Movie Review: Master of Dark Shadows (2019)

April 5, 2019

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Beginning with a brief history of series creator/producer/director Dan Curtis from his start producing golf programs to his bull in a China shop techniques to getting more and more productions on the air to finally arriving at his desire to create a soap opera…and a Gothic thriller infused one at that…Master of Dark Shadows presents a fascinating character study of a man that brought a veritable arcane avalanche of amazing material to our beloved horror biz (Trilogy of Terror and Burnt Offerings are but a few examples besides the subject of this here diabolical doc)!

Of course the subject matter soon turns to focus on Dark Shadows itself, in all of it’s outre, horror-show grandeur! We get a deep-dive into the show’s production featuring interviews those that were there (including cast and crew, as well as members of Curtis’ family) and follow along from the shows rocky start to it’s eventual explosion into the pop culture zeitgeist that occurred with the introduction of  iconic vampire Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid) and the supernatural story-lines that followed in his wicked wake!

Also included are conversations with celebrity fans of the program, a look at how the show became a phenomenon with the youth of the nation (and the merchandise and media blitz that followed), and it’s legacy (including a ’90’s television revival and a big-budget feature film re-imagining courtesy of Tim Burton) after Collinwood’s doors closed for the last time in 1971 (as well as Curtis’ career path post-series).

If you are a die-hard fan of the show, or just have always wondered what horror hounds have been crowin’ about for decades, Master of Dark Shadows will surely satisfy; it’s a warts and all (yes, those famous on-air bloopers are showcased) testament to the genius of Dan Curtis and the multi-layered Gothic masterpiece he created!



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