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Salem's Lot [1979] (1 disc)

Director:Tobe Hooper
Writer:Paul Monash
Composer:Harry Sukman
Length:183 minutes
(3 hours 3 minutes)
MPAA Rating:PG
Suggested Event Use:Halloween
Sorting Category:Susp/Hor
Sorting Tub:Alpha
IMDB Rating:6.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:82%
Amazon Rating:4.0/5 stars
User rating sites like above
are subject to change
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  • Suspense / Horror
  • Fantasy
  • Drama
Available Formats:
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3D Blu-rayDigital
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Synopsis: Vampires are invading a small New England town. It's up to a novelist and a young horror fan to save it.

Reaction: A bit long and some of the scares could be punched up a bit. The biggest problem is that Mr. Barlow looks a little ridiculous when he appears. But the story is actually kinda cool.

Personal Rating: 7/10

Tobe Hooper => Director
Paul Monash => Writer
Harry Sukman => Composer
Stephen King => Novel
Barbara Babcock => June Petrie
Barney McFadden => Ned Tibbets
Bonnie Bartlett => Ann Norton
Bonnie Bedelia => Susan Norton
Brad Savage => Danny Glick
Clarissa Kaye-Mason => Majorie Glick (as Clarissa Kaye)
David Soul => Ben Mears
Ed Flanders => Dr. Bill Norton
Elisha Cook Jr. => Gordon 'Weasel' Phillips (as Elisha Cook)
Fred Willard => Larry Crockett
Geoffrey Lewis => Mike Ryerson
George Dzundza => Cully Sawyer
James Gallery => Father Donald Callahan
James Mason => Richard K. Straker
Joshua Bryant => Ted Petrie
Julie Cobb => Bonnie Sawyer
Kenneth McMillan => Constable Parkins Gillespie
Lance Kerwin => Mark Petrie
Lew Ayres => Jason Burke
Marie Windsor => Eva Miller
Ned Wilson => Henry Glick
Reggie Nalder => Kurt Barlow
Robert Lussier => Deputy Constable Nolly Gardner
Ronnie Scribner => Ralphie Glick

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • The exterior for the Marsten House, the film's icon, was actually a full-scale facade built upon a smaller preexisting hill-top house. In total the facade cost the production an estimated $100,000 dollars to build.
  • Director [?] George A. Romero was originally approached to direct a feature film version, but after the announcements of John Badham's Dracula and Werner Herzog's Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht, Warner Bros. decided to turn Salem's Lot into a TV mini-series. Romero dropped out, feeling he wouldn't be able to make the film the way he wanted to with the restrictions of network television. After the mini-series aired on CBS with excellent ratings there was talk of continuing it as a regular television series for a while. The idea of making Salem's Lot a TV show never materialized though.
  • Producer [?] Richard Kobritz decided to select Tobe Hooper for the director's chair after catching a screening of Hooper's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
  • The last film that composer Harry Sukman worked on before his death in 1984. The score was nominated for an Emmy.
  • [?] Larry Cohen wrote the first draft of the movies script but producer [?] Richard Kobritz said Cohen's script was "really lousy" and chose Paul Monash to write the screenplay. Cohen attempted an appeal to get some writing credit on the film, but he was rejected screen credit.
  • This was the first television mini-series (and the second film) to be based on the writings of author Stephen King.
  • Though Salem's Lot was only Stephen King's second published novel, like many of his subsequent novels, it has connections to his {Dark Tower} series. In this case, the character of Father Donald Callaghan appears in the later books of the series.
  • In an interview with Reggie Nalder, the actor said that the contact lenses and heavy makeup work he had to wear for the role of Kurt Barlow was quite painful and took some time to get adjusted to. In an interview with director Tobe Hooper, Hooper said that the makeup work on Reggie Nalder had to be constantly touched up as it would crack or fall off while the actor was performing for the camera. Hooper said that the film's finale with Barlow in his coffin required numerous takes to keep the makeup work intact during shooting.
  • Stephen King was inspired to write the book when he had his English class read Dracula, and became curious about what would happen if vampires came to America, specifically in a small town.
  • The biggest issue that divides fans of the novel and film is the fact that Barlow is depicted as a hissing Nosferatu-like monster in the film, rather than the speaking Dracula-like character of the novel. In an interview with [?] Richard Kobritz he said the decision to go with the terrifying monster figure came out of concerns that a speaking, romanticized villain just wouldn't be frightening enough.