oregan
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oregan
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June 9th, 2018, 8:01 am #441

How about the first movie HOUSE OF... Is this a good introduction to the characters or does it bear no resemblance to the actual series?
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Omega Man
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June 9th, 2018, 8:42 am #442

Sort of a "greatest hits redux" project, I'd recommend the film only for serious fans of the TV show. It's something of a jumbled mess due to enforced cuts to the running time. The narrative is incredibly rushed & disjointed.
"Damn it, it's jammed!"
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will
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June 9th, 2018, 9:01 am #443

It is a pretty good movie most of the way except for the conclusion where it goes over the top crazy. There is a lot in it that is reworked bits from the soap, but it is not a good introduction to it. The big difference is Barnabus is a total villain where at the time the movie was made he had become on the series the show's hero/star.
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oregan
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oregan
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June 9th, 2018, 9:08 am #444

Hmmm!
Where to start??
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will
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June 9th, 2018, 9:20 am #445

I would start with the episode where Victoria Winters goes back into time during a seance. You would be missing the first actual introduction of Barnabus into the series. But most of that is pretty tedious as they keep adjusting his character when the producers realized they have to keep him around. The 1790s sequence established Barnabus firmly as a sympathetic character. I would then skip most of the present day stuff after that and go to the introduction of Quentin's ghost, then that goes into the 1890s story with Quentin as a werewolf.
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Grant
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June 9th, 2018, 12:01 pm #446

I can't help disagreeing, partly for sentimental DARK SHADOWS reasons but partly for another more general one. There's just something about those "here and now" episodes versus those "prequel" ones. It's like the Lovecraft stories set in 20th (or 19th) Century New England versus his all-out fantasy ones. The second thing isn't bad but there's just something about the first thing.
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Red Gargon
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June 9th, 2018, 1:16 pm #447

I agree you want some appreciation of the present-day characters before jumping into the much-loved 1795 or 1897 storylines.  1795 is slower but more solid, 1897 is wilder and campier. DS is one of those things where you end up being on board whole hog or it just won't click for you, but if it's to your liking you'll find your own path whether it is linear or not.
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will
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June 9th, 2018, 1:54 pm #448

It may be hard for someone watching it for the first time. It was a daytime soap opera on a low budget. You watched it every weekday. Viewing it out of time and at your own leisure isn't the same experience.
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oregan
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oregan
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June 9th, 2018, 2:39 pm #449

Thanks everybody for your help.
What I’m actually looking for is a signpost to an actual release.
Are there individual season releases or just that complete set?
If I could watch season 1 then I may get some idea of whether or not I want to continue. Starting in the middle would not work for me as I would eventually wish to see what came before.
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Red Gargon
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June 9th, 2018, 2:46 pm #450

There are some "samplers" out there, condensations of the 1795 and "Quentin's Ghost" stories called "The Vampire Curse" and "The Haunting of Collinwood".  They're well-done and inexpensive if you want to sample but don't want the entire box set or to stream the episodes. I'd steer clear of the other "best of" collections featuring a smattering of single episodes from across the series, if you're unfamiliar the story context they will just be nonsense. MPI did put out sequential DVD "volumes" prior to combining them all in the box set (as a continuous weekday show, there aren't true "seasons" marking some kind of production break).  However, the volumes are out of print and would be far more expensive to get just a few of those as opposed to the full box.  Amazon Prime also has the whole series streaming now, but may be only for certain regions. 
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bigcatrik
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June 9th, 2018, 3:42 pm #451

"The Vampire Curse" is okay but I'd avoid "The Haunting of Collinwood" unless you're an intense Violet Beauregarde (Willy Wonka 1970) fan.

But I'd simply say start with the very first episode. The atmosphere, music and intense characters are all there right from the start. There's even a ghost in the first week. If you get restless (and you probably won't) you can skip forward to the episode where Barnabas is discovered and if that doesn't hook you then maybe you're just not that into it.

From the first episode the whole series will make the most sense and there's a feeling of accomplishment in having taken that 1225-step journey (though the episodes are numbered up to 1245, some have double numbers due to holiday pre-emptions, and only one episode is completely missing, though its audio track and a recreation from still images is put in its place).
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Omega Man
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June 9th, 2018, 4:08 pm #452

As mentioned a page or so back, I watched a 10-minute "DS Before Barnabas" recap video on YouTube and then began with the episode in which Barnabas' hidden coffin is discovered & opened (by Willie).

Worked fine for me.
"Damn it, it's jammed!"
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Grant
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June 9th, 2018, 4:26 pm #453

Red Gargon wrote: There are some "samplers" out there, condensations of the 1795 and "Quentin's Ghost" stories called "The Vampire Curse" and "The Haunting of Collinwood".  They're well-done and inexpensive if you want to sample but don't want the entire box set or to stream the episodes. I'd steer clear of the other "best of" collections featuring a smattering of single episodes from across the series, if you're unfamiliar the story context they will just be nonsense. MPI did put out sequential DVD "volumes" prior to combining them all in the box set (as a continuous weekday show, there aren't true "seasons" marking some kind of production break).  However, the volumes are out of print and would be far more expensive to get just a few of those as opposed to the full box.  Amazon Prime also has the whole series streaming now, but may be only for certain regions. 
I was lucky enough to run into them both, and they're put together very well.
When it comes to ones that aren't even MEANT TO be, I've always had a 30 minute VHS called SCARIEST MOMENTS FROM DARK SHADOWS. No matter how slapped-together it might look, I'm very sentimental about it, so I'm always looking for it on DVD. Does anyone know whether it's ever been? (Even with that show's following, it might be considered too "inconsequential.")
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Red Gargon
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June 9th, 2018, 6:08 pm #454

"Scariest Moments" is included on Disc 127 of the big coffin box set.  One or two of those MPI VHS-era compilations did not make it, but most did including that one. 
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Grant
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June 9th, 2018, 9:25 pm #455

Thank you.
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Rick
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June 10th, 2018, 12:48 am #456

I pretty much enjoyed the first movie (though I haven't seen it since it played the theaters), and this is from a guy who only watched the show for a week or two when it was first broadcast and was bored to freakin' tears.

So, for whatever that's worth.
“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
~ Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
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Omega Man
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June 13th, 2018, 1:25 pm #457

Victoria Winters #2 (Betsy Durkin) looks like... Monica Lewinsky.

Barnabas really, really needs to install a telephone at the Old House.
Was glad to see Prof. Stokes chide him about it.
"Damn it, it's jammed!"
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Crow T Robot
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June 13th, 2018, 7:49 pm #458

Rick wrote: I pretty much enjoyed the first movie (though I haven't seen it since it played the theaters), and this is from a guy who only watched the show for a week or two when it was first broadcast and was bored to freakin' tears.

So, for whatever that's worth.
Well, in some ways the first film was a condensed version of events that took place over weeks and months on TV.  So, it definitely was faster paced.

That's one reason why I liked the 1991 series.  It was so much faster paced that the original.  They cut out all the BS and focused on the meat of the stories, and changed some things that didn't work and added others.  

I watched the original show day in and day out, but there sere times it would be playing in the background and I'd be drawing monster pictures, or building the Aurora glow in the dark series of models.  Fridays were often the best days with cliffhangers, and Mondays to find out what happened.  
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Omega Man
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June 15th, 2018, 7:34 pm #459

The werewolf is decidedly... cheesy.
Still fun, though! And directly inspired by 1941's THE WOLF MAN.

The 10-year old girl playing "Amy Jennings" (Denise Nickerson) is quite a good little actor.
Especially for this type of almost "live theater" show, and given that she has quite a lot of dialog

I miss Dana Elcar as Sheriff Patterson.
They could have easily changed the character's name with the change(s) of actor. Local elections have consequences!

It never snows in Collinsport.
And this, supposedly, is in Maine.
"Damn it, it's jammed!"
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Red Gargon
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June 15th, 2018, 7:58 pm #460

I love that atemporal weird limbo feeling of DS, that seasons never seem to change, and as it goes on, it's rarely even discernably "daytime".  People just ramble in and out of Collinwood and conduct business at apparently all hours of the night and no one bats an eyelash.  
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