Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: David Soul, James Mason, Lance Kerwin, Bonnie Bedelia, Lew Ayres
Director: Tobe Hooper
Genres: Horror, Television, Mystery & Suspense
The DVD contains the 184-minute version of the film.
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Member Movie Reviews
Laura R. (HappyTales) from DOUGLASVILLE, GA
Reviewed on 9/6/2008...
My favorite scary movie! I had nightmares for 10 years after I saw this movie (close to 30 years ago) Of course it's pretty dated, but it's still scary as hell and very little gore.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Effective Vampire Thriller
M. Nichols | West Chester, OH United States | 10/16/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"SALEM'S LOT is without a doubt the best miniseries adaptation of a Stephen King novel, and it rivals studio films like CARRIE, CUJO and THE SHINING. While not necessarily a fan of King's fiction, I appreciate that he weaves intricate relationships between key players into the fabric of his stories and builds characters with depth instead of just presenting one-dimensional folks dealing with scares. The best film adaptations of his work, those mentioned above, preserve these little details and SALEM'S LOT is no exception. With this in mind, consider only the definitive 183-minute version available on double VHS or DVD, as nearly every second of the film is essential and alternate VHS versions rob the viewer of nearly 70 minutes of film.
SALEM'S LOT is an exceptional triumph in that it doesn't really tell a new story, but it keeps the viewer's attention for a full three hours. The plot is basically the old standard: a vampire has settled in Salem's Lot and is quickly infecting the entire town. A brave few hunt the vampire and his minions down. The final confrontation between our hero, Ben Mears and Barlow made me wonder why people always try to stake a vampire in his coffin just as sunlight is waning - why don't they do it first thing in the morning with hours of daylight to spare? The dramatic tension is the obvious answer, and it works well in this film. In addition, the vampire make-up was remarkably well-done and James Mason deserves special mention for his incredibly evil performance as Barlow's henchman, Straker. A fine supporting cast is composed of TV actors as well as Hollywood names like Elisha Cook and Marie Windsor.
As cinema, the film has a deliberate, steady pace. Tobe Hooper's direction is not particularly innovative, but he does manage to create an eerie atmosphere throughout and provide more than a few real scares, despite the limitations imposed by the television format. The only drawbacks are necessary full screen presentation and the obvious commercial breaks which sometimes disrupt climactic points in the film. These minor irritations aside, SALEM'S LOT has a true cinematic feel.
All in all, one of the better vampire films I've seen. Highly recommended for purchase on DVD - you'll not get a better vampire film for your money."
You'll enjoy Mr. Barlow. And he'll enjoy you...
Joel R. Bryan | Athens, Georgia United States | 06/13/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Directed by Tobe Hooper (who would go on to helm "Poltergeist"), "Salem's Lot" is a better-than-adequate condensing of Stephen King's classic horror novel. It's made all the more effective when you consider this is material originally shown on network television. David Soul ("Starsky and Hutch") plays Ben Mears, a writer who returns to his hometown to write a novel about the local haunted house, and ends up dating Susan Norton (Bonnie Bedelia, future star of "Heart Like a Wheel"). Then evil James Mason comes to town, and pretty soon 70s character actors like Fred Willard, Geoffery Lewis and Elisha Cook, Jr. are dropping dead due to... mysterious circumstances. Okay, enough phony suspense. It's a vampire movie. Vampires... in modern-day Maine. And it works better than it has a right to. Soul's not exactly tortured enough, and Lance Kerwin's a little too old to play a monster-obsessed youth, but the supporting cast, which includes Ed Flanders ("St. Elsewhere"), Lew Ayres (Paul, from the classic 1930 "All Quiet on the Western Front"), Kenneth McMillan ("Ragtime," and "Dune") and George Dzundza (everything else) more than make up for it. They're sincere, and that counts for a lot. James Mason makes a perfectly urbane villain; he's suave and dangerous, and much smarter than his undead master, who's something of a disappointment in the chills department when finally revealed. This disk contains the entire miniseries, which manages to maintain a level of suitable creepiness, despite some dated sexual innuendo and a some "made-for-tv" scenes that aren't quite as menacing as they could be. Still, a few sequences are effectively chilling, and it's well worth your time, especially around Halloween."
THE MOST EERIE MINI-SERIES TO EVER BE SHOWN ON TV
HorrorMan | 08/20/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, don't be fooled-only watch the full length mini-series. The "cut-to-shreds" movie version is not worth the blank video it was taped on. I first watched "Salem's Lot" as a kid of about 9. I then bought the video 3 years ago and I was just as terrified watching it as a 20-year-old as I was 11 years previous.What makes "Salem's Lot" different from many horror 'classics' is that it doesn't have to rely on blood and gore to scare the wits out of the viewer. The eerie tenseness of the presence of Straker, Mears' return to THAT house and the ultimate battle with the elusive Mr.Barker results in a constant shiver down your spine. My favourire scene, though, is one that freaked me out as a kid - when Danny Glick is visited for the first time by his now vampire brother, hovering in a cloud of smoke at his bedroom window. Believe me, you'll be checking behind the curtains of every window in the house for weeks to come, especially if it's a foggy night!!! Living in Ireland, I bought the UK release of "SALEM'S LOT THE MINI-SERIES" which, I believe, contains a few additional scenes not included in the American 'full- length version.' Everyone should see this mini-series at least once in their life-time....it's something that you will never forget!!!!"