The success of the first Dark Shadows film had Dan Curtis once again returning to Collinwood. However this time he wouldn’t have his vampire star. The result is more let down by editing scissors than the absence of Barnabas Collins.
Quentin (David Selby) Collins and his wife Tracy (Kate Jackson) have inherited the gothic estate of Collinswood. They find an expansive but decaying estate run by creepy housekeeper Carlotta (Grayson Hall) and the grave groundskeeper Gerard (Jim Storm). They’ve let a nearby house to their friends Alex (John Karlen) and Claire (Nancy Bartlett) Jenkins.
Things seem to be looking up for Quentin and Tracy, but soon he is having troubling dreams of a woman named Angelique (Lara Parker) from 150 years ago. That witchy past starts to intrude on the modern day as Carlotta reveals that our players are reincarnations of the Collins that ended with the Reverend Strack (Thayer David) hanging Angelique for witchcraft.
Angelique’s spirit is now prowling the grounds and has her eye set on Quentin who is the spitting image of Charles Collins, her lover.
The success of the big screen adventure of vampire Barnabas Collins meant a follow-up was in order, but star Jonathan Frid had hung up the cape and fangs. Certainly there were enough characters in the Dark Shadows universe to go in other directions. The movie would adapt a reincarnation storyline and cast David Selby from the soap opera.
The soap opera would’ve been off the air by this time so a reincarnation by fans to a film series would’ve been desired. The result would be gothic, moody, and well-acted. What would put the nail in the coffin, so to speak, was some last minute editing forced upon the production.
The film originally ran over two hours and it was needed to be pared down, supposedly Curtis was given very little notice. This would result in some jarring cuts and edits during the second half of the movie.
Sadly, that lost footage does not show up here. I think it has been found but without sound. It appearing in any format would’ve made a great special feature, but Night is to remain dark on the special features front. We can only see what might’ve been. The storyline does feature some spooky moments but those cuts just make you wonder what was there.
Night of Dark Shadows is presented in a 1080p transfer (1.85:1). Special features sadly only include the 1 minute theatrical trailer.
There is something eminently watchable about Night of Dark Shadows, even with the edits. Sadly the footage showing up on this wasn’t in the cards but it would’ve been a welcome addition. The gothic world of Dark Shadows had many ways to go, but seemingly it was a vampire that kept the spirit afloat so no more films were in the cards.
An excellent Blu-ray transfer is in those cards though so fans of the second film will have that at least.
Visit the DVD database for more information.