Friday, April 12, 2013

Freaky Friday: Salem's Lot

Our Fearless Blogger is back today with a review on the classic horror flick, Salem's Lot! I'll admit I'm not the biggest Stephen King fan, but I can recognize talent when I read it (and see it). Many of his books have been turned into films in which both book and film become legendary. After reading Danielle's review on Salem's Lot, it's definitely on my watch (and read) list.
"It's not often that you get to review one of your all-time favorite films. For me, it happens to be a vampire film- specifically the 1979 version of Salem's Lot.
Based on Stephen King's novel of the same name, it is the story of a writer who goes back to a small town he lived in as a child. The reason: he wants to write about the Masten house- the town's haunted house that has scared Ben, the writer, since childhood. Unfortunately, there is more than the evil of the Masten house that has invaded Salem's Lot.
I love this film because it has plot, charm, great acting, and suspense. It is true that the technology is dated and there are a few things that take away from it. [Spoiler Alert: Highlight with mouse to see] Like the fact that most of the killing scenes are cut short per 1970's TV censors. It doesn't matter though. Not all good horror films have to be gory to be scary.
One of the oddest things about this film is the strangeness that is the different make-up designs on the vampires. The master vampire, Kurtz Barlow, is a blue, Nosferatu-type creature. Then, there are a couple of white vampires, a red vampire, and a greenish vampire. I'm not sure why they did this, but it is weird not to have a uniform make-up style.
Also, with this movie being a mini-series, sometime in the 1980's, the film was cut down into a regular movie-length format. When I was a kid, it was shown in this format repeatedly on TV. It wasn't until they released it on DVD that I was able to see the full version.

Now, you may ask me if the mini-series is worth watching and I can only answer yes. The extra scenes help to build the overall suspense.
It is an odd film, for sure, but it is masterfully done, which is probably helped by the fact that it was directed by Tobe Hooper, who is best known for directing the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974).

Each time I watch the movie, I am left with one thing- [Spoiler Alert: Highlight with mouse to see] At the end of the movie, there is nothing left of the head vampire but his fangs. And, I've always wanted those teeth. :)
If you are expecting romantic vampires or something Lost Boy's-esque with the idea that when the master vampire dies, all the other vampire become human again, this is not the vampire movie for you. These are the vampires of nightmares- the scary evil things that lurk in the dark. I love every minute of it.

Rating: A+ (Even though there is that weird make-up thing. Totally kick-ass movie.)"

How do you prefer your vampire? Horrific? Lost Boy, bad boy? Shiny and sparkly? ;)


  1. Argh!
    This is the first Stephen King book I best friend scared the living bejeesus out of me telling me about it...before I had to run through our backyards to get home after dark. So of course I ran out and got it at the library.
    The Stand is my favorite, though. The book. Though the movie was pretty good, too.
    Oh, and then there was Misery. Made me want to be a romance writer...

  2. Yipes! Salem's Lot definitely makes my "top ten scary movies of all time" list! I watched this when I was a kid and loved it while the movie played, but hated myself after because I was afraid to go to bed, scared the creepy little boy would come to my window. Now that I'm older, something has clicked in me, and I don't watch scary movies at all because they wig out my brain, but this post makes me nostalgic and tempts me to hunt down a copy of Salem's Lot and watch it again. :S

  3. I love the book and I loved this version of the film. Like Celeste, I think I'd like to watch it again, even though I don't 'do' horror any more. The scratching at the window still makes me shudder.

  4. Thanks for all the comments. I, of course, recommend watching it again. And, it would make a good film for a Halloween fright fest. :)

  5. I haven't seen 'Salem's Lot in years! I'll have to look it up now and watch it again. With all the lights on, of course. :) I love the book, and I always get a thrill out of all the short stories Stephen King has set in Jerusalem's Lot over the years. Every time I find one in his short story collections it's like going back to visit. But a visit that contains holy water and a crucifix!

  6. Dude, this King book is like the stamp of approval a mass media put on his career. This was the book that really made him, because the first one, Carrie, could have been a fluke. With this one, everyone knew, this was not a man who'd disappoint.

    Agreed. One of the best books of the century!

  7. I love this movie and the book! This film scared the hell out of me as a kid and to this day I have to shut my eyes during several of teh scenes!