Salem’s Lot is something that I’ve not seen in well over twenty years. I saw part of it on tv but had never seen all of it until now. ‘Salem’s Lot is one of if not my favorite Stephen King book, so it only made sense for me to finally give this adaptation a watch. This was a good adaptation of a very dense book. It was able to bring the key points and characters from the book into a miniseries.
Paul Monash was able to adapt Stephen King’s vampire novel effectively. I say that especially after the 2004 adaptation that prettied up the story and vampires, as well as making changes to characters that undermine character growth in other pieces of King’s work. My biggest gripe is that Father Callahan is almost nonexistent in the plot rather than an active participant. Tobe Hooper once again showed how masterfully he was able to create visually interesting horror media.
The cast of Salem’s Lot is kind of crazy. David Soul, James Mason, Bonnie Bedelia, Lance Kerwin, Lew Ayres, Ed Flanders, Geoffrey Lewis, Kenneth McMillan, and Fred Willard are among the stars in the miniseries. Soul made for a compelling lead that had interesting chemistry with everyone that he interacted with onscreen.
Reggie Nalder put in a menacing performance as the lead vampire Kurt Barlow. The design/makeup for the vampires are incredibly menacing. The effects for all of the vampires look really good and the use of contact lenses make them have distinct looks. The set design gave it a specific look that fit it well. The music from Harry Sukman is amazing. The score made the already creepy moments absolutely terrifying.
Salem’s Lot is still the best adaptation of ‘Salem’s Lot yet even if it isn’t a perfect one. There’s a new adaptation that’s been in the works and was supposed to be released later this year. That being said, it was removed from the release date and has yet to get a new release date. This adaptation got a sequel in the late 80s, but I’ve not seen it. Salem’s Lot is streaming on Shudder as of right now. I give Salem’s Lot 9.5 bottles of holy water out of 10.