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Customer Review

142 of 145 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Before there was "Passions," there was "Dark Shadows"!, June 3, 2001
This review is from: House of Dark Shadows [VHS] (VHS Tape)
To those of you spending your days bewitched by the misadventures of Tabitha and Timmy on "Passions," there are those of us who are here to remind you of "Dark Shadows," the cult soap opera hit that ran from 1966-71. The Gothic soap was floundering in the ratings when the character of vampire Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid) was introduced. Producer/Director Dan Curtis provided this 1970 introduction to the wonderful world of "Dark Shadows," so late comers could get up to speed. Barnabas is freed from his crypt after nearly 200 years by a thief stealing treasure and returns to the family home Collinwood pretending to be a distant English cousin who just happens to be named for the infamous "ancestor." Barnabas discovers that the family governess, Maggie Evans (Kathryn Leigh Scott) is the spitting image of his former love Josette, who killed herself when she learned he had become a vampire. Meanwhile, the family physician Dr. Julia Hoffman (Grayson Hall) learns of Barnabas' true identity and develops a treatment that will reverse the curse. Able to walk in daylight again, Barnabas plans on marrying Maggie. Unfortunately, Dr. Hoffman has fallen in love with Barnabas and sabotges the treatments, which results in quite a bloodbath.
"House of Dark Shadows" certainly stands on its own if you have never seen the soap opera, although the effort to give everyone in the cast some screen time does get in the way from time to time. For those who remember the show, it is nice to see Louis Edmonds, Nancy Barrett, Joan Benett and the others again. The script by Sam Hall and Gordon Russell is actually quite innovative, coming up with some new twists for the love triangle while working in notions of reincarnation and scientific approaches to curing vampirism. At the heart of the film is Frid's portrayal of Barnabas Collins, which offers considerably more depth to the character than we were getting at the time from Christopher Lee's Dracula in all those Hammer films.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 17, 2011 12:33:02 PM PDT
Victoria Winters was the Collins family governess. Maggie Evans worked at the coffee shop in the hotel, at least in the series.

In reply to an earlier post on May 16, 2012 4:22:43 AM PDT
C. M. Crouch says:
After Vicky left, Maggie went to work at Collinwood.

Posted on Nov 23, 2012 12:11:06 AM PST
Chloe says:
Can't really compare a silly show like Passions with the great Dark Shadows. Passions was corny, as where Dark Shadows became a cult phenomenon. Legendary. Passions played with a more comical effect, DS was played seriously, as a drama despite its budget & on-air flubs. I don't think people will be talking about Passions 40 years from now.

Posted on Jul 17, 2013 6:41:03 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 17, 2013 6:41:15 AM PDT
john salonia says:
Actually, the "medcal treatment for vampirism" angle comes from the old Universal film HOUSE OF DRACULA, in which Onslow Stevens tries to destroy the weird cells in John Carradine's blood that make him a vampire.

Never quite understood how weird cells in your blood let you turn into a bat though . . .

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2014 11:11:47 AM PDT
Hadar Segal says:
That's true; I agree with Chloe. Also, Passions drove me nuts bcuz they could never finish a scene without a commercial in the middle. Long live Dark Shadows!
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Lawrance Bernabo
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (COMMUNITY FORUM 04)   

Location: The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota

Top Reviewer Ranking: 13,966