Dark Shadows

Dark Shadows (1999)
MPI Home Video
Cast: Jonathan Frid, Joan Bennett, David Selby, Kahryn Leigh Scott, Louis Edmonds, Nancy Barrett
Extras: Documentaries, TV Commercials, Photo Gallery, Trivia, Rare Spanish Episode, and more

MPI Home Video has just released a disc that contains practically nothing but special features for the popular 1966-71, gothic “Dark Shadows” TV series. It contains 4 lengthy documentaries and featurettes, as well as commercials, a photo gallery and a rare Spanish episode from the series.

Due to the age and the technical limitations of TV broadcasting at the time the quality of most of the material found on this release is of moderate quality. The rare episode is riddled with video artifacts while the documentaries contain numerous scenes with completely washed out footage with distorted soundtracks. Overall the compression on this release is moderate with occasional artifacting and audible distortion in the audio parts. The same is true for the disc’s audio track that contains plenty of noise and audible hiss almost throughout.

This is clearly release targeted at fans and connoiseurs of the show and offers little to nothing for viewers unfamiliar with the backgrounds of the story or the characters. The fact that it does only contain special material and no episodes – other than the Spanish one – also makes it clear that this is a niche release. As such, I am sure the many fans of this gothic drama will offer much insight in the shows and the behind-the-scenes workings.