The Television Horrors of Dan Curtis

Dark Shadows, The Night Stalker and Other Productions, 1966–2006

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About the Book

The award-winning and innovative director Dan Curtis was known for helming epic war movies, but before that he darkened the small screen with the horror genre’s most famous soap opera. Curtis directed the groundbreaking daytime television serial Dark Shadows from 1966 to 1971 and then turned his lens to numerous made-for-TV horror movies.
This book examines 16 horror films that Curtis produced, co-wrote, or directed, as well as the cultural impact of Dark Shadows and its various incarnations. The book features 69 photographs and a foreword by Jim Pierson of Dan Curtis Productions.

About the Author(s)

Jeff Thompson is a professor of English at Tennessee State University in Nashville. He contributes articles on film and popular culture for magazines and books, as well as Web sites dealing with Dark Shadows and horror cinema.

Bibliographic Details

Jeff Thompson
Format: hardcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 208
Bibliographic Info: 69 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3693-4
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5337-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword: The Fearless Master by Jim Pierson      1

Preface      3

Introduction: Dan Curtis and Television Horror      9

I. The Career of Dan Curtis: An Overview      19

II. Curtis’s Dream: Dark Shadows      55

III. Big-Screen Shadows: House of Dark Shadows and Night of Dark Shadows      76

IV. Curtis and the Classics: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Frankenstein, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dracula, and The Turn of the Screw      89

V. The Kolchak Papers: The Night Stalker and The Night Strangler      113

VI. In the Night Stalker Vein: The Norliss Tapes and Scream of the Wolf      127

VII. A Trilogy of Trilogies of Terror: Trilog y of Terror, Dead of Night,and Trilogy of Terror II      136

VIII. Curtis’s Pre-War Farewell to Horror: Burnt Offerings and Curse of the Black Widow      153

Conclusion: Dan Curtis and the Emergence of Participatory Fan Culture      165

Chapter Notes      179

Bibliography      187

Index      193

Book Reviews & Awards

“Thompson has done his homework—this comprehensive career biography of TV legend Dan Curtis covers everything the man produced…Thompson writes with a clear love for his subject and an accuracy that’s impressive”—VideoScope; “highly recommended”—Examiner.com; “unique and highly recommended”—Midwest Book Review; “a superb book, a must read for all Dark Shadows and Dan Curtis fans”—Scary Monsters Magazine; “excellent detail…fascinating, enlightening and educational…photographs are incredible. It’s a must-read”—Canyon News; “Thompson does a great job of fleshing out Curtis’ entire career…a well-researched book! Grade A-”—mania.com; “enjoyable reading and lots of fun”—www.meetup.com.