadows was the first of two to be released during the soap’s heyday. The plot somewhat mirrors the soap itself, with a slightly different take on the story of vampire Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid) and his romance with sweet governess Maggie (Kathryn Leigh Scott).
In true soap style, Barnabas is almost outed by two women (Carolyn and Julia) who have fallen in love with him while Maggie’s boyfriend Jeff (Roger Davis) fights off evil in order to save the women he loves.
But what really sets House of Dark Shadows apart from the TV series is the dark tone and the high level of gore and violence. It’s a true vampire horror movie, complete with throat ripping and forceful staking, all accompanied by rivers of Hammer Horror red blood. Now imagine that in high definition and that’s House of Dark Shadows on Blu-ray.
The second movie, Night of Dark Shadows is also available on Blu-ray but it’s a very different animal. This film, which stars Kate Jackson and David Selby reprising their roles from the show, is more of a psychological thriller than a horror movie. It’s Dark Shadows in the style of a Lifetime Movie Network flick.
Quentin Collins is an artist who moves into Collinwood with his brand-new bride Tracy (Jackson). They live happily ever after for about ten minutes, then Quentin starts acting strangely. He sees the ghost of Angelique (Lara Parker) around the manor and becomes obsessed with learning more about her. Turns out Quentin is the reincarnation of her old lover, or maybe he’s just crazy. Either way, it’s bad news for bride Tracy, who can’t understand why her new husband wants to kill her.
Night of Dark Shadows runs at a slower pace, but it’s sure to please any fan of paranormal romances. It’s certainly a change of pace from the violence that permeates House of Dark Shadows.
Unfortunately, the only special features on both movies are the theatrical trailers. Still, if you’re a fan of the series, these Blu-ray transfers are worth the small price Amazon is asking – only $13.86 a piece.
What do you think about House of Dark Shadows and Night of Dark Shadows – and which is your favorite? Leave your comments below!