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SYNOPSIS | REVIEW | PRODUCTION NOTES | TRIVIA | PRESS | QUOTES | KIM NEWMAN ARCHIVE | MEDIA

Salem's Lot (1979)

Country of Origin: USA
Dates of Original Broadcast: 17-24 November 1979
Number of Seasons: 1
Total Number of Episodes: 2
Average Episode Running Times: 92m (also available as 1x112m, 1x115m and 1x150m)
Format: 35mm
Colour Format: colour
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Sound: mono


EPISODES

1. 17 November 1979
2. 24 November 1979


PLOT SUMMARY

Ben Mears, a successful novelist, returns home to Salem's Lot after many years away and is immediately drawn back to the sinister Marsten House where he had a particularly nasty episode as a child. The house has now been bought by an antiques dealer, Straker, and his mysterious partner, Mr Barlow. When locals start disappearing then returning as vampires, Mears begins to suspect that Barlow and Straker are a lot more than they seem.


CAPSULE REVIEW

A surprisingly strong TV adaptation of King's novel that is genuinely very scary in all the right places. Hooper's direction is spot-on (this is his best work after The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)), creating just the right mood for each of the brilliantly staged set-pieces. Only some of the supporting performances let down what is otherwise a highly commendable piece. Avoid the horribly mutilated "film" version at all costs.


AVAILABILITY

USA
Television Distributors: CBS Television / Warner Bros.
Video Distributors: On Line Cinema; Warner Home Video
Laserdisc Distributor: Warner Home Video (12717)
DVD Distributor: Warner Home Video (12717)


CENSORSHIP HISTORY

Argentina
Rating: 13

Australia
Rating: M

Norway
Rating: 15

Sweden
Rating: 15

UK
Rating: 15

USA
Rating: PG

West Germany
Rating: 16


TIMELINE

1979
July

10: USA – filming begins

August
29: USA – filming ends

November
17: USA – part one television broadcast

1993
February

Day Unknown: USA - laserdisc release (Warner Home Video (12717))

1999
October

26: USA - DVD release (Warner Home Video (12717))


ALTERNATIVE TITLES

Blood Thirst
Brennen muß Salem
– German title
Brujas de Salem, Las – Argentinian title
Kauhujen kaupunki - Finnish title
Miasteczko Salem - Polish title
Notti di Salem, Le – Italian title
Phantasma II - Spanish title
Salem's Lot: The Miniseries
Salem's Lot: The Movie - US cable TV title
Vampires de Salem, Les – French title


AWARDS

1980
Edgar Allan Poe Awards, USA

Edgar Best Television Feature or Miniseries (Paul Monash) - nominated

Emmy Awards, USA
Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design and Title Sequences (Gene Kraft) – nominated
Outstanding Achievement in Make Up (Ben Lane, Jack H. Young) - nominated
Outstanding Achievement in Music Composition for a Limited Series or a Special: Dramatic Underscore (Harry Sukman) - nominated


LINKS

SEQUEL
Return to Salem's Lot, A (1987)

REMAKE
'Salem's Lot (2004)

SEE ALSO
Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922)


KEYWORDS

adultery, antique dealers, book into film, cellars, children, curses, haunted houses, holy water, the supernatural, vampires, writers

 


Last Updated: 3 January, 2010

 

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