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Dark Dreamers, Volume 1 (4-DVD)

Various , Stephen Maynard    Unrated   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product Description

An unprecedented 4-DVD collection of the horror world's greatest writers, filmmakers and SFX artists sharing their personal reflections.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Dreamers Interviews March 24 2009
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Dark Dreamers, Vol. 1

If you were interested in the horror genre as a writer, illustrator, FX person or just a horror film connoisseur at the beginning of this century, you might recall a small Canadian television production flying under the banner of Dark Dreamers. This series was a televised companion magazine to the collectable photographic book released by three-time Bram Stoker award winner, interviewer Stanley Wiater, and photographer Beth Gwinn.

This 36 episode television series was released in Canada on the TV Ontario network where it quickly gained a following, not only in Canada, but in the United States as well. However, it was never picked up by a US distributor, therefore, many American Dark Dreamers have only heard of the series while it made it to UK television in 2005.

If you haven't seen it, now is your chance! If you want to watch it over and over, now is your chance!

I had first heard about the release of this DVD collection in January of 2009. I am one of those who was captivated by the original television series. So, when I heard the two year production was finally being released on DVD, I was ecstatic. I promptly pre-ordered it on long before the February released date. I finally received it in mid-March. In the USA, Amazon will most likely be quicker on delivery of this product.

I spent the entire weekend watching the interviews, one right after another. I was not disappointed by any. Though, I do not remember all of them, this past weekend each and every interview proved to be a delight. The first DVD opens with Clive Barker which is one of the many highlights of the collection.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This collection of interviews is a must for any horror fan! July 27 2009
By Wayne C. Rogers - Published on
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Anyone who loves horror and fantasy (fiction, art, movies, directors, actors, screenwriters, and special effects) is going to want the DVD set of Stanley Wiater's Dark Dreamers. This is a four disc-collection of interviews that appeared on Canadian television from 2000 to 2001, which includes sit downs with Richard Matheson, Clive Barker, Peter Straub, Douglas Clegg, Jack Ketchum, Harlan Ellison, the late, great Forrest J. Ackerman and Richard Laymon and Stan Winston, Bernie Wrightson, Wes Craven, John Landis, John Skipp & Craig Spector, Richard Christian Matheson, and another twenty people who are involved in the world of make-believe horror. Each disc has seven-to-ten interviews on them with some segments geared toward one interview, instead of two, such as those with Harlan Ellison, Clive Barker, Stan Winston, Sean S. Cunningham, Peter Straub, John Landis.

The quality of the filming is very low budget and most of the interviews take place around the Los Angeles area, where most of the people seem to live. There are no bells and whistles in this set, nor are the interviews done with any kind of flash or circumstance. This is simply a sit down between Stanley Wiater and the person being interviewed with a few questions being asked and the famous dark believer doing most of the talking. Of course, it's the interviews that are the most important aspects of this collection. In many ways, the interviews are priceless, especially since a number of the people here are now dead. So with that stated, you know exactly what you're getting when you buy this set, and believe me, it is worth the price of twenty-five dollars. That's just the cost of one hardcover novel. Much of what is said during these interviews is a treasure house full of information for would-be writers and directors following the path that was previously paved by these masters of horror.

Here's a small sampling of what you can expect to hear in many of the interviews. Clive Barker will discuss his many projects from fiction to directing to painting and to writing poetry. He also still writes his novels in long hand, believing that this process forces you to get it right the first time. Richard Matheson will talk about his personal experience with the late, great TV writer, Charles Beaumont, and how they were almost killed when driving through the Hollywood mountains after a golf match and a huge tractor-trailer truck got on their rear bumper for the entire stretch of the downward, curving highway. Matheson later used this experience to write his teleplay for the TV movie, Duel, which was Steven Speilberg's first movie. Then, there's Forrest J. Ackerman who created the legendary Famous Monsters of Filmland back during the early sixties. A thirteen-year-old boy named Stephen King, sent his first short story to Famous Monsters, but it was soundly rejected. Many years later, King autographed the story for Ackerman. Harlan Ellison, though older, hasn't changed a bit. He's still ranting and raving about everything, but with a touch of more humor mixed in with his satirical outlook at the plight of humanity. I have to admit that Ellison had me laughing out loud in numerous places. Peter Straub delves into his friendship with Stephen King. He talks about how King and his family moved to London for a year and how he and the master of horror gradually developed a close friendship that brought about the collaboration on The Talisman. The artist Bernie Wrightson tells the story of how Stephen King once called him during the day, and how he thought it was a prank being played by one of his friends. It wasn't until George Romero got on the phone, too, that Bernie realized that he was talking to two great masters in the horror genre. King was calling because he wanted Bernie to do the artwork for the comic book adaptation of Creepshow, which was then being filmed by Romero. There's also Del Howison, the owner of the Dark Delicacies bookstore in Burbank, California. He delves into his dream of creating a store where everyone interested in the horror genre (fiction, movies, screenplays, toys, and other paraphernalia) could come to visit, sharing the experience with others of like mind. Ah, but let us not forget the beautiful and sexy Julie Strain, who has made a career out of doing low budget B-horror movies. Smart and Amazonian in statue, Julie discusses her career and how difficult it's been to make a living in Hollywood, though she was earning six figures a year, working almost non-stop. This is a lady who probably has as many male fans as Stephen King does, but for different reasons.

The above is just the tip of the iceberg with Dark Dreamers. The people being interviewed discuss much more than just those tidbits of information, plus there are all the individuals I didn't mention. For true lovers of the horror genre, this is a must-have collection of some of the most famous people working in the many areas of the horror genre. I don't know if there will ever be anything like this again, though I certainly hope so. There are other writers and directors out there who need to be interviewed so that their own knowledge of make-believe horror can be shared with those of us who want to work in this fascinating industry. Check out this DVD set, and then buy it. You won't be disappointed in these fantastic moments by those who are dark believers and masters of their craft.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like finding a lost treasure. March 5 2009
By Feo Amante - Published on
I can't beat around the bush on this one.

I love it.

Seriously, what's not to love? Hardcore Horror fan Stanley Wiater has been making his Dark Dreamers series of interviews when people were paying him and when he had to pay for it himself. The guy is dedicated.

Through the years he collected possibly hundreds of interviews and in this first volume, Wiater brings together talks with Clive Barker, the late great Forrest J Ackerman, Richard Matheson, Nancy Kilpatrick, Edo Van Belkom, John Saxon, Douglas Clegg, Jack Ketchum, Gahan Wilson, and that's just the first DVD! There are still three more to go!

According to the box, these interviews were brought together between 2000 and 2001.

They're nearly a decade old! Not topical? Sure! But what these people had to say about their career, their history, and their views all transcend the "now" anyway. Seriously, do you want Matheson to opine on the latest celebutard scandal or do you want him to tell you what it was like being young and working with Boris Karloff and Vincent Price?

Some of the folks on this DVD set are no longer with us, making this collection even more valuable as a Horror Thriller fan's archive. There are interviews with Richard Laymon, Joseph Stefano, and Stan Winston to name a few.

I've played through the whole thing twice now and I'm sure I'll watch it again. The interviews aren't filled with Access Hollywood or TMZ drooling sugar babble. Stanley asks the kinds of questions we would ask if we only had his wonderful jaw-dropping opportunity.

Dark Dreamers Volume 1 collects two seasons of DARK DREAMERS on four DVDs and that's it. There really is no need for any DVD extras. These interviews ARE the DVD extras!

Stanley has had a difficult time finding an American distributor. These interviews, done on the cheap, lack the bouncing bright colorful MTV graphics and twirling 3D cgi letters spinning around by way of introduction. In fact, to watch Dark Dreamers is nearly like finding an old, long forgotten video made in some distant period of television. In many ways, Dark Dreamers really is a lost treasure. Originally set to be released as a 5 DVD set by Elite Entertainment back in April of 2008, that fell through when Elite went out of business and their catalog was bought up by Brain Damage. Obviously Dark Dreamers was one of many movies they didn't keep on the release roster. So I want to give major kudos to Smash Vision for stepping up and releasing this.

Having seen some of the original episodes long ago, I said back in January of 2008, that Dark Dreamers is, in fact, so much more than a documentary: It is a legacy; a heritage. This is what we've all wanted and waited for. Every fan, every writer, every film maker, every musician, every artist, anyone who loves Horror Thriller in all of its many forms will find nothing penultimate in DARK DREAMERS. It's rare that someone can say this without hyperboly, but there is no question that DARK DREAMERS is the proverbial IT!
- E.C.McMullen Jr. from an original review of DARK DREAMERS at Used with permission of Feo Amante's Horror Thriller (
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Big Sleeper Release of 2009 March 16 2009
By Darrin Venticinque - Published on
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What can really be said that the first reviewer has not already touched upon? Fans of horror films and books will, without a doubt, thoroughly enjoy this dvd set and will be left wanting more. One can only hope that some of the interviews will re-appear in their original, longer format, as some of the people just have way too many good things to say. Kudos to Mr. Wiater, who has obviously done this as a true fan of the genre and not as a job on someone else's directive. This set may include the only on-screen interview known with the late Richard Laymon, which is priceless in itself. I can go on for a long time, but it is best if you just buy this for the bargain price listed. You will not be disappointed.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spend 10 hrs with some of the greats in dark arts March 27 2011
By Daimonion - Published on
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I never knew Dark Dreamers existed until I happened across it on Amazon for 17.00, so I had to buy it. It was well worth it, and I cannot recommend this highly enough for anybody interested in horror, sci-fi, or fantasy. There is a book by the same title by Stanley Wiater, and this DVD is of the TV show which was inspired by that book.

We get in-depth interviews conducted by Stanley Wiater with some of the greatest artists, writers, directors, and legends in their respective fields. Roughly 10 hrs worth of interviews are contained here with the likes of Clive Barker, Wes Craven, Stan Winston, Richard Matheson (and Junior), Richard Laymon, Forrest J Ackerman, Harlin Ellison, Skipp & Spector, Larry Cohen and many many more!

Wiater's interviews are well thought out and his questions are intelligent. He's not just some reporter, but a man who loves and works in the genre of fiction and it shows in the high quality of the conversation. Several of the individuals have died since this was shot in 2000 and 2001, making this show a valuable and lasting document, a tribute, to a few of the great minds and imaginations of our time.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great interviews! well worth the money. Sept. 3 2012
By drewman88 - Published on
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The people interviewed cover the horror spectrum pretty well from writers, to directors, actors to producers. Each interview is a good half hour long, and there are a a good number of them spread over four discs! If you love horror and want a look inside the minds that create it, then these dvd's are for you.
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