Halloween Home Entertainment Preview: House of Dark Shadows, Night of Dark Shadows

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Editor’s Note:  1/10/12 This post has been updated with a note about the image.

Today is our final installment of our Halloween Home Entertainment Preview.  Be sure to check out our previous updates for all of the great deals on disc this Halloween season!

The News:

House of Dark Shadows starring Jonathan Frid, Grayson Hall, Kathryn Leigh Scott and Joan Bennett will be released on October 30.  Night of Dark Shadows starring David Selby, Lara Parker and Kate Jackson will debut on the same date.

The Views:

Many of you have probably heard that the original films based on the popular supernatural TV series, Dark Shadows, will be coming to DVD and Blu-Ray disc for the first time on October 30.  And while this is great news in and of itself, it isn’t as wonderful as it seems.  While House of Dark Shadows, the more popular of the two movies, is a must-have release for your collection, the release of its sequel, Night of Dark Shadows, is rather disappointing — not because Night is a bad film, but because Warner Bros. has decided not to release it in its fully-restored state.

Night of Dark Shadows was originally a rather lengthy picture, but MGM, the studio that originally released it, had it cut down significantly right before its debut.  What is left of the movie may seem garbled or confusing to many.  But fans still enjoy it for what it is.

For years now, one Darren Gross has been working on intensive restoration efforts for both Dark Shadows films.  And he managed to recover a good amount of lost footage from Night of Dark Shadows in the hopes that it could eventually be released in a form closer to the original vision of Dan Curtis.  For reasons which have not been disclosed, Warner Bros. turned down the project and we are left with the standard release, which, to many is rather confusing and incoherent.  Regardless, it is good to see the film make its disc debut, along with House of Dark Shadows, but it’s upsetting that we won’t get to see all of the hard work put into the restoration.

*Note: The “Ad” image in this post is fan-created.

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Jonathan Frid Has Passed: The Original Barnabas Collins Will Live On Forever

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Jonathan Frid, the actor who originated the character of Barnabas Collins and the concept of the reluctant vampire, has died.  According to an article published by actress Kathryn Leigh Scott on her website, Mr. Frid passed away on April 13, 2012.  He was 87 years old.

Mr. Frid lauched to stardom when he was cast in the television serial Dark Shadows (1966-1971) and became a household name in the late 1960s.  He helped to revolutionize the concept of the vampire, making him a sympathetic creature rather than a horrifying one.  Mr. Frid was known for his theater work and his live stage performances, which he continued to do in his later life.  His most recent film work is in the forthcoming adaptation of Dark Shadows in which he makes a cameo appearance.

Mr. Frid may have departed this earth, but he will never be forgotten.  Like Barnabas Collins, he will live through the centuries in the hearts and minds of many a monster kid.  Safe travels to you, the one and only Barnabas Collins.

Source:  http://www.kathrynleighscott.com/?p=2190