Big screen take on the cult soap opera can be muddled by a murky plot if you're not familiar with the series' characters. But it delivers some decently entertaining vampire theatrics, with Jonathan Frid a commanding screen presence as the headlining bloodsucker. Not on the level of better B-movie gothic chillers of the era - say, some of Hammer's best films - but entertaining for cult horror fans.
The 1970 feature film version of the popular ABC supernatural soap is my favorite vampire film of the era. It's also radically different from the TV show: faster, darker, more violent. TV anti-hero Barnabas Collins is far more anti- than hero here, and series star Jonathan Frid rises to the occasion. If you want more Frid, look for him in Oliver Stone's SEIZURE (1974 aka QUEEN OF EVIL). (9/23/11 Tarrytown Music Hall)