Hey, Warner Bros.- Where are the "Dark Shadows" films?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Charles Ellis, Jun 19, 2005.

  1. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Screenwriter

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    I'm sure everyone knows about WB's releasing of some classic horror titles (Val Lewton), alongside with some really crappy titles (Night of the Lepus-the infamous "killer rabbit" movie), and yet on this board there has been a growing clamor for the films based on Dark Shadows- House of Dark Shadows(1970) and Night of Dark Shadows(1971), while Warner Bros. has done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! I'm sure that George Feltenstein is more than aware of the valiant efforts to restore the 129-minute "director's cut" of Night of Dark Shadows with the full support of Dan Curtis, the surviving actors from the film, and DS fandom , and while Mr. Feltenstein has always prided himself on being a pal of film restoration, the NODS restoration is an effort that is ideal for DVD, but he has turned a blind eye to something that would endear Warner Home Video to a lot of people while releasing titles with no popularity of following at all like Lepus. What gives?

    BTW, here's a link to Darren Gross' Night of Dark Shadows restoration site:
    http://home.earthlink.net/~moviemandg/
     
  2. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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  3. FrancisP

    FrancisP Screenwriter

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    I was looking at the restoration site for NODS and found this laughable quote from Jan 2004, "(with the entire Warner Bros., RKO and pre-1986 MGM titles at their disposal, they have their marketing plans built around launching other more prestige, higher selling films.)"
    Its funny how things change or if anyone thinks that Night of the Lepus is prestigious then they are bloomin idiots.
     
  4. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Screenwriter

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    ROTFLMAO!!!!
     
  5. Darren Gross

    Darren Gross Supporting Actor

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    Heck, I've been a supporter of NIGHT OF THE LEPUS for a DVD release as well as the DS films, but solely because I believe it's a marketable cult title, especially with the exposure in THE MATRIX and its cast, not because of the quality of Lepus itself...

    I think there's a market for the DD films and much more cult titles and LEPUS (and Private Parts for that matter) shows a welcome effort for cult releases....though I would have waited and included it in a 'Thanksgiving turkeys' box set of famous 'bad' and cult titles...;-)

    I think Mr. Feltenstein and co. are doing a tremendous job and when they do turn their attention to these titles, I'm sure they will bring Dan Curtis & co aboard and grace us with definitive DVD versions of these titles. With their stepped up schedule this year, it must be just a matter of time.

    Patrick...although the last two chats didn't bring up the two films, that only means that people who wanted to ask about them never were able to post...The threads after do have people asking about them, though.
     
  6. AlanBrom

    AlanBrom Second Unit

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    Why all the NIGHT OF THE LEPUS bashing? The fact that Warner is putting a cult gem like this out opens the possibilities for more titles of this ilk in the future.
     
  7. Darren Gross

    Darren Gross Supporting Actor

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    My point, exactly.[​IMG]
     
  8. FranR

    FranR Auditioning

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    Count me in as interested in seeing DVD releases of the Dark Shadows films-- "House of DS" and a restored "Night of DS." The latter is my favorite of the two-- it's creepy horror at its best, despite the unfortunate cuts. Kate Jackson (very good here), David Selby (too beautiful for words), John Karlen (some very memorable moments) and others are superb in their roles, and the music is lovely and haunting. A restoration of "Night of DS," using reconstructed scenes, would greatly enhance the story.

    The Dark Shadows franchise seems as popular as ever. I'm thrilled to see this thread and hope TPTB take notice.
     
  9. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    I'll pick up NIGHT OF THE LEPUS and DRACULA AD 1972 for sure.
     
  10. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Screenwriter

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    But will you pick up the two DS films when they're finally released?
     
  11. FrancisP

    FrancisP Screenwriter

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    I don't believe the Dark Shadows movies are even on Warner's radar screen. I wonder if there aren't some issues that Warner's not talking about be it rights issues or something else.

    On 10/21/2003 Warner released another cheap b-flick called The Black Scorpion. I certainly would not call that a prestigious film. Combine that with Night of the Lepus and it just makes me wonder about how Warner makes its decisions.

    HODS was the first original high budget movie based on a tv show. It remains the only original soap opera ever turned into a high budget movie. Certainly that gives it some prestige.

    One thing I do criticize about Warner is their non-licensing policy. If they don't want to risk their money on releasing a dvd then why don't they let someone else do it. I find it hard to believe that either Anchor Bay, Image Entertainment, or MPI wouldn't be interested. Then they could collect a licensing fee with no risk.

    Anchor Bay is releasing another cult film Race with the Devil on 6/28/05 with DS alumnus Lara Parker for $14.95 SRP and $8.98. For that price you get a featurette with Peter Fonda, production stills, and a commentary with the executive producer and Lara Parker.
     
  12. Darren Gross

    Darren Gross Supporting Actor

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    Hi Francis:

    there's not a single legal or music hurdle on these titles at all. In fact, they're probably some of the cleanest titles as far as ownership, contracts etc. Curtis has always been a very shrewed businessman...

    Plus there's not a single pop song in either film and all the music from both films is by one composer (Robert Cobert) and his music rights publisher was Dan Curtis Productions itself ('CurNor Music'). So, nope, no confusing legal trails to follow or muddled rights, there.

    Someone, somewhere in marketing is waiting for another rendition of Dark Shadows to hook the DVD marketing wagon to, but it's doubtful anything new will happen in the next few years.

    Perhaps if I were to show the powers that be Grayson Hall's surreally creepy deleted musical number from it, it would pursuade a few of the right people. I'm just glad it still exists, and hopefully the world will be able to see it restored someday...
     
  13. Claude North

    Claude North Second Unit

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    Darren,

    What, exactly, is this "surreally creepy deleted musical number?" I don't remember reading or hearing anything about such a scene. As a fan of all things Grayson, I'm quite intrigued!
     
  14. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    Of course I'd pick up the two DS films....I already have 16 box sets of the TV series!
     
  15. FrancisP

    FrancisP Screenwriter

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    Darren, it's nice to hear from you.

    I agree that Dan Curtis is a shrewd businessman. That's why my first thought was that he might have retained some rights or royalties that would make Warner hesitant about
    releasing the films.

    I do have a couple of questions about a post on your NODS
    restoration site. In Jan 2004 you had a post about what a Warner marketing rep said about the DS movies not being high priorities. Was this at a forum? Also I found your commment about Warner wanting to release prestige films. If
    that was the impression or a statement they were trying to make then they were blowing us off. Releasing The Black Scorpion three months earlier shows they were committed to releasing films that are not so prestigious.
     
  16. Darren Gross

    Darren Gross Supporting Actor

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    It was from internal dialogues...the wording prestige is mine, I suppose, knowing the A titles at that time unreleased in the Warner library, but I believe priority or marketable is a more accurate description.

    Curtis isn't entitled to any more royalties than any usual producers or directors who receive royalties from their films video releases...Just standard stuff really.
     
  17. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Screenwriter

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    But Darren, you haven't answered the question about Grayson- I'm dying to know what you meant about a "musical number"!
     
  18. Darren Gross

    Darren Gross Supporting Actor

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    DELETED
     

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