Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Look it's BARNABAS!


Pittsburgh DARK SHADOWS FAN Donna J.Stack tries on the BARNABAS COLLINS HALLOWEEN costume from ELOPE.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

May 8th, 1991 DARK SHADOWS RALLY in Pittsburgh






At WPXI (NBC Affiliate) television hill in Pittsburgh, PA's NORTHSIDE. DARK SHADOWS fan RALLY to SAVE the 1990's DARK SHADOWS series.
This from my fellow Dark Shadows and FaceBook friend -
All across the USA on May 8, 1991, fans of the NBC "Dark Shadows" revival series held rallies of support for the show at the NBC broadcast stations in the major cities of the country. NBC was considering canceling the show even though the ratings were improving. (The show debuted the same week that the Gulf War started and many people missed it because they were watching the war on CNN.) Despite the rallies and thousands of letters of support, (then) NBC vice-president Warren Littlefield canceled the show. However, not long after this, Littlefield approached "Dark Shadows" creator Dan Curtis about making several made-for-TV DS movies. Unfortunately, it was too late, because the cast had moved on to other projects (Adrian Paul to "War of the Worlds" and "Highlander"; Joseph Gordon-Levitt to "3rd Rock from the Sun"; etc...) I led the rally in Washington, DC. Art Campbell came out to interview us and, like the totally unprofessional jerk he is, tried to make us out to be angry protestors. I stressed to him that we were there to SUPPORT DS not to condemn NBC. He kept trying to compare the "Dark Shadows" revival to the recently canceled "Twin Peaks", which was a wonderful, quirky show (that also was canceled too soon) but very different from DS. I wonder what Art "Nice Tie" Campbell thinks about "Dark Shadows" now, with the TIm Burton/Johnny Depp film slated to debut in May 2012? "Dream on" indeed, Mr. Campbell!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

PGH DS FANS AND DS STARS

Marie Wallace and Daniel Silvio during a DS FEST in the 1990s

Mike Stroka and Donna J. Silvio (Stack) pose at a 1990s DS FEST

Dark Shadows Fandom: Information from Answers.com

Dark Shadows Fandom: Information from Answers.com

CLICK ON THE ABOVE for all the DARK SHADOWS FANDOM info from Answers.com.

The Pittsburgh Dark Shadows Fan Club was founded in 1987 for fans of Dark Shadows in southwestern Pennsylvania and the nearby counties in Ohio and West Virginia. Founder Dan Silvio also began Shadows of the Night as the club's official fanzine. The club may be contacted c/o Dan Silvio, 4529 Friendship Ave., 2nd Fl., Pittsburgh, PA 15224.
Shadows of the Night (4529 Friendship Ave., 2nd Fl., Pittsburgh, PA 15224) is the name of two different vampire fanzines. Dan Silvio edits the one dedicated to Dark Shadows and serves as the official publication of the Pittsburgh Dark Shadows Fan Club. Silvio founded the fanzine in 1987. Each issue contains news, fan art, photographs, and reports of festival gatherings. It also publishes materials about the Collinsport Players.

Dark Shadows ABC-TV trading cards from PITTSBURGH, PA

 Follow this LINK for an Article from the PAST about DARK SHADOWS trading cards from Pittsburgh, PA.

Dark Shadows ABC-TV trading cards

 

Pittsburgh and Dark Shadows mention.....from Dark Shadows News Page.

 This Article mentions PITTSBURGH and Dark Shadows and I share it here for you. Please visit THE DARK SHADOWS JOURNAL website.

Picture of the Week: Safety First


Here's a candid snapshot of Nancy Barrett modelling a hard hat on location for Night of Dark Shadows in 1971. In the movie, Nancy played novelist Claire Jenkins, a relatively straight role compared to her previous Dark Shadows characters. Speaking to The Pittsburgh Press during filming, Nancy joked about being spared from the supernatural for once: "The girl... isn't bloodthirsty, she isn't even possessed by anything. All I'm afraid of is that when I kiss a guy in front of a movie camera, I'll forget and bite him instead."

If you would like to submit an image for Picture of the Week, email webmaster@collinwood.net

The Pittsburgh Press and DARK SHADOWS 2 - 1991

The Pittsburgh Press
Sunday, January 13, 1991
Section J, Page 6
TV Review
____________________________________________
“Dark Shadows” When: Two-part mini-series air tonight and tomorrow at 9; premieres in its regular time slot at 9 p.m. Friday on NBC.
Stars: Ben Cross, Jean Simmons, Joanna Going, Roy Thinnes.
____________________________________________

Good Gothic Fun Lurks In ‘Dark Shadows’
By Robert Bianco

Fangs for the memories, Barnabas, but we do have a slight problem: Can a country facing Saddam Hussein still be scared by some English guy with a neck fetish?

Maybe not, but it could be fun watching him try.

In a season that has shown every intention of disappearing without a trace, this "Dynasty" in the dark is a welcome burst of silly style. The style may wobble a bit (all the humor is not intentional), and the show is hardly up to its "Jane Eyre" antecedents, but for four hours, at least, it's good Gothic fun.

Fans of the original will notice the change in scenery (production values have skyrocketed) and in our unhappy Prince of "Dark"-ness, Barnabas. Ben Cross makes Barnabas more somber and more overtly sensuous. Sex brings out the blood lust in him, don't you know.

Otherwise, the plot should seem familiar. Victoria Winters (Joanna Going) arrives in Collinwood to be the governess of the Collins' family bad seed. Thanks to crazy Willie the Caretaker (Jim Fyfe), who went snooping around the family tombs despite his mother's best advice ("It will only lead to trouble"), the family soon gets another visitor, Barnabas, who claims to be a long lost cousin from England.

Before you know it, Victoria and Barnabas are in love and blood-free bodies are popping up all over. For some reason, no one seems to suspect the only stranger in town, but then, people in horror movies always do have trouble picking up on the obvious.

While "Dark Shadows" never aims for camp, it does sometimes hit it unintentionally. A sympathetic vampire is, in itself, a campy creation. To honestly sympathize with him, you'd have to take his ridiculous plight seriously. There's
also some strange sexism going on here: Male vampires get to look normal, but female vampires have to run around with ratted hair and too much lipstick.

Then there's the dialogue, said with that straight-faced seriousness you find only in horror movies and medical shows:
"If she lost all that blood, where did it go?"
"Doctor, the curse of my existence is beyond the realm of your science."
"I think she's stable enough to try it. It just... might... work."

And perhaps it might.

Cross is as "horribly romantic"” (his pun, not mine) as a vampire fan could wish, though he might try being just a shade less intense. Jean Simmons, as matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, is a welcome sight whenever she appears, but she doesn't appear frequently enough. The rest of the cast overacts just enough to stay within the tone of the show.

Supernatural fantasy is a tough genre to sustain in series form; eventually you start to wonder how so many strange events can happen to one family. (In its five-year soap run, Collinwood turned into the Grand Central Station of the spirit world.) But for now, all we have to worry about are the first four hours, and those four hours are fairly entertaining.

And if Barnabas is a little mild for the '90s, well, who needs TV to scare us when real life is doing such a good job of it?

The Pittsburgh Press and DARK SHADOWS 1991

The Pittsburgh Press
Sunday, January 13, 1991
Section J, Page 1 (continued on J6)
Entertainment

'Dark Shadows' Rises From Dead
By Robert Bianco

LOS ANGELES — It walks among us, a blood-sucking creature of the night. Try though you might to kill it, IT KEEPS COMING BACK TO LIFE!

A vampire? Of course not — "Dark Shadows."

Yes, neckbiters, that Gothic groaner, that classic '60s soap concoction of witches, werewolves and weirdness, is coming back for a nighttime run. The vamping starts tonight at 9 with the arrival of a two-part NBC mini-series (part two airs tomorrow at 9), and continues Friday at 9 p.m. on NBC with the regular premiere of the "Dark Shadows" series.

In this bigger budget, big-name remake, Ben Cross ("Chariots of Fire") takes over from Jonathan Frid as vampire extraordinaire Barnabas Collins, America's Phantom of the Soap Opera. Hollywood
great Jean Simmons lends class as matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, played in the original by the late Joan Bennett.

The force behind the show is producer Dan Curtis, who created the original series before going on to produce such TV classics as "The Night Stalker," "The Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance." Considering some of his casting choices in "War," you might think Curtis enjoyed working with the living dead, but he says it took NBC officials two years to convince him to return to the "Shadows."

"It was never my idea," Curtis says. "I never intended to do it again. But it wouldn't die, for all these years it stayed alive... It is more popular today than it was even then."

Well, maybe not more popular in terms of mass appeal; the original ABC soap opera was a pretty big deal there for a while in the late '60s. But certainly the intensity of its popularity with its core cult has done nothing but increase. "Dark Shadows" videocassettes are best sellers and fan clubs abound. And when cable's Sci-Fi network debuts this spring, it will air the original "Shadows" twice a day.

Began in 1966

Not bad, considering the show's inauspicious 1966 beginning.
"It started off as an attempt at a Gothic romance/mystery. It was never intended to show or actively be involved with the supernatural. There were a lot of conversations about locked rooms and howling in towers, but you never saw anything.
The show was rapidly going down the tubes."

As "Shadows" neared the end of its 26-week order, it became clear to Curtis that ABC would not extend its run.

"My kids, who were 9-10 years old then, said to me, 'Daddy, if it's going to go off the air, why don't you at least make it scary?' And I said, 'All right, why not?'"

So he scrapped the Gothic plot in mid-story and wrote a new story around "some jerky kind of a ghost." When the ratings immediately picked up, he decided to go for broke.

"I decided I would find out how far we could go, what would the audience accept. Now for me, as a kid, the scariest thing was always a vampire; that was my personal scary monster. I decided, I'll put a vampire on this show, and then we'll kill him off."

Frid was added to the cast as Barnabas, and a star was born — or unearthed, maybe. And if there's one thing that's harder to kill than a vampire, it's a star.

"We couldn't kill him off. He became an instant matinée idol. This guy was out there ripping throats out, he was doing everything awful, and they all went crazy over him. The women went insane; the kids went crazy."

I can't testify for the women, but I will admit to being one of those kids who ran home from school to see who Barnabas would put the bite on next. We made Curtis' life prosperous but difficult.

"Now I had to solve the biggest problem: How do I perpetuate a vampire? So we made him a reluctant vampire."

High hopes for show

In his own way, Barnabas was a precursor to all those sensitive '70s heroes. A romantic at heart, he didn’t mean to treat women so badly. He just had these, well, urges.

Who knows if Barnabas' ratings magic can strike twice, but if there was ever a season that could use some new blood, it's this one. The network has been frantically promoting the series, a show that NBC Entertainment President Warren Littlefield hopes will be the season's first "break-out" hit.

Actually, NBC first became interested in "Dark Shadows" during the 1988 writers' strike; the network figured the show had five years worth of scripts just waiting to be remade. Curtis, however, was busy completing "War and Remembrance" and the idea got shelved.

A year later, Littlefield says, "We sat down with Dan Curtis and we screened the 'Dark Shadows' feature, and we loved it.
We just felt it was different. It was fun. It was sexy. It was scary. And we just kind of said this would be great television."

Producing great television turned out to be a bit more complicated than NBC first thought. Curtis says he couldn't use any of the old scripts; they were too repetitious. He's rewritten the show, keeping the same tone and most of the same characters, but changing some of the plot specifics.

"The basic parameters of the story are the same," Curtis says. "The incidents within have all been replotted. So there are new and different ways of getting to some of the same places that we got to."

Unlike those old ABC soap viewers, we won't have to wait a year for Barnabas to arrive. He makes it to Collinwood by the end of the miniseries' first half-hour -- still bemoaning his extended existence, and still pining for his first love, Josette. But there is one change in his love life, Curtis says.

Character change

"The difference between this and the old show is that the Victoria Winters character, the governess, is now the reincarnation of Josette, something we would have done then if we'd known what the story was going to be."

Now Curtis not only knows where the story is going, he knows how to get there. He won't stick in any normal, everyday plot devices because he tried those in the original and they didn't work; every plot has to deal with the supernatural.

Under today's TV standards, he could make the new show more violent, but he’s not interested in that path, either. "We see no reason to show any more blood than we show.... This is not going to be a terrifying show. It never was."

And that's the key. For all its vampires, for all its ghosts, for all its strange music heralding visitors from beyond the grave, "Shadows" is at heart a romance. A scary romance, perhaps, but a romance nonetheless.

Curtis may have put it best: "This is not a horror story. This is basically a fantasy."

Will a '90s audience be interested in a '60s fantasy? Only the shadow knows.

(Robert Bianco is The Pittsburgh Press TV-radio editor.)

September 11,2011


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

PDSFC Sunday, Feb 7,1993 Celebration

In 1993 The Pittsburgh Dark Shadows Fan Club held one of it's Fan Club parties. Here is the cover of the gatherings program guide.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Frid and Fiends November 1992

Jonathan Frid signs autographs for fans.

Jonathan Frid signs autograph for me (Dan Silvio)
The Pittsburgh DARK SHADOWS FAN CLUB trip to Altoona, PA.  in November 1992 to see Jonathan Frid perform in his one man show FOOLS AND FIENDS.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

DARK SHADOWS FESTIVAL 2003

Pittsburgh Dark Shadows Fan Club member Donna Jennifer Silvio (STACK) as Carolyn during the COSTUME CONTEST at the 2003 Dark Shadows Festival in New York. Photo by Joe Bondi.

Monday, July 25, 2011

TV GUIDE AUGUST 1968

An Original DARK SHADOWS ad from the Pittsburgh edition of TV GUIDE. The storyline when this ad appeared concerned ADAM and EVE and the TOM JENNINGS VAMPIRE episodes. Notice the time DARK SHADOWS is on........9AM and that was NOT a MISPRINT! I used to try and stay home playing SICK (It worked sometimes!) just to watch!  Click on image to make bigger!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

OTHER DARK SHADOWS FAN CLUBS pt.1

card 5

card 4

card 2

card 5
Here is the LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT from JOHN E. PETERS CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA DARK SHADOWS FAN CLUB from 1988. (I used this as a design for THE PITTSBURGH DARK SHADOWS FAN CLUB certificate.) Not sure if this DS CLUB is still active! The Club also furnished a set of 24 Central PA DS FAN CLUB post cards that you can find on ebay every once in awhile. Here are a few of the post cards.

LAST WILL......PDSFC

The Pittsburgh Dark Shadows Fan Club was founded in 1989 for the fans of the Dark Shadows television series in southwestern Pennsylvania and the nearby Ohio and West Virginia. The Club has held gatherings and trips to Dark Shadows Festivals, performances by Jonathan Frid and David Selby and in 1991, the club held a peaceful rally at the local NBC affiliate - WPXI to stop the cancellation of the revival series of DARK SHADOWS. The PDSFC was founded by Lorraine Underwood (of Carnegie, PA.) and Daniel Silvio (of Bloomfield, PA.) The club also had an official fanzine called SHADOWS OF THE NIGHT (created in 1987 by Daniel Silvio). The Fanzine, Shadows Of The Night stopped publishing in 2003,  The Club is no longer active. The FANZINE website blog is at SHADOWS OF THE NIGHT
Last Will And Testament certificate for the PGH DS FAN CLUB members.

PGH DS FAN CLUB TEE SHIRT....

This is a SILK SCREEN FILM designed by DANIEL SILVIO in 1990 for a Pittsburgh Dark Shadows Fan Club Tee Shirt that never came about.

Gifts for the PGH DARK SHADOWS fans

Dark Shadows PENCILS

Autographed Photo of DS star Sharon Smyth Lentz (SARAH COLLINS), PGH DS FAN Donna Jennifer Silvio made a friendship with  Sharon during a DARK SHADOWS FESTIVAL and made this item happen.

Photograph of the Barnabas Collins Portrait

When The Pittsburgh Dark Shadows Fan Club started in 1989 with the meeting of Daniel Silvio and Lorraine Underwood, the group held irregular gatherings to view DARK SHADOWS episodes and rare material, and the club would hand out Special items to its guests during these meetings, pictured above are just some of the SPECIAL MADE memorabilia.

JOSETTE'S PORTRAIT 1993

Dan Silvio at a PITTSBURGH DARK SHADOWS GATHERING in 1993 with the JOSETTE portrait from the NBC Mini-series Pilot of DARK SHADOWS (1990) The Portrait was bought at a DARK SHADOWS FESTIVAL auction by the Late PGH DS FAN Paul Brown.

Donna Jennifer Silvio 1993 hold JOSETTE'S PORTRAIT

PGH DARK SHADOWS FAN CLUB 1993

My Daughter, Donna Jennifer Silvio (Stack) at a PGH DARK SHADOWS FAN CLUB gathering showing off a DARK SHADOWS MUG with lid that was offered as a prize during a DARK SHADOWS related game. Photo 1993.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

       UNDER CONSTRUCTION 
                   JULY 2011