My, what big teeth you have.
Salem’s Lot (1979), originally released as two-part television miniseries based on the vampire novel “Salem’s Lot” by Stephen King. In the book just as it is in the film; the setting is in a small New England town that harbored a terrible secret.
Author Ben Mears (David Soul) returns to his hometown of Salems Lot, located in Maine to pen his next novel on the Marsten House–a place where numerous horrible events occurred. As Mears tries to rent the home, he discovers its other occupant: the mysterious salesman Richard Straker (James Mason). Straker is preparing to convert the home into an antique shop alongside his equally strange business partner Kurt Barlow (Reggie Nalder), who is never seen. After a large crate is dropped off at the residence, the townspeople begins to disappear. Mears and others figure something is amiss and investigate the ominous circumstances. Especially since the children of Salem’s Lot goes missing. An evil has washed over the town–and it is Ben who finds a way to stop it.
The acting performances are executed realistically, and the overall creepiness and subtle mystery of the small town adds to this effect. One of the prominent and notable scenes in the film is performed by Larry Crockett (Fred Willard)–he is caught having an affair with Bonnie Sawyer (Julie Cobb), the wife of portly alcoholic Cully Sawyer (George Dzundza). Crockett came in armed with a double-barrel shotgun, and as he held the gun in front of his face–he told him to close his eyes. A magnificent build up in this moment–Crockett being forced to hold the barrel in front of his face with his eyes closed, and you can just sense the sheer terror!
While the vampires aren’t as scary as they could have been (bordered on being silly). Kurt Barlow’s Nosferatu character wasn’t as unsettling of an appearance as I might have hoped, however, the deep and menacing look in his eyes–and those teeth–are enough to shock any unsuspecting viewer. The best horror impression left after viewing this film–imagining a vampire hovering outside any window–beckoning at you to let it in.
This film is no Twilight. Nosferatu or “the Master,” can teach Edward and the rest of the Cullens a thing or two on vampire scare tactics, instead of sparkling like a disco ball in the sun. Salem’s Lot is a pretty decent horror film even if the special effects for the film by today’s standards come off a bit cheesy.
Recommended for vampire fans. A perfect film for those long, dark, and lonely October nights.
- editor rating3
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