Salem's Lot [VHS]
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Product Description

A New England village is plagued by vampirism in this blood-curdling shocker based on the bestselling novel by Stephen King, directed by Tobe Hooper (Poltergeist) and starring David Soul, James Mason, Bonnie Bedelia, Lew Ayres and Ed Flanders.

Year: 1979 Starring: David Soul, James Mason, Bonnie Bedelia, Lew Ayres, Ed Flanders Director: Tobe Hooper Sound: ENG; Subtitles: ENG, FR

Customer Reviews:

  • Best Vampire Movie in Existence
    Even with great actors starring in the re-make of Salem's Lot I was very hesitant that it would be able to even touch the original. As I guessed after watching the new re-make (which was ok and filled in some gaps to an already 3 hour original), it still couldn't hold a candle to the original.

    The original captures a time when there was no internet, no cell phones. It was an eerie town, a spooky house and a time that if such an evil could infest a town, it probably would spread fast as in this film.

    As naive as I am after all these years, I was actually doing searches for Salem's Lot in Maine and was surprised to know that no such place actually exist. It was just a hypothetical place created by Stephen King. However, the location was in Ferndale California where the infamous "Marsten House" still stands on a road where no other houses are and has "No Trespassing" signs everywhere. Doesn't look quite the same from what I'm told and Hollywood dressed up the outside just for the film.

    Classic film, one of my brothers still refuses to watch this movie because of the memories of it scarying the hell out of him. I can't even tell you how many times I have seen it. The original actors were absolutely fantastic, David Soul, James Mason and the whole crew.

    I still see the best acting in the world when Ben Mears (David Soul) is telling the story in the bar to his old school teacher (that inspired him to be a writer) about entering the house as a kid on a dare. David Soul shines on this role as if he was meant to do this part.

    The same can be said about James Mason. He played the part as he was born just to do this movie.

    Great movie, a classic, but why in the world does the DVD not have special features like "interviews"?

    [...].

    You take a 5-Star Horror movie and have no special features. That was my only disapointment.....more info
  • You'd never know it's made for TV
    I remember watching this when it originally aired in October or so of 1979. I was 11 years old at the time and it scared the HELL out of me then. Now, over 25 years later I have it on VHS, and it's still one of the scariest vampire movies I've ever seen. It's easily the best made for TV King adaptation to date, and aside from the commercial break fade-to-black's, you'd never know it was made for TV.
    Those who have read King's excellent novel will say that the screenplay deviated quite a bit from the original text, and that's true, but it's also okay. It gives the film even more originality. I also agree with the many posters here that say the Barlow being a "Nosferatu" style vampire was very scary, his mysterious silence even more forboding, making you wonder just what language this thing would speak.
    The characters are well played out, and you get a good sense where they're coming from, you feel their pain. You also feel like you know the town as you see all the skeletons in the closets popping up. You actually get a sense of looming fear, camera angles were key for this, always seeming to look up at things peering down at you, mocking you, making you small.
    The film relies on suspense to get your blood moving fast, not blood itself. I remember seeing only 1 drop of blood in the entire film, on Mike Ryerson's bedsheet.
    I give it 4 stars only because this film could have stuck closer to the novel. Otherwise, it's a testament to the genre. Never relying on blood, gore, profanity, or sex to gain your interest. Just gut wrenching suspense, and a sense of impending doom.
    I make a point to watch this film around every Halloween, and any other time it sounds good. If you're into suspense, horror, and vampire films, this one is definitely worth it. ...more info
  • the best version
    this is the only salems lot to buy dont waste time with that new mini series it wasnt scary and the acting bordered on pro wrestling anyways salems lot is the story about a writer returning to his small hometown called salems lot to write a new book when he was young him and some kids thought they saw somebody hanging in an old house thats supposed to be haunted while back in his town he notices all the people that have dissapeared or died and he suspects the old house and is curious about its new owner an antique dealer named mr straker and his partner who never seems to be around mr barlow this movies 1 of my top 10 vampire films alltime its truly scary unlike many vampire films these are more traditional vampires of folklore not models in 3 piece suits like in ann rices movie these vampires tear into you and when u die you are cursed to roam the countryside as 1 of these ghastly spectors this movie has great makeup and good effects making these vampires much more sinister than the ann rice age crowd is accustomed to buy this today it belongs in your collection...more info
  • New Version of an Old Legend
    The opening scene says Ximico, Guatemela. A man and a boy collect bottles of Holy Water from a font. Then one bottle glows blue! What does it mean? Then we see the past where the man Benjamin Meers drives to an old mansion on a hill. Who would buy an old house with need of a paint job? Somebody with a profound need for privacy? The Marston house has been sold; the owners will open an antique shop in this small rural town. The story runs on with various characters showing up to introduce themselves. Benjamin is writing about the Marston house. "Let's go to the lake." Mr. Straker asks Mr. Crockett to pick up a crate from the docks at night. Are those children carrying guns in school? Times have changed.

    The two men find the strange crate on the docks. "Its cold in here." Does every town have a haunted house? Can a thing be inherently evil? Why is Mark interested in weird subjects? The two men deliver the package and leave. What happened to that young boy? Are the bedroom scenes overplayed? Who parked that car? Who is outside the window? What is happening to those boys? "You learns something new every day." What could cause sudden anemia in town? Is the stranger a little odd? Will something happen in the graveyard? [Does it seem incredible?] Now Mike is sick after Danny Glick's funeral.

    Mark's hobby has a practical value. How did Mike get those marks on his neck? Now the marks have disappeared at death! "There soon will be." Benjamin is attacked by Ned and put in the hospital. [Do some of the scenes seem funny rather than horrible?] Not when Ned is attacked in jail! What plague is killing people in town? Can Father Callahan do something? Some power creates a disturbance in the kitchen! Can no one stop the monster? "Its unbelievable!" "Funny dream." Others have them too.

    Will they invade the Marston house to stop the plague? What will the Chief of Police do? [Is it time to call up the local Militia?] Where is Father Callahan? Will running away solve the problem? Ben stops Straker with his pistol, then searches the house. They find a coffin. You know what will happen next. The house of evil is cleansed by flames. But Ben and Mark are on the run, an odd ending. Were you shocked by the ending? "We'll always be together. Forever." What about the others? Will they have to move on?

    This film runs slowly until the last hour. The credits don't list the roles for the actors. Some were famous in the 1940s. Does the ending show horror? Ben travels with a teenage boy then kills his former girlfriend when she meets them! Is there a message here? This film is based on a Stephen King novel which follows the story of Bram Stoker's "Dracula".

    ...more info
  • One of the best vampire movies ever!!!
    Even though the movie is older, the vampires are way scarier than the cgi vampires of today. ...more info
  • Nothing special about the special features
    The movie is entertaining and enjoyable, especially if you're a David Soul fan, like myself. And being a fan, I was hoping that there might be a David Soul interview or commentary on the dvd, but there isn't. There are no cast or crew commentaries or interviews on the disk. The only special feature is a theatrical trailer, which is, of course, a simple synopsis of the movie. The issuers of this dvd missed a golden opportunity to make a good dvd great....more info
  • classic movie
    salems lot has to be one of the best 3 hours one can spend watching classic horror. david soul is fantastic.i am also glad the version here is the full 3 hour one and not the cut down tv version...more info
  • Great movie!
    First, let me say that Salem's Lot is LONG! It's long because originally it was aired on television over several days. It's length however, does not detract from it's quality. I'd call Salem's Lot a "thinking man's movie." It doesn't become clear exactly what's going on at first.

    A writer comes back to his hometown to write a book based on an experiance he had as a kid. It just so happens that at the same time, an antique store opens up in the town that brings more than just antiques with it. You start piecing things together, but you're never quite sure what's going to happen next. And boy, what a twist at the end!

    I'd definetly recommend this movie to any classic horror fan!...more info
  • salems lot mini series
    Where is the widescreen , all this wait and no widescreen , we know you have it ,don't you want to share it with us? I have this on vhs , yes the miniseries version , 3hours long , it is in widescreen and looks fantastic.. the 4:3 version looks so flat! So i know for certain it exists , so why , why , why even bother to release a 4:3 version . Who owns a crt tv anymore? Well if you want a long lasting digital copy this is for you ! picture is good except the colour is a bit washy! If you want widescreen well buy the deleted vhs version (if you can find it) and an old ex studio vhs player for about $40 , that's what I did , this dvd I couldn't watch , so off to ebay you go! ...more info
  • Displeased
    When I placed my order with you all it showed that I was buying the 1974 version of Salem's Lot, the one I wanted. When it was delivered it was the 1994 version with Rob Lowe...more info
  • "It just sat there, like an evil idol,overlooking the town"
    I'm not sure if that's a quote from the novel, or something King said himself, but this is one of the best(Right up there with The Stand,which was monumental) of Kings works. One wonders if the feature film forum is the best way to present his awesome works, but some seem to lend themselves to the mimi-series format,like"It" more even so, the remake of this film, which was updated to an extent,but ,despite the protests of some critics who felt it was a "scattershot"rendition, this one has,in many respects,has real, potent power,particulaly in the way the the young boy, Luke is forced into budding manhood by almost losing his life. I agree with King in that the depiction of The Marston House was sort of decentralized as the cradle of dark evil(is there any other kind?)But the chenages rung in both screenplays do little or nothing to de-emphasize the creeping atmosphere of horror that permeate both films. True,technology rang a few changes here and there,but that's not really the point. One of the major themes of the novel is the way debauchery,however trite and tawrdy,can become a part of an evil that's (almost)unstoppable,nd yet,I didn't think of King's prose as being priggish or Puritanicl(although it's such a part of New England life) It's as if he ripped the chintz curtains away and revealed something dark and ultimatly horrifiying and that's where the power lies.
    Donald Sutherland,by the way, does a great job of giving one the crawling creeps as Barlow's "creature"....more info
  • classic movie
    salems lot has to be one of the best 3 hours one can spend watching classic horror. david soul is fantastic.i am also glad the version here is the full 3 hour one and not the cut down tv version...more info
  • Awesome Considering it Was Made For TV In the 70's
    First off, this DVD is your best bet with the full version. Back in the day, I bought the condensed version on video which butchers a good 70 minutes of footage.

    I had the liberty of seeing the TNT remake of this the other night and was rather disappointed. Although it was slightly more faithful to King's novel, I found a lot of it laughable and the effects were idiotic. This is much better. The story centers a writer returning to his hometown just as a vampire and his servant take up residence and begin preying on the townspeople. The vampire Barlow is very Nosferatu-ish in thsi when actually in the book, he was basicly an average man that happened to be a vampire, but oh well. The vampire make-up and everythingis actually pretty scary and convincing *which is more than I can say for the recent remake.* Overall, highly recommended. It's not what you would call scary, but it's good for a creepy night-time viewing. And don't miss out on the book!...more info

  • Classic
    Everything clicked on this ratings smash mini-series adapted from Stephen King's visionary novel. The purposely slow and steady direction of Texas Chainsaw Massacre director Tobe Hooper the original, and best, Salem's Lot, in which Ben Mears (David Soul) returns to his childhood home, and soon finds that a powerful vampire has taken up residence and is preying on the town. What helps make Salem's Lot so effective is the same formula that helped make Hooper's original Chainsaw movie so great: giving the atmosphere an intense sense of dread and fear, almost without having to shed a single drop of blood. Not to mention that the cast does terriffic work, including a creepy James Mason as the mysterious Straker who serves as the vamp's henchman. With knowing nods to classic films of the genre, including the classic german silent film Nosferatu, the original Salem's Lot is lightyears beyond the recent TNT remake, and is by far the best Stephen King adapted TV mini-series of all time. ...more info
  • A Great Horror Flick
    As a child of modern horror, this was not what I was expecting. This movie relied more on suspense that blood and guts gore.

    I was very impressed by the vampire make-up. I was expecting something cheesy and laughable and instead I got something that was very realistic.

    There was more attention paid to character relationships that I was expecting, also. The characters were more fully fleshed out that I am used to in horror.

    This is a great movie as long as you aren't expecting the now usual blood, guts, and gore....more info
  • A scary underrated TV vampire movie
    Salem's Lot is underrated. A made-for-TV movie that aired in November 1979, it seems to have more of a cult following than mainstream popularity, in my opinion. This movie came out at a time when a year earlier John Carpenter's Halloween had sort of revived horror movies and the public's interest in them. The late 1970s and early 1980s were the golden age of horror movies, and this was one of the better ones. One thing I must say though, after watching this movie in 2009, is that this movie screams 1970s horror, and 1970s in general. This is a good thing, because back then John Carpenter proved that you really don't need to incorporate blood and gore into a horror movie to make it scary and effective. Salem's Lot has almost no blood and gore. The atmosphere is what makes the movie effective at scaring its audience. A small town in Maine with a scary looking mansion on a hilltop, mixed with some strange, mysterious characters and normal characters and an eerie atmosphere makes for a good horror movie. Not to mention a mean dog with some serious teeth! My only complaint is that I think 183 minutes is much too long. This movie would have been just as good or better if an entire hour was chopped off. I realize this was a TV mini series, but still it was a little too long. The first time I saw this movie I was waiting for something to happen. The movie was kind of dragging at a slow pace. The second half of the movie is better. I understand that time is needed in order for things to play out leading up to the town being haunted by vampires, but I just think the amount of time was excessive. Not only was the time excessive, but some of the scenes during this time were kind of on the boring side, showing just everyday activities being performed by the characters, with some stories within the story playing out. I don't want to give away what I'm referring to. Another good example of a movie that drags at times is The Exorcist. There's something about 1970s horror movies. A lot of them drag a little, but they're still great movies. A sign of the time period, I guess. The Shining is another example. People had longer attention spans back then. But I still like this movie and most horror movies from that era. I don't want to go into all the specifics of this movie, such as each scene, how the movie ends, etc. The purpose of this review is to tell you about the atmosphere and the length of this movie and how it is underrated. Do I recommend it? Absolutely, but just make sure you have 3 hours to pay attention to this movie distraction-free. It truly is a great horror movie. Pop it in and turn out the lights. Pay attention. You're in for a scare. ...more info
  • RC in Dallas
    I was 9 when Salem's Lot first aired. It has always been the prototype of a scary movie to me. For years I could give myself the willies thinking about those glowing eyes, that kid at the window, and Mr. Barnes. Buying the VHS about 10 years ago was a bit of a disappointment. The editing is terrible and leaves many holes. Was it that bad on TV, or was it shortened for the VHS? The effects are a bit hoakie and look really old in these days of CGI. I also understand that a new DVD is less butchered.

    But let's give this fun movie the credit it deserves. For network TV, this had to be pretty racy material. Who else but Steven King would kill all those kids? And what's creepier than that kid scratching on the window? Plus, it's fun to see how much things have changed in 25 years. Its a hoot to look back at all the funny clothes, cars and phones.

    If you watch the TNT remake, you see that the new version is a little closer to the novel and goes deeper into detail. But the original is still the best and gives more goose-bumps for the buck. Enjoy it on a night you want to feel a little creeped-out and revel in it's 70's TV charm....more info

  • I realy enjoyed this scary movie
    I like it because it scared heck the out of me! I like the cast also....more info
  • Lance Kerwin where are you?
    When i saw this movie on TV as a teenager i was floored. Being a true horror fan, especially vampire flicks, i had no idea a made for TV movie could be so good. I read the book in 1980 and was twice as scared. This is a great vampire/horror movie. I only have one question: Lance Kerwin where are you? I miss James at 15...more info
  • Poor Attempt
    When Steven King first started having best sellers there were a few attempt to bring them to light in the movies. The trouble was that they often got watered down to a point that they only resembled the original story line, but was often a different story. After watching The Shining (Original version) I decided to read the book to see what scary parts didn't make it to the movie. I found that most of the book didn't make it to the movie. I did basically the same thing with Salems Lot and once again found a huge disappointment. I understand the remake is supposed to be a lot closer to the book, but I haven't seen it to compare to this movie....more info
  • REVISITING MY DEMONS!
    I totally understand David Soul's character in the original Salem's Lot because I had to find a way to confront my childhood demon. A demon that haunted me for years: watching Salem's Lot without wetting my pants.

    When this movie premiered in the late 70's, I was 12 years old. A 12 year old horror movie freak. (I'm still a horror movie freak. That rare female that can watch horror movie dvds for an entire weekend.) Everyone I knew - my mom, aunts, uncles, friends, schoolmates - couldn't WAIT for this movie to come on. It was going to be a big event! I wasn't familiar with the book, so I had no idea what was coming. The day the movie premiered, my mother decided I shouldn't see it. Needless to say, I was very upset.

    That night, I dramatically told my mother I wasn't feeling well and asked if I could lay down on the floor in the living room. I didn't want to be alone. I WAS JUST THAT SICK! (It was just pure coincidence that my family planned to watch Salem's Lot on the TV in the living room.)

    As my mother and her three sisters watched the movie, I peeked at it through narrowed eyes. (I was supposed to be sleeping.) After about 30 minutes, I gave up the charade and just watched openly. We all groused about how boring the movie was and couldn't believe all of the hype that was made beforehand.

    That changed in the second hour of the film. I CANNOT DESCRIBE THE HORROR I FELT WHEN THE FIRST CHILD THAT DISAPPEARED, RALPHIE, FLOATED TO HIS BROTHER'S BEDROOM WINDOW IN A SHROUD OF FOG. He was terrifying!!!! I had never seen anything so scary in my life. Those eyes! Those teeth! That demonic GRIN!! I had seen vampire movies in the past but nothing like this!!

    And when Mike, the cemetary worker, opened Danny's coffin to reveal Danny looking right up at him, the foundation for years of insomia was laid.

    My eyes shut closed and didn't open until the next day. Sleep was not involved. (I didn't feel so bad about my nervousness when I found out my cousin jumped up in horror, and in an effort to run out of her living room, tripped and busted her lip when Barlow came out of Mark's floor.)

    This show was a two-part mini-series. For me, it was two days of torture.

    I decided I would conquer this demon in the mid-90's when I noticed it was coming on cable. I lived alone. My experiment was not successful. I was even more scared the second time around.

    I bought it again a year ago and watched it six more times.

    I am proud to say I am no longer scared when I watch this movie. But, it took me 25 years to find this serenity.

    Buy this movie. It's a classic. Children should not watch it. ...more info
  • Stephen King Classic
    There's strangers in town and people start missing and dying off. They don't stay dead. They start visiting you in the middle of the night! Who's going to save the town if the Sheriff is even running scared? This is one of my personal favorites. I've loved it for years and recommend it to anyone who loves horror, vampires and just being frieghtened. ...more info
  • Mason shines in this one
    "Salem's Lot" is one of the better Stephen King-based films, though it suffers from excessive length (three hours in the original TV version) and a lead performance by David Soul that brings new meaning to the word "limp." Soul virtually sleepwalks through his role of middle-class fiction writer who returns to his home town to investigate the "haunted house" of his childhood, and finds, instead of ghosts, a mysterious antique dealer and his Nosferatu-like colleague. The devious and clandestine exploits of the latter gradually lead to an outbreak of vampirism that threatens to bring the entire town within its clutches.

    The film boasts a good seasoning of veteran actors in supporting roles, several of whom ---- Elijah Wood, Jr., Lew Ayres, and Marie Windsor ----- appeared in a number of film noir classics of the forties and fifties. (For a treat, see Windsor in the 1952 version of "The Narrow Margin"). But while it's fascinating to see these old pros in their various roles, it's James Mason who truly impresses.

    Indeed, "impressive" may be too mild a word for Mason, who plays the recently-arrived antique dealer with such impeccable style that he single-handedly transforms "Salem's Lot" from an overextended B movie into something worth remembering. Observe his reactions, for example, when informally interrogated by the town constable as suspect in the killing of a small child. Or later, when he meets Soul during a gathering in his antique shop and the former broaches the question of "evil." Says Soul: "Do you believe a house can be evil in its very boards and windows? In its stone foundations? Evil?" "Oh, you're the writer," answers Mason with mocking insouciance --- the words are neutral, but his entire manner and inflection create a devastating put-down. Here is an embodiment of "cool" that would do justice to any jazz musician, but Mason does it quietly, slowly, with the limitless patience of a man who knows he can do anything.

    The other outstanding element in "Salem's Lot" is Reggie Nalder as the vampire under Mason's control (though just how this control came about, and how it is sustained ---- is never explained). Some older fans of the Karloff-hosted "Thriller" series may recognize Nalder from that TV anthology, most notably in the episode, "Terror in Teakwood," where he played the sinister "Kaffke." Here, by contrast, his face is half-buried in makeup, but Nalder's cadaverous bone structure assists the illusion and makes his image of the vampire "Barlow" one of the most frightening since Max Shreck. He's not on-screen more than a few minutes, but, as Mason's character amusingly prophesizes in an early scene: "I'm sure you'll enjoy Mr. Barlow. And he'll enjoy you. Oh yes. Oh yes."

    "Salem's Lot" is not a great horror movie, since, along with the problems mentioned, it's burdened by lack of originality. Some scenes are atmospheric, such as those where child vampires are shown floating and beckoning through moonlit windows ---- hackneyed, but effective. These are offset by many sequences that are silly or adventitious (e.g., the one where students are acting out a historical play, so poorly directed it recalls Ed Wood or Bert I. Gordon). The film could have been better with a good lead actor, as well as more conviction from the supporting cast generally. Otherwise, it's more than worth watching for the tour-de-force performance of James Mason and the sheer scare-value of Nalder....more info

  • 4.25 stars. An epic Vampire/Haunted house adventure tale.
    I would describe Salem's Lot as an epic vampire/haunted house/ occult adventure tale that is fun with actual genuine scares and freaky visuals.

    The first hour there is a lot going on in one night and it was fun. Everyone was planning what they were doing that night, there was anticipation of something to come,the antique store owner was making arrangements with the real estate man to have his shipment picked up, as he himself had plans to go to Boston, then the real estate man makes his arrangements with the truck driver to pick up said shipment. The truck driver has plans of his own and hires a cemetery worker and his friend to do the job for him so that he can spy on his wife who works with the real estate man who he believes she is having an affair with. His wife is making plans with the real estate man that she is in fact having an affair with. Our main character Ben Mears makes plans to have dinner with Susan Norton and her mother and father. A young boy is having two friends that are brothers over to study. We as viewers are all packed up and ready to watch this night and what is to come and were interested in each of the stories. The town has an energy and a buzz of something about to happen and it conveys that to the viewer. It gives you that feeling of maybe a Friday night when all kinds of plans are being made and there is anticipation and nervousness.
    Soon a dog yelps, eerie fog and wind roll in, a boy is missing, doctors are called away from dinners, a mother faints, and there is something very strange about the shipment, this town of Salem's Lot gets a shot of adrenaline along with us watching.

    I saw this for the first time tonight, this title for whatever reason had eluded me. I could see this being very scary to anyone who watches it at a young age, it has that potential to make you as a kid dread going to sleep and has visuals that will stick with you when you close your eyes, the kind of film that will stick with you and you'll remember it being scary as you grow up, for me that would be A Nightmare on Elm Street (Infinifilm Edition) or The Exorcist (25th Anniversary Special Edition). The film has fears children can relate too. For example young relatable boys who live in similar homes and surroundings as most viewers are victims and are visited at there windows by very eerie beings. For young kids watching Salem's Lot they all have to go to bed, there is that very real fear of the dark and unknown, they most likely all have windows to look out of after seeing this movie while there imaginations run wild and plays tricks on them. Parents are taken from there children in this movie, for kids those are there protectors and that fear of losing a parent is very real and hits home. Don't get me wrong seeing this at 29 years old the scares are still there, probably not any where near what this film would do if you saw it at a young age, but there are plenty haunting visuals and scenes that stick with you.

    The atmosphere in my opinion could've been a bit better. For example last night I watched Wolfen. When they were outside you could feel the cold and see there breathe, if it were early in the morning it had that early morning feel. If the wind was blowing I believe it was actually blowing that day. To me watching Wolfen I could feel that it was autumn and cold, almost gave me a warm feeling sitting inside, being warm and watching it. In Salem's Lot when the wind blew you could tell it was done by a machine, everyone was dressed warm but it didn't have that cool scary night feel. To me that just gives the film more lifelike feel and makes it seem real. It's hard to put into words what you feel or what a movie can make you feel, I'm just taking a shot.

    To me Salem's Lot is in the top 5 vampire movies and deserved it's three Emmy nominations. This maybe my favorite Tobe Hooper directed picture as well, along side the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Two-Disc Ultimate Edition). It is a must see for any one that is interested in the vampire, haunted house, or horror genre in general, it's an all around fun time.

    One other thing, I heard poor things of the picture quality, I actually found it to be quite good and I'm very picky about that kind of stuff. The dvd is a bare bones and I didn't expect much but was satisfied.

    ...more info
  • Salems Lot
    Clearly Stephen King didn't have anything to do with the making of this,
    it was Cheesy and Boring...more info
  • Don't waste your money
    I bought this DVD based on the glowing Amazon reviews. I have to wonder if these people watched the same movie. My biggest grief with the film is that it did not attempt to follow the book. The names were about all that remained true to King's original story. The ending was completely different, Father Callahan's role was so insignificant he might as well have been cut completely. Barlow didn't have ANY lines and was a pretty insignificant character.
    The acting and film quality were not great but it was made in '79. Barlow's makeup was terrible also. He looks like a teenager in a Smurf mask.
    The film makers took all the terror, evil, and soul out of an excellent story and replaced it with shots of Ben arguing with people about vampires....more info
  • Good!
    Salem's Lot (1979) is a very good movie and despite a few changes and alterations it is still in my opinion close to the excellent Stephen King book and I think David Soul, Bonnie Bedelia and Lance Kerwin were very good as Ben Mears, Susan Norton and Mark Petrie (though Mark was younger in the book). I also liked James Mason who gave a very good and creepy performance as Straker and I was also impressed with the actor who played Barlow. Okay in the book Barlow wasn't mute and he wasn't a bald Nosferatu type vampire but he was very scary and the old Marsten house that Barlow and Straker lived in was creepy looking and looked like it was decayed and was just nasty looking and I remember my family watching a rerun of this movie when I was a kid and the scenes in the house scared me even more than the scenes of the vampire kids and I remember not watching the rest of the movie because of a scene in the Marsten house that scared me but just a few months ago I bought the DVD and watched the whole movie and I still think this is a very scary movie but I liked it and thought it was good but my only complaint is with the DVD, I read that in the movie's original 1979 television debut it was actually longer and they cut at least an hour out of the DVD release and I hope that they will release a new DVD with the original length! Put back in what they cut out! BTW: Though this movie isn't entirely faithful to the book at least they got the character of Father Callahan right and didn't ruin him which unfortunately is what they did to him in the remake, and what they did to him in the remake completely contradicts Stephen King's reprise of the character in his Dark Tower series! BTW: Julie Cobb the actress who played Bonnie Sawyer in this 1979 movie adaptation is married to actor James Cromwell who appeared in the 2004 remake as Father Callahan though in this 1979 movie Father Callahan is played by an actor named James Gallery....more info
  • Nothing Compared to the Book!
    This movie fails as a horror movie for the following reasons:

    1) Every time something "scary" is supposed to happen they take as long as they possibly can to do something to try and build up the suspense. By the time they do get to the "scary" part you find yourself saying "well, I knew that was coming" or just laughing.

    2) One of the best parts of early on in the book was done terribly in the movie. When Ben is describing what happened to him the first time he went into the Marsten house, it was so eerie in the book. In the movie you just see him sitting there talking about it.

    3) The part that I most anticipated to be scary, wasn't scary at all. The part where the vampire kid scratches at the window was apperently a "moment of pure terror" even though it, well was laughable like most of the other scenes with vampires.

    4) Most importantly, it was boring! Horror movies are supposed to keep your heart racing. Well this one was so long and slow and didn't get good until the last 35 minutes. But the movie was over 3 hours long so 35 minutes wasn't going to save it.

    But it wasn't all bad...
    For a made-for-cable movie, the acting was surprisingly good and for 1979 the visuals and makeup were outstanding! and one part made me jump!

    Well, I guess it is true that Tobe Hooper hasn't done much good other than POLTERGEIST and TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE!...more info
  • Atmospheric, afternoon delight
    Something's not right in a present-day New England village...but it's not witchcraft. It's something else, even more sinister. Excellent miniseries, highly recommended for those long, rainy afternoons.
    ...more info
  • Don't show this movie to little kids
    Ok, Salems Lot was released in the early 80's and it still scares me today. But if you have a kid who wants to watch it and is under 10. Stop and say no. This movie will scare the hell
    out of them and they won't sleep for 2 days. There's no adult content or anything in it. If you like horror movies or just want a good scare, Salem's Lot is a must buy. If you watch it at night, you will be scared to death. The down side of Salem's Lot is that it's 4 hours long! If you want to watch this, see it at day time only. But if you think you're so tough, watch the whole thing at midnight. It will scare the poo out of you!
    Its also very very very scary. The first parts are boring, but when people start explaining children and people starting to mysteriously dissapear, people get scared and it shows the vampire. Sure in the back he won't look scary but when he's in action is what scares you. Even a crucifix dosen't effect the vampire! Like it says in the back of the box, "its hard to keep
    the undead down and so easy to be scared in Salems Lot"...more info
  • AWESOME yet underrated film!!!!
    To me, this film exemplifies everything genuinely creepy and atmospheric of late 70's early 80's horror. Seeing it as a kid around Halloween for the first time just made it even better. The overall acting with support cast is pretty much that of what you would expect from that era. The story, even better! Main characters Ben Mears played by David Soul, Mark Petrie played by Lance Kerwin and Richard Straker played by James Mason made for a good combination. Lance did a really great job of playing Mark. What may standout most in this film is the main Vampire Barlow for his haunting presence ode to the German vampire Graf Orlok? From his entrance into the very beginning and ghastly appearance through the film to the end shows how a good vampire film should be done. Tobe Hooper outdid himself here! Now the book enthusiasts will come to find the faults and notice part of the story shortened down for the screenplay but you can't deny it's capable sense of dark suspense. The key scene or at least what I came to find as a standout scene involving Mark Petrie and his first encounter with his now undead friend Danny Glick. Long but worth the viewing for its build up alone. Hands down my favorite film of the horror/suspense genre. If you can be a bit open-minded and allow a film to gradually build, well this is for you! ...more info
  • VAMPIRES
    ONE OF THE NEXT TO THE BEST VAMPIRE MOVIES MADE FOR TV. ALMOST 3 HOURS OF BLOODSUCKERS. WHO DOESN'T LIKE A GOOD SCARY VAMPIRE MOVIE? THIS IS ANOTHER SATURDAY NIGHT MOVIE, WITH THE POPCORN AND FEET UP ON THE SOFA, WATCHING WITH FRIENDS. ...more info
  • A little gem!
    Superb modern vampire thriller. A must see for all vamipre-movie lovers. No more words needed. This is really a great film and very well worth watching more than once....more info
  • Horror at it's best
    Stephen King has done it again. A good cast of actors except for maybe David Soul, I believe he was mis-cast in this one. James Mason is as suave as ever as being the protector of Barlow, the vampire. With out the schmolts in the first reel, this could have been a movie, instead of a 3 hour mini series. All in all, a great horror movie....more info
  • Not a Lot
    My favourite bit in this notorious clunker is when the Glick boys are in the woods and this black shape rises up. It's...dinnerdinnerdinnerdinner...BATMAN! Thrill also to David Soul's delivery of the line: "Marjorie Glick rose and joined the ranks of the undead!"

    King's modernity was jettisoned in favour of Hooper's creaky recollections of 40's horror flicks starring Lon Chaney, etc. Production design, direction and musical cues of obstinate low quality.

    Barlow's hiding place was changed from the novel because a producer at the time said: "That would work in the book but not the movie." Er, why not? If Barlow had lived for centuries as the script states, he would not be so stupid as to hide in his postal address of 'the creepy old house on the hill that everyone in the town has a fascination with'. "yes, but we spent a lot of money on that set". Oh, and as for the old scratchy at the window routine, I prefer my floaters in the toilet where they belong. Keeping this adaption company. Actually, that was lame but, hey, it's sunday....more info