9 More Days To Halloween, Goblins! Silver Shamrock!

Tobe Hooper’s 1979’s Salem’s Lot was another film that terrified me in my youth and was another movie that further cemented my love of horror films.


The plot concerns writer Ben Mears who returns to his hometown Salem’s Lot, Maine and discovers that its citizens are turning into vampires. Salem’s Lot combines elements of both the vampire film and haunted house subgenres of horror.


  • Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys
  • Originally intended to be a theatrical release, it was changed to be a network mini-series as Warner Bros. felt that there were too many vampire films already for 1979
  • George R. Romero was to direct the film but dropped out once the project was moved to the TV as he felt that he would not be able to film his vision with the restrictions on network TV
  • First mini-series to be based on King’s works
  • Tobe Hooper was hired to direct based on his work on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
  • Reggie Nalder the actor that played the vampire Kurt Barlow is not credited in the movie
  • Recut, the mini-series was released theatrically in Europe
  • A remake was done in 2004 with Rob Lowe, no one cared

An issue that divides fans of the novel and mini-series is the fact that Kurt Barlow is depicted as a hissing Nosferatu-like monster in the movie, as opposed to the speaking Dracula-like character of the novel.

The decision to go with the terrifying monster figure came out of concerns that a speaking, romanticized villain wouldn’t be frightening enough, especially as John Badham’s remake of Dracula starring Frank Langella was released in 1979.

Stephen King was against the change at first, but after he saw the footage, he thought it may help the audience focus more on the main characters.


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