Dark Vengeance (Dark Shadows zine)

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Title: Dark Vengeance
Publisher: Pandora Publications
Author(s): Robert Finocchio
Cover Artist(s):
Date(s): 1981, 1983
Series?: yes
Medium: print
Genre: het
Fandom: Dark Shadows
Language: English
External Links:
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Dark Vengeance is a het Dark Shadows novel by Robert Finocchio. The illos are by Barbara Fister-Liltz, the graphics by Frank V. Liltz.

The first volume of this zine was basis for the original film debuted at ShadowCon IV. See Dark Vengeance.

Issue 1

Dark Vengeance 1 was published in 1981.

From an ad in Universal Translator #17: "The basis for the original film debuted at ShadowCon, written by Robert Finocchio. Julia seeks her vengeance for the demise of Barnabas against the entire Collins family -- with unexpected results, compliments of Angelique!"

From an ad in Inside the Old House #12: ..."a limited edition issue, skillfully written by Robert V. Finocchio, DARK VENGEANCE in the original screenplay for the original film debuted at SCIV!."

From an ad in The World of Dark Shadows #27: This screenplay, by Robert Finocchio was the working script for the original film viewed at ShadowCon IV and in it the action is fast and furious. The plot concerns Julia's determination to avenge the death of Barnabas Collins by Rogers hands--with the aid and support of the rest of the Collins family and Rev. Trask. Julia enlists some aid of her own--Angelique--and each member of the family is haunted by a spectre out of his or her own path which takes them to a horrifying end. Many full page illustrations by Barbara Fister-Liltz add to the mood of this story--my personal favorite is the one of Maggie Evans, confronted by the spectre of her husband. Nicholas Blair, determined that this time marriage shall, indeed, be a true one… Format and binding identical to "Without Makeup"; Price $5.00."

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

For some people, writing is the easiest thing to do. They can sit down with a pencil and paper, or at a typewriter, and compose material that is not only readable. but enjoyable. For others, writing is an agony. They have to labor over every word, making sure that it is the right word in the right place. Or they are creative, but writing is the hardest part of the creation and they put it off until the last minute, then rush through it in a blitz. Some people fins that they can write prose very easily. It flows, to paraphrase Shakespeare, trippingly off the pen or typewriter. To others, prose is a most difficult thing to do, but a screenplay is almost like a game, something that can be popped out in almost no time at all. And then there are others who can do either, depending on what has to be done and the best way to do it. Not to brag, but I have done both forms. Both have their assets and their drawbacks. With prose, one can get inside the head of the character and tell what they are thinking, to use a most obvious example. In a screenplay, one usually has to denote thought through action. I know, you say, you can do a voice-over, with the actor supposedly vocalizing the words he is thinking to himself. It's a good technique if it's not overused. Once or twice in a film, maybe, unless the narrative is specifically designed to be narrated with voice-overs, such as many of the films based on the novels of Raymond Chandler. What this is getting around to in a round-about fashion is the object under scrutiny this time. It is a screenplay by Robert V. Finocchio called Dark Vengeance.

I'm coming from the position that a script is basically the blueprint for a film. The writer will supply the basic structure and the director, technicians, actors, etc., will supply the decoration on that structure. Everyone contributes, but one must have a good solid foundation to build on. That solid foundation is A Good Script. And that's what Dark Vengeance is. A Good Script. It lays all the groundwork for what must follow. Roger Collins has found out that Barnabas is a vampire and stakes him. At the memorial service for Barnabas, Julia vows to get her revenge on those who killed the man who helped them so much when they needed it, and gave him only death and destruction in return. That she was also in love with the man shows that this is a lady not to mess with if she wants something. Julia allies herself with Angelique. who also wants revenge on those who killed her lover. This story bears no small resemblance to the plots of the two excellent Vincent Price films, "The Abominable Dr. Phibes" and "Dr. Phibes Rises Again." As you might recall, the two films are stories of revenge, with the maligned Dr. Phibes dishing out a punishment that seems particularly designed for the person being punished. The same is true for Dark Vengeance. Each member of the Collins family and those close to them, such as Maggie Evans and Willie Loomis, get a punishment that is unique and just right for them, if you believe Julia is justified in her lust for revenge. If you do, then to reveal more of the plot would be to spoil the surprises and pleasures you will have in learning just how Julia gets her revenge on the "killers" of her beloved Barnabas. The production of the book can't be faulted. It is bound just like a script should be. The only fault that I find with the book is the way that the illustrations are placed into the text. Each illustration is a full pager and has quote from the story that explains the action in the picture. The first time I was reading through the script, I thought that the story came from the previous page, continued with that little bit of prose, then went to the next page. I was wrong and found it confusing until I reasoned that it just didn't work that way. My suggestion is to read the script first. then look at the illustrations afterward, which are done in Barbara Fister-Liltz's usual excellent style. The fact that I own several of her paintings and admire her work greatly has no bearing on what I say. If they were bad, I would say so. But they aren't, they are very good. All in all, I don't think you could get a more amusing or entertaining read for your money. Read Dark Vengeance. Then write Robert Finocchio and ask him when he is going to do the sequel. Dark Vengeance II: Julia Strikes Back Again. That was a joke that started at Shadowcon IV where the filmed version of Dark Vengeance made its premiere. I would comment on the film, but unfortunately, I had to be elsewhere at the convention during the first 25 minutes of the film and so I didn't get to see it from the beginning. Plus there were some technical problems in the projection of the film that tended to detract from the image on

the screen. I will say that what I saw I enjoyed very much and the people who worked on this project are to be praised highly. It doesn't have that Hollywood slickness, but that isn't necessary. It had a drive and a power that made it most interesting and I hope to see it sometime from the beginning. (Robert, that was a hint, I hope you're listening.) And to reiterate the above suggestion, Robert, get to work on the sequel. I want more to rollout of that talented typewriter of yours. [1]

Issue 2

Dark Vengeance 2 was published in 1983.

From an ad in Universal Translator #17: "The exciting sequel. The vengeance continues on another plane as Julia is reunited with Barnabas to fulfill the wrath of the beautiful, beguiling Laura Collins!"


  1. from Inside the Old House #15