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House of Dark Shadows (1970)

Vampire Barnabas Collins is accidentally released from his centuries-long confinement at his family's estate in Maine. He targets his clueless descendants who live there now and pursues Maggie, the incarnation of his lost love.

Director:

Dan Curtis

Writers:

Sam Hall (screenplay), Gordon Russell (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jonathan Frid ... Barnabas Collins
Grayson Hall ... Dr. Julia Hoffman
Kathryn Leigh Scott ... Maggie Evans
Roger Davis ... Jeff Clark
Nancy Barrett ... Carolyn Stoddard
John Karlen ... Willie Loomis
Thayer David ... Professor T. Eliot Stokes
Louis Edmonds ... Roger Collins
Don Briscoe Don Briscoe ... Todd Blake (as Donald Briscoe)
David Henesy ... David Collins
Dennis Patrick ... Sheriff George Patterson
Lisa Blake Richards ... Daphne Budd (as Lisa Richards)
Jerry Lacy ... Minister
Barbara Cason ... Mrs. Johnson
Paul Michael Paul Michael ... Old Man
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Storyline

House Of Dark Shadows, based on the very popular TV Gothic soap opera, follows the life (or is that AFTERlife) of Barnabas Collins. Recently unleashed from his coffin by local drunk, Willie Loomis, the vampire (Barnabas) goes on a killing spree, while at the same time charming his present day family members. In the process he meets local girl Maggie Evans and notices that she looks exactly like his deceased fiance Josette. Barnabas assumes that she is the reincarnation of Josette, and plans to make her his unholy bride for eternity. Written by Nate Gardner <kzegersfan@sugar-river.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Barnabas Collins, vampire, takes a bride in a bizarre act of ultimate lust. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 March 1971 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Dark Shadows See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$750,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was shot concurrently with the original Dark Shadows (1966) series. During the time of filming, the television program was in the middle of its 1970 parallel time story-arc. Major characters appearing in the film were written out of the TV series so that they would be available to shoot the movie. See more »

Goofs

[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »

Quotes

Professor T. Eliot Stokes: Vampirism is not a disease, Julia. Vampires are the living dead.
See more »

Crazy Credits

SPOILER: There is a scene during the closing credits: Barnabas turns into a bat and flies away. See more »

Alternate Versions

The preview version of the film included a scene where young David Collins pretends to hang himself. No copies of this footage are known to exist. See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinemacabre TV Trailers (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

House of the unholy
24 May 2004 | by Bynovekka1See all my reviews

The shining glory of Producer/Director Dan Curtis's career came in 1983 when he transformed Herman Wouk's acclaimed World war 2 novel "The Winds of War" into an epic television miniseries. But it was during the late 60s and 70s that Curtis originally became a known and respected commodity in hollywood. During that time, Curtis was responsible for the creation of several suprisingly effective "B" horror films.

Minor classics like "The Night Stalker"...."The Night Strangler"....."Scream of wolf" are must see nostalgia pieces for true fans of the Genre. His 1971 semi-gothic effort "House of Dark shadows" also ranks high on the list of Curtis's early cinematic achievements.

The film is based on the unquestioned most popular segment of the old daytime TV series, "Dark Shadows". For those that don't know..."Dark Shadows" was a struggling 60s daytime soap opera concerning the dulling exploits of a boorish super rich New England family....the Collin's. After a season of well worn plots about family infighting and powerstruggles the show was on verge of being canceled. That's when series creator....Curtis....came up with a radical idea. Introduce supernatural elements into the show.

Soon the shows focus drifted from standard issue soap opera melodrama into a detailed examination of Collins family's haunted past. Over the next five years, Dan Curtis brought to light virtually every family Skeleton.....often literally. The seemingly eternally cursed clan's estate....Collinwood...was to play host to various unwanted preternatural ghouls who in one way or another were connected to the family. Among the collection of these occult charactors were: Vampires, Werewolves, Witches, Wizards, Demons, Artifically created men and women, Ghosts, Headless entities.....just to name a few.

When Dark Shadows faded from the afternoon scene in 1971....its ever loyal fans cried for more. Curtis responded with with pair of post series movies....and some 20 years later....a prime time sequel series. The first of these films efforts being the aforementioned 'House of Darkshadows'. In the recreation process the noted director quite capably revived and enhanced many of numberous supernatural elements that made the old serial popular....while offering up far superior production values.

In house of Dark Shadows the audience is privy to the scheme of a wily caretaker who happens upon a map he believes leads to an ancient treasure buried on the grounds of Collinwood. The map brings him to the Collins family crypt where rather than treasure, the caretaker accidentally releases something dark from its eternal bondage.

That same night a young woman is attacked at the main gate of the estate. Left comatose from loss of blood caused by mysterious twin puncture wounds on her neck.....the girl can provide no clue to the nature of her attacker. But soon other victims start to pop up...similarly wounded and minus a few pints of plasma.

A pair of learned locals conclude a vampire is responsible for the attacks. The authorities and Collin's family....quite naturally scoff at the notion. They prefer to believe an unknown type of animal or a madman is behind the attacks. However, the doubters soon change their tune when a Collins family member on the intruders menu is killed and eventually returns from the grave as one of the living dead.

The supernatural nature of the killer revealed....the police are soon scurrying about the area with crosses and stakes....while almost the entire Collins family are armed with cross bows and stringing up enough garlic to corner the market.

While terror reigns supreme at Collinwood, the family has no way of knowing the perpetrator of this unspeakable villainy is dwelling unsuspected within their midst.

By todays standard "House of Dark Shadows" might seem somewhat hokey with its max factor fangs and cherry syrup blood. But for its time, it was quality achievement and even now it provides something rarely seen.....a well written horror film with some into classic gothic overtones added into the mix.


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