Tuesday, September 20, 2005

DARK SHADOWS VOLS. 18 & 19

MPI Home Video continues its steady release of the 1960's Gothic soap opera DARK SHADOWS, with the recent releases of Volumes 18 and 19.

DARK SHADOWS was a daily soap opera revolving around the decadent Collins family of Collinsport, Maine. But what made the show unique was that its cast included characters who were vampires, werewolves, witches and warlocks, and stories that included such concepts as time travel, alternate universes, sorcery, demonic possession and mad science.

These most recent volumes make up most of what is known as the "Leviathan" storyline, and unfortunately, it's not the series' best era. The story tends to drag and wander aimlessly for months, and when these episodes originally aired in late 1969 – early 1970, the popular soap opera suffered a ratings decline that it never quite recovered from.

In terms of presentation, MPI has done its best with a show that was shot live on videotape thirty-five years ago. Picture and sound quality varies – sometimes within a single half-hour installment – but overall, the full frame transfer is more than watchable.

DARK SHADOWS fans will buy this for completion's sake. Newcomers to the show would be better advised to start at a different point, however, as these are not the strongest episodes of the show's long run.

BUY: Dark Shadows Collection 18

BUY: Dark Shadows Collection 19