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Overall Rating

Awesome: 25.71%
Worth A Look40%
Average: 14.29%
Pretty Bad: 14.29%
Total Crap: 5.71%

1 review, 29 user ratings

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Salem's Lot (1979)
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by Brian McKay

"The First and Last Miniseries worth seeing from Stephen King."
4 stars

Although I'll admit it is incredibly dated, it still manages to be thoroughly creepy - much more so than any of the subsequent hamfisted attempts at adapting King's work to the small screen

Salem's Lot is the name of the town overrun with an infestation of vampires, in this miniseries based on one of King's early novels - back when he was a genius instead of just a fucking sell-out (*cough* RoseRed *cough*).

David Soul, (aka "Hutch"), portrays Ben Mears, a somewhat celebrated novelist who returns to his home town in order to face old demons and seek inspiration for his new novel. He quickly meets and falls in love with Susan (Pre-Die Hard Bonnie Bedilia), who is a fan of his writing. He also befriends local nerd-kid-who-is-too-smart-for-his-own-good Mark Petrie (Lance Kerwin, the Ricky Schroeder of the 70's - too bad Schroeder hasn't gone away like he did).

Sure enough, Mark starts seeing his little school chums turn into vampires, and manages to convince Ben. Together, they try to figure out what the hell is happening to the town and stop the plague of Vampirism.

Although this movie is old, and was made with minimal effects, it is still creepy - much more so than any contemporary vampire story or overblown CGI ghost tale. I'm sorry, but dead kids staring up out of coffins with glazed-over eyes is fuckin' creepy, and so is seeing them float up to your window later that night, asking for a drink with their fangs bared. In addition to the spooky vampire action, there is also the town's mandatory haunted house that bears exploring, and it looms like a monolith out of Ben's troubled childhood.

Drive-In Triple Feature Picks for Salem's Lot:

The Sentinel - 1970's fashion model moves into haunted NYC apartment building. Wait 'til she goes to investigate the noises in the "empty" apartment upstairs - creepy, bro!

The Changeling - Classic 70's ghost story with George C. Scott as a widower renting a haunted mansion.

A solid adaptation of the source novel, "Salem's Lot" manages to consistently chill with tense pacing, believable characters, and some creepy mofo vampires.

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originally posted: 08/31/02 20:17:44
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User Comments

11/06/17 lowell Great vampire movie. One of the best! 5 stars
8/26/17 morris campbell DATED BUT GOOD READ THE BOOK ALSO 4 stars
3/22/17 Louise (the real one) It's scary all right and not a bad adaptation in my opinion. 4 stars
8/26/12 Monday Morning Scariest book I've ever read - movie is OK but can't match it. 4 stars
1/13/12 Matt greatest horror film ever made 5 stars
11/18/11 Mike Groesbeck David Soul suprisingly good 4 stars
6/26/11 art i saw it in 1979 on television,it wasA WILD STORY! 3 stars
9/19/10 Nar Earth-shatteringly scary as a kid. Still creeps me out at 40! 5 stars
6/05/10 Pantheon The best vampire film ever. Period. 5 stars
5/07/09 art FOR VAMPIRE FAN"S ONLY! 2 stars
11/28/08 Shaun Wallner Scary Film! 5 stars
11/12/08 Carlos Scariest vampire scenes, bald MrBarlow, WTF? Dated but very good. Book is way better! 5 stars
5/25/08 ladavies not scary 2 stars
11/01/07 Mpond Freaked me out at 11 years old when watching at 1:00 am by myself. That's a long time ago. 5 stars
5/20/07 MP Bartley Plot is shoddily developed, but this is the only truly scary vampire flick. 4 stars
11/06/06 Chris I think the movie is as good as the book 4 stars
7/10/04 JLRoberson Scarred me for life at 8. To this day the reason I can't sleep with the shades open. 5 stars
6/22/04 American Slasher Goddess Loosely adapted, but not bad. James Mason is excellent. 3 stars
6/21/04 David Fowler Unquestionably the best King TV adaptation, Mason is forever brilliant. Terrifying 5 stars
6/16/04 franknutz not a bad adaptation ive got to say 4 stars
2/02/04 Robert Van Winkel this i shit sucks 1 stars
1/13/04 Samuel It was pretty decent but it was alot long than it should have been 3 stars
8/14/03 Jordan Rishel not bad for 1979, but way too fuckin long 3 stars
8/31/02 Charles Tatum Terrifying...when I was eleven years old. 2 stars
10/14/01 E-Funk Tobe Hooper sucks at vampire movies too...Cmon man, remember Texas? 1 stars
10/14/01 Andrew Carden The Book Is So Much Better, This Is Boring and Unexciting. 2 stars
1/29/01 hum i think james mason is wonderful in just about anything but this film makes little sence a 2 stars
9/30/00 malcolm horrifying when i was 12 - a so-so TV version of a still-horrifying book 3 stars
9/19/00 Bjork This movie was very popular in it's time. Star Warsdoesn't impress anymore either-nuff said 4 stars
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  17-Nov-1979 (NR)



Directed by
  Tobe Hooper

Written by
  Paul Monash

  David Soul
  James Mason
  Lance Kerwin
  Bonnie Bedelia
  Lew Ayres
  Ed Flanders

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