Sunday, October 12, 2008

31 Days of Horror: Salem's Lot

October 12, 2008: Salem's Lot
Yet, another Stephen King novel adaptation even though the movie is very loosely based off of it. I shouldn’t even really call this a movie, because it was actually a mini-series that aired on TV back in 1979.
This movie or mini-series, it’s really what ever you want to call it, follows a writer named Ben Mears (David Soul) who has returned to Salem’s Lot to write a book about the rumored haunted house called the Marsten House. This house is just as creepy as the one used in Psycho.
Soon after this we meet Richard K. Straker (James Mason) and learn that he has a partner who is the mysterious antique shop owner, Barlow, who eventually comes to the Lot. But there's something strange about him, something that makes the town feel uneasy about his presence.
The town is then plagued by mysterious vanishings and people dying of unknown causes that puzzle everyone.
The answer then becomes quite clear when it’s revealed that Barlow is a vampire that is ancient and very, very resourceful. He’s goal is to turn everyone is Salem’s Lot into what he is – a blood sucking monster.
Once this revelation comes to Mears it is up to him and a 12 year old named, Mark, whose brother was taken by Barlow and the alcoholic priest, whose questioning his faith to stop the Vampire.
What I loved about this movie is the vampire and every time I watch a movie about vampires I compare them to the movie monster of Salem’s Lot and nothing can ever compete to the effect you get when you first see the vampire in Salem’s Lot, he’s more than creepy he’s horrific looking.
When released on cable back in 1979, it contained the most explicit violence than any other made for TV miniseries. This movie was always followed by a sequel “A Return to Salem’s Lot”, which I DO NOT, and I stress DO NOT, recommend this movie to anyone, because it was so badly miss executed that it was just nothing a dud in the horror genre and an insult to the original.
The remake of the original Salem’s Lot was released on TV back in 2004, starring Rob Lowe as Ben Mears and it wasn’t bad, but the original will always be my favorite.
Salem’s Lot is worth more than just renting it is really worth owning if you’re able to find a copy anywhere.

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