As I am always happy to tell people, Salem’s Lot is my favorite Stephen King book. It is just a magnificent read that perfectly captures the feel of the old EC comics and Stoker’s Dracula, all at the same time. One of my favorite King adaptations for the screen is the 1979 TV miniseries Salem’s Lot. This film is a great watch and captures the ideal small town with secrets buried deep beneath the surface that King wrote about; it does condense down the story, but that is expected from a film adaptation. Three things that the film got right that I still praise it for are:
1) the vampires – these are not sympathetic beings looking for love. Barlow is an undead fiend who has come to a small town where he can feed relatively unnoticed. Not only are there motives depicted perfectly, they are genuinely creepy. Just check out these clips to see what I mean.
It’s like Peter Pan from Hell, and check out this scene for more of the creepy goodness.
2) the fear – Imagine if you just found out vampires were real, how would you react? This movie captures a range of emotions and feelings, starting with Jason Burke in the clip above and watch the clip below to see the fearless vampire hunting hero and how he handles himself. To set the scene, Ben Mears and Doctor Norton are waiting in the mortuary in a neighboring city to see if a recent victim rises, enjoy.
Did you notice that Ben Mears actually looks scared? When she raises up, he looks like he wants to cry. This is wonderful acting from David Soul and good direction from Tobe Hooper (of Texas Chainsaw Massacre fame).
3) the town – The town of Salem’s Lot is an unassuming town where everyone knows everyone else, but many secrets are hidden within the walls of each home, the film did a good job of showing that the town was far from perfect without spending unnecessary time exposing each of these secrets, but from the moment Ben Mears drives through the quiet streets, you get the feeling that there is more than meets the eye to this small town. There is not really a clip I can show to emphasize this, so I’ve just posted the original trailer for the film.
So there you have it, if you are looking for something that is a more subtle chill-inducing watch, I would highly recommend this movie. If you want a good read, then pick up King’s book. You can click on the cover below to go to the Amazon page and pick up a great October read, and I’m sure you can find the 1979 Salem’s Lot on Netflix or Hulu, so go find it, enjoy, and I’ll be back with more good chilling watches and reads for this month.