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Movie Review: MASTER OF DARK SHADOWS

It arrived in the mail today. I’d been waiting on this one ever since I first learned about it (and reported on it). A retrospective on the career of Dan Curtis, creator of DARK SHADOWS, and a loving homage to his most famous creation. If you’re looking for a straight biography of Mr. Curtis, this one should partially satisfy. But primarily this is the story of DARK SHADOWS. It is the story of Dan Curtis in that there would have been no DARK SHADOWS without him. But the focus here is, as it should be, on the show. The best way to honor Dan Curtis is, I think, to revel in our shared love of his show. It is the best way to show our thanks.

The documentary is only an hour-and-a-half long. It could easily have been twice as long and DARK SHADOWS fans wouldn’t have minded, nor would there have been any lack of subject matter to cover. During its far-too-brief run on television, the series broke a lot of ground, achieved a number of milestones, established a number of tropes, and introduced us all to a seemingly limitless number of fascinating characters. Still for me the most fascinating thing about the phenomenon of DARK SHADOWS is the accidental/incidental way in which it came into being. Dan Curtis envisioned a stereotypical, albeit gothic-styled, show. DARK SHADOWS was, at its origin, never intended to be what it became. (It wasn’t even supposed to be a daytime show!) But Curtis was savvy enough to recognize the inevitability and the novelty of it all, and to catch the lightning in a bottle, even if he could only hold it there for a limited time. Magic tends to work that way.

TheCheezman • May 5, 2019


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