Author Archives: Editor

Dark Shadows: Switched!

Edward is skeptical

When Charity Trask tells Edward and Quentin Collins that she’s killed their vampire cousin Barnabas, they don’t believe her at first. The poor girl is, after all, crazy. Then they all go to the formerly secret place where Barnabas kept his coffin to see for themselves.

Yep. There’s Barnabas with a stake sticking up out of his chest. Edward orders both the coffin and the sea-cave where it’s placed sealed up.

Meanwhile, Count Petofi continues his insidious plans for traveling into the future. Chatting with Quentin, he asks the younger man if he would like a new life. Quentin says sure, …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


Dark Shadows: Time Travel Tricks

Dr. Hoffman in a boobytrap with a gun

Our last cliffhanging episode saw Dr. Julia Hoffman, who has gone back in time to join Barnabas in 1897, tied to a chair with a gun pointed at her, rigged to shoot her when the door to the room is opened. Since Barnabas is coming to rescue her, Count Petofi, who put her there, gleefully assumed that her vampire friend will be the one to open the door and kill her.

Barnabas does open the door, and the gun goes off–but Julia isn’t harmed, for reasons that are very interesting.

It appears that the bullet passes through her and shatters the …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


Sonnedragon Serialization, Part 57

Front pages: maps, illustrations, family trees, etc.

A portrait of the Redlyon, painted early in his reign, hung in the gallery of the Manor next to a similarly larger-than-life-size portrait of his consort, Duke Diana. Mara and Peter left the packet in Ren’s care and left her chambers to go down the stair to the gallery to examine it closely. Though Mara had walked beneath this painting nearly every day of her life, she’d never given it more than a glance.

Peter was the first to find it. “There it is, Prince Mara! Look!”

Mara stood close beneath the painting’s frame …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


Dark Shadows: Putting Right What Once Went Wrong

Dr. Hoffman in a boobytrap with a gun

Now that she’s got the information about how Quentin Collins died, Dr. Julia Hoffman goes back in time to 1897 herself to tell Barnabas so he can stop it from happening.

Julia, however, experiences some kind of traumatic event after she goes into her I Ching time-travel trance and passes through four metaphorical doors. When she arrives at late-Victorian Collinwood, she collapses at the front door and doesn’t seem to know who she is.

Edward Collins finds her and brings her into the house. He is baffled by her short hair and short skirt (although her skirt isn’t as short as …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


Sonnedragon Serialization, Part 56

Front pages: maps, illustrations, family trees, etc.

She left Hartshall, walking swiftly toward the Manor to find her cousin and Bel and tell them her good news. Rafenshighte raced to catch up with her.

“I must say you surprised me today, Prince Mara,” he said once he’d gained her side and matched her pace. “I thought you would be pleased to become Regent, otherwise I wouldn’t have voted as I did. Well, I daresay you know best about obtaining your own ends, but it delays some other important matters. We’ll have to wait to make any personal announcements. I’d …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


Dark Shadows: How Quentin Died

A bottle of poison

Barnabas Collins has been playing with an I Ching kit again in order to return to the 1960s and find out the circumstances of Quentin’s murder now that he knows the exact date of the event–September 10, 1897–but not who did it.

Unfortunately for Barnabas, Count Petofi has gotten on Edward Collins’s good side by promising to help him get Barnabas. In spite of the spells cast against him and his son, Edward still considers the family vampire to be his greatest enemy; I think he believes that Barnabas is responsible for that on top of everything else.

The Count even …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


Storylandia 17: Collected Stories, by Arthur Davis

Where to buy: 10% discount code: HDCYF4CR at this online store; eligible for Free Shipping at Amazon; and Kindle.

Sample pages

Where to buy: 10% discount code: HDCYF4CR at this online store; eligible for Free Shipping at Amazon; and Kindle.

Collected Stories

By Arthur Davis

Storylandia 17 features eight tales of dark fantasy, horror and the surreal by American writer Arthur Davis. “The Man From Lahr” is a tale of magical realism as a New York psychiatrist is visited after-hours in his office by a mysterious stranger who has …read more

Source:: Storylandia


Dark Shadows: More Count Petofi

Barnabas trapped in his coffin

Now that the Count has his severed hand back and reattached (although it still looks nasty), he looks to the future–by that, I mean that he wants Barnabas Collins to take him to the 1960s when Barnabas himself returns to that time.

“The music, paintings, beautiful people of 1969,” the Count muses. “What will they be like?”

But Barnabas has to refuse, since he doesn’t actually know how to do that; the Count shuts him up in a coffin and pins him down with a crucifix on his chest.

Count Petofi then brings in Quentin to talk to Barnabas. Quentin is …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


Dark Shadows: Count Petofi

The Count's other hand

After his artificial hand is accidentally yanked off during a fight, the mysterious stranger known as Victor Fenn-Gibbon first denies that he is in fact Count Petofi. But as he speaks of the powerful warlock’s history–how the Count gave up his hand to the gypsies to be cured of being a werewolf, and how sad he was when he killed his pet unicorn during one of his wolfy nights–he only convinces his audience that he’s speaking from personal experience. He admits the truth.

Why does he want his icky severed hand back, apart from its mercurial powers? He’s been …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


Sonnedragon Serialization, Part 53

Front pages: maps, illustrations, family trees, etc.

“There’ve been terrible rumors around the court,” Ambris told Mara and Kat later that night after they’d returned to the Palace. Dafythe had gone to his bedchamber; the rest of the courtiers had likewise retired. The halls of the Manor were dark and silent and the only lighted candles were in Mara’s room, where the three now sat in private conference. Ambris was obviously embarrassed to speak of the matter, but after the incident at the theatre, he felt it necessary that his sister and cousin know all. “It’s rumored that Father …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


Dark Shadows: Who’s Got the Hand?

Quentin under the pendulum

After one last, unexpected night as a werewolf, courtesy of the Hand of Count Petofi, Quentin Collins awakes to find that his face has been restored to normal… but he’s in no position to be happy about it. While he was running around in werewolf form, the highly suspect Victor Fenn-Gibbon and his accomplice Aristede captured him. They want the Hand for themselves and intend to use Quentin as a hostage to force the person who currently has it to give it to them–that would be Angelique. The evening before, she told Fenn-Gibbon that she and Quentin were engaged, so …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


DVD Review: The Lost Skeleton Returns Again

Flying to South America They fly to South America, as shown on the map.

At a warehouse belonging to Draile Import Export, Handscombe Draile himself meets with a cheap hood named Carl Traeger (Kevin Quinn). After very slooowly checking Carl’s identification, Draile tells him that he’s sending an expedition to the Amazon to find the source of Jerranium 90, and Carl is to join it.

Peter flies to South America with the Skull. Carl also flies to South America. Different flights, same passengers boarding.

After searching identical-looking villages for Paul Armstrong, Betty and Reet begin to lose heart. They step into a bar that’s little more than a shed to order something to drink. “We’re looking for an American Man of Science,” Betty mumbles disspiritedly. “You haven’t seen him, that’s okay.”

“Si, Senora,” the bartender answers. “We call him ‘the Man in the Corner’.”

Cut to a table in a shadowy but dramatically lit corner, where sits a bitter, drunken, unshaven man. “Betty,” he says in a gravelly voice. Yep, it’s Paul (Larry Blamire), but he tells his wife that he’s not the same Man of Science he once was.

“I’ve seen too much now, Betty. I’m not the Paul you knew. The Paul you knew is still out there, looking for stupid little rocks, rocks that used to be so special. That was before I knew about drinking, and life… All that’s left now is the vague memory of a man in a white shirt with a ticking box and a loyal wife.”

Betty very sweetly assures him that he still does have a loyal wife–although she broke the atmospherium detector by trying to keep some bacon warm. Paul agrees to accompany Reet on his mission into the jungle, since Reet knows nothing about rocks. “But I’m still really bitter, okay?” He also tells Reet and Betty that he’s probably more familiar with Jerranium 90 than they know.

Reet assembles the rest of his expedition team. He’s hired the best guide available–Jungle Brad (Dan Conroy), twin brother to the late Ranger Brad. Jungle Brad is suspicious about his brother’s death and finds it hard to believe Ranger Brad was horribly mutilated by a bear. Paul and Betty are in a position to reveal the truth to him about the mutant, but they don’t.

The final member of their party is a volunteer, Peter Fleming. The Armstrongs are astonished to recognize him as Rudolph Yaber, even though he doesn’t have a beard and they saw “Rudolph Yaber” die at the bony hands of the Skeleton. But Peter explains:

You’re referring to my brother, Roger Fleming, who sometimes went by that name. I’m Peter Fleming, the good twin.

Peter Fleming & Skull

The sequel to 2001’s The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra didn’t appear until 2009. One of the producers describes it as “The same people who made the first movie have a little more money.”

This second film follows the first as a tribute to the scifi movies of late 1950s and early ’60s, but it adds on a jungle adventure. The production values have also taken a couple of steps up with the addition of a new production manager, Tony Tremblay. While his props retain a certain goofy period charm, they don’t have the same found-objects look as the …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


Dark Shadows: Hand with a Mind of Its Own

The Hand haunts Collinwood!

When Quentin Collins first sees his old friend Evan Hanley hideously disfigured by an encounter with the Hand of Count Petofi, he doesn’t recognize him.

And when Barnabas and Magda tell him that they want to use the Hand to cure him, he’s even more reluctant to go near it than he was when they initially suggested that he allow that grisly object to touch him. What if the Hand does the same thing to him?

It is a tough choice. Which is worse: the risk of possibly permanent horrible physical disfigurement and mental damage, or going all wolfy 2 …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


Dark Shadows: Vampire Troubles

The Hand

In my last Dark Shadows review, I wrote that Barnabas’s impulsive, bitey solutions to his problems only gets him to deeper difficulties. As the story line for 1897 progresses, these problems only get worse, but Barnabas does bring most of it on himself.

It starts when Barnabas bites and inadvertently makes Dirk, the Collinwood groundskeeper, into Dirk the Vampire (no relation to Tom the Vampire or Tom’s twin brother, Chris the Werewolf). On his first night out, Dirk attacks Carl Collins’s fiancee Pansy, then goes into hiding in the cellar of the same abandoned building where Tim Shaw has been …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


Dark Shadows: First Werewolves, then Vampires

David's birthday party

Once the gypsy Magda learns that the werewolf curse she placed on Quentin Collins also encompasses his infant son–her own nephew–she is anxious to revoke it. But such curses can’t be removed easily.

Barnabas gets involved with all this when he bites Beth and makes her tell him everything she knows about Quentin’s werewolf problem (which he already strongly suspects) and about the twin children (which he didn’t). Beth is sent to have a silver pentagram made to protect the little boy from the curse; the silversmith is a teenaged boy, who will become the aged Abe-Vigoda character we saw in …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


Dark Shadows: A Game of Solitaire

An ominous figure appears at the window.

Well, Laura Collins is gone, but Quentin still has his werewolf problem to resolve. Since he’s already tried to summon up ancient gods when he and Angelique were battling Laura, I suppose it’s only natural that he again turns to higher supernatural powers for aid. Quentin goes to his friend and co-occultist, the shady lawyer Evan Hanley. The two perform a ceremony to try and call up Satan, but things don’t go as they hoped.

An ominous, dark figure does appear at the window in a flash of lightning. Quentin, who’s already pretty drunk, faints away in terror. But when …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


Dark Shadows: Revenge of the Phoenix

Quentin the Werewolf

Or Revenge against the Phoenix. There’s a whole lot of Character X does something to Character Y, and Y retaliates by… in the resolution of this plot.

Barnabas has suspicions that the present Laura Collins is the same woman who, as Laura Stockbridge, married his uncle Jeremiah more than 100 years ago. She is, but his prying into her past has roused Laura’s ire.

Laura and Edward Collins’s son Jameson runs away from his new school at the house that will later be occupied by Dr. Lang and Nicholas Blair in turn. The boy goes to his mother, who tells him that …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


Sonnedragon Serialization, Part 50

Front pages: maps, illustrations, family trees, etc.

She didn’t wait long; her father summoned her to his private apartments that same afternoon. “Mara,” said the Duke, “it has come to my ears that you continue to think of your campaign to Santiago.”

“Has it?” Kat must have gone straight to Dafythe with the news. Only two other persons were privileged with any part of her secrets: Bel, who wanted another chance at the Spanish so badly that she would never dare breathe a word against Mara even if she could doubt her purpose or think of committing an act of …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


DVD Review: The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra

Paul and Betty Armstrong

After I reviewed Trail of the Screaming Forehead a few weeks ago and spoke highly of the other films of Larry Blamire, I started rewatching them all and decided to say something more about them. The Lost Skeleton first.

This film was made in 2001 as a parody and tribute to the low-budget, black-and-white scifi films of the 1950s. I always think that parodies work best when the people creating them are knowledgeable about their subject, have an affection for it, and most important of all, understand the appeal of it. We have a good example here. The Lost Skeleton …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands


DVD Review: X the Unknown

Soldiers search for radioactive material... and find more than they expected.

When I was watching the first episode of Nigel Kneale’s second Quatermass series for the BBC, I had the feeling I’d seen something like it before although the rest of the story didn’t progress the way I thought it would. What I remembered involved an indestructible blob monster coming up out of the ground.

This was the movie I was thinking of. It does look like a sequel to Hammer’s version of The Quatermass Experiment–but it’s not. It’s more a sort of Quatermass wannabe. Hammer originally intended it to be another tale in the continuing adventures of Professor Bernard …read more

Source:: TheNorthlands