Sunday, December 30, 2012

End of Year News Bites

  • Earlier in the year, we reported about a host of foreign editions of Lara Parker's novel Angelique's Descent, which have recently been joined by a Hungarian edition of the sequel, The Salem Branch. The new version, seen above, has been published under the title Salem Kísértete (Salem's Ghosts). Click on the thumbnail image for a larger view.
  • Dynamite will be publishing a second Dark Shadows graphic novel next Spring, collecting their recent Dark Shadows: Vampirella offshoot. The 112-page trade paperback is due out in April and can be pre-ordered at a discount price by clicking here.
  • Donna McKechnie (Amanda Harris) returns to New York in January with her one-woman show. Donna will be appearing at Broadway nightclub 54 Below on January 2, 3 and 6 at 7.00pm and January 4 and 5 at 8.30pm. For more information and to book tickets online, click here.
  • This is our last update of 2012. Thanks to everyone who has read, contributed to, and supported the site over the past year – it's been a privilege to document these exciting times. However, the year was not without sadness, and the loss of Dark Shadows' greatest star, Barnabas actor Jonathan Frid, is still keenly felt. Keep visiting in 2013 and remember you can also keep abreast of the latest Dark Shadows news from us on Twitter and Facebook.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Marie Wallace Returns Home

We're delighted to report that beloved Dark Shadows actress Marie Wallace (Eve) has returned home after a spell in hospital. As we previously reported, Marie was injured back in October, after falling from the stage during a performance and has been recuperating since. Marie left hospital care just in time for Christmas.

Marie wrote in to share this message: "Please tell all the fans how touched I am by the hundreds of cards, notes and letters of good wishes and healing I received. I know it was their love and support that helped me heal so fast."

To keep up with Marie's current activities and projects, visit her official website by clicking here.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Celebrity Premiere For Dr. Mabuse

We recently reported on the new independent film Dr. Mabuse, which it's now been announced will now receive a special premiere in San Diego next April. Organised in conjunction with the Dark Shadows Festival, this debut screening will be attended by stars from the show.

The event will take place on April 27 2013 at San Diego's historic Coronado Village Theatre in California, with Jerry Lacy (Reverend Trask), Lara Parker (Angelique) and Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie) appearing personally to meet fans and discuss the film after the screening with writer/director Ansel Faraj.

Booking information will be posted as it becomes available. To read more about the film and view a trailer, click here. To see our gallery of behind-the-scenes photographs from filming, click here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Picture of the Week: Period Drama Moonlighting

This week it's a radiant 1969 shot of actress Virginia Vestoff (Samantha Collins), taken during the recording of the cast album for Broadway show 1776. During her stint on Dark Shadows, Virginia juggled her appearances with evening commitments
as Abigail Adams in the stage musical. "It's lucky I like period costumes, because I wear them both afternoons and evenings," she told TV Dawn to Dusk in 1970. "I live in three centuries... the 18th on Broadway, the 19th on TV and the 20th in my everyday life – and I enjoy the best of each of them!"

1776's cast also included David Ford (Sam Evans) and later, when adapted for the big screen, Emory Bass (Mr. Best) and Daniel Keyes (Eagle Hill Caretaker). A perennial favourite, the film is still repeated and is also available on DVD.

If you would like to submit an image for Picture of the Week, email

Monday, December 10, 2012

December News Digest

  • Daniel Day Lewis' new film Lincoln features a mini Dark Shadows reunion in its cast. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Gulliver McGrath play Abraham Lincoln's sons Robert and Tad, having both played David Collins respectively in the 1991 Dark Shadows revival and 2012 movie remake. Jackie Earle Haley (movie Willie Loomis) also features in a supporting role.
  • FX's American Horror Story: Asylum included a little nod to Barnabas in its November 14 episode, which featured villain James Cromwell wielding the familiar wolf's-head cane. Series creator Ryan Murphy is a self-confessed Dark Shadows fan and has spoken before of his love of the show.
  • Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans) is running a holiday promotion on her Dark Shadows books and photographs. From now until the new year, each order will come with a free signed Dark Shadows Christmas card. For more information, click here. Also, Kathryn's next novel, Down and Out in Beverly Heels, is released next March and can be pre-ordered now by clicking here.
  • CBC Hamilton has published a fascinating story about departed Dark Shadows legend Jonathan Frid (Barnabas), revealing some of the provisions made in his will and details of his retirement years in Canada. To read it online, click here. And finally, TCM have released their 2012 In Memoriam video reel, which includes footage of Jonathan. It can be viewed in the window below.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Writing The Visual Companion: Mark Salisbury

As director Tim Burton's official biographer, author Mark Salisbury has worked a number of Burton-related volumes, including the acclaimed Burton on Burton and the newly released tie-in Dark Shadows: The Visual Companion. We caught up with Mark to get the lowdown on the new book...

You've had a long association with Tim Burton. How did you first make contact with him?
One Sunday afternoon in 1985 I went to see a Touchstone Pictures’ dinosaur film Baby: The Secret of the Lost Legend at my local cinema and was surprised to find Burton’s original short Frankenweenie showing prior it. I didn’t know who Tim Burton was – this was before Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure was released – but I was completely enthralled from the word go, and knew I was watching something very special. I remember scribbling Burton’s name on a scrap of paper in the dark when the short ended, certain it was one to remember. 

Did it take long to meet the man himself?
I eventually met him a few years later at a Warners’ Christmas party in London – he was shooting Batman at the time – although I had arranged to have dinner the following week with him and horror author Clive Barker for an article I was writing for the now defunct horror magazine Fear: Their conversation was later reprinted in the book Shadows of Eden. I interviewed Burton again for Edward Scissorhands and Batman Returns and in 1994 approached him about writing Burton On Burton, which was first published the following year.

Given your unique perspective, where would you say Dark Shadows fits into the Burton filmography?
I think all of Burton’s usual themes and preoccupations are present in Dark Shadows. Perhaps the only difference is the film marks the first time Johnny Depp asked Burton to direct him in a film. Typically it’s been Burton doing the asking.

Any theories on what attracted Burton to tackling Dark Shadows?
He grew up on the show. Just like Depp, he would run home from school in order to see it. As a monster movie-loving child what’s not to love about a TV show featuring vampires and werewolves and ghosts? Moreover, a show that was on during the afternoon.

You were on set for Dark Shadows. How would you compare the atmosphere to previous Burton shoots?
Burton’s sets are generally fun-filled and relaxed. This appeared even more so. The script was funny, once the actors got hold of it, wearing those costumes, in those environments it was hysterical to watch. There was much laughter on set and during dailies.

What does The Visual Companion have that will surprise fans?
Because the book’s publication comes after the film’s theatrical and home entertainment release, we were able to show certain images – among them Carolyn’s transformation – that we might not have been able to if the book had preceded the film. For me, the book’s strength, however, is the sheer amount of behind-the-scenes photos that reveal the artistry involved in creating the film’s amazing sets. I particularly love the section detailing the creation of Collinsport – designed by the genius that is Rick Heinrichs – although my favourite photo is on pages 124-125, which shows Alice Cooper performing at the happening.

And what did you think of the finished film?
I always find it really hard to comment on any new Burton film, because, typically, I’ve read the script, spent many, many days on set, and so feel too close to the finished product to form an objective opinion. Typically it takes me a few years to divorce myself from the “I-was-there-when-they-shot-that-bit” or “That-wasn’t-in-the-script” thoughts when I’m watching one of his films. That said, I’ve seen Dark Shadows a couple of times and really enjoyed it.

Dark Shadows: The Visual Companion is available at a discount price by clicking here, and also in a limited collector's edition signed by Tim Burton, which can be ordered by clicking here. UK readers can also purchase the book by clicking here.