6.8/10
18,798
219 user 77 critic

Salem's Lot 

PG | | Horror | TV Series (1979)
A novelist and a young horror fan attempt to save a small New England town which has been invaded by vampires.
Reviews
Popularity
882 ( 225)

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Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1979  
Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
David Soul ...  Ben Mears unknown episodes
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Storyline

The successful writer Benjamin "Ben" Mears returns to his hometown Salem's Lot, Maine, expecting to write a new novel about the Marsten House. Ben believes that the manor is an evil house that attracts evil men since the place has many tragic stories and Ben saw a ghostly creature inside the house when he was ten. Ben finds that the Marsten House has just been rented to the antique dealers Richard K. Straker and his partner Kurt Barlow that is permanently traveling. Ben meets the divorced teacher Susan Norton that is living with her parents and they have a love affair. Ben also gets close to her father Dr. Bill Norton and his former school teacher Jason Burke. When people start to die anemic, Ben believes that Straker's partner is a vampire. But how to convince his friends that he is not crazy and that is the truth? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A masterpiece of horror by the author of "Carrie" and "The Shining" See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 November 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Salem's Lot: The Movie See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(uncut) | (DVD) | (TV) | (movie)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Having been re-edited for a theatrical release after many requests for the mini-series to be re-ran, the running time ended up being 3 hours and 4 minutes; making this the longest running horror film, and longest running vampire film at the time of release. See more »

Goofs

During the complete 184-min version, you can see Ned and Mike pushing the supposedly heavy and cumbersome crate towards the lorry - unfortunately it snags on the floor on the way, tilting upwards in a manner characteristic of light, empty crates. See more »

Quotes

Straker: Oh, you're the writer. On vacation or vocation?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The text of the opening credits appear and dissolve piece by piece into each other in a jigsaw puzzle fashion. See more »

Alternate Versions

A total of 4 different versions exist. The original CBS broadcast version, the CBS re-broadcast version shown a year later, the European theatrically released version, and the DVD/Blu-ray version. The original CBS broadcast version ran a total of 200 minutes including commercials. The CBS re-broadcast version shown a little while later was edited down to 150 minutes. The European theatrically released version which was edited even more down to 112 minutes (and cropped to 1.85:1) not only omitted a bunch of scenes but also had slightly more violent alternate takes of others (such as the infamous scene where Sawyer forces Crockett to put the shotgun in his mouth, in the original TV version he simply just holds it against his face). This version has only ever been released on VHS. Finally there's the DVD/Blu-ray version which runs a total of 183 minutes. This version contains the original unedited miniseries (without commercials) but it edits out the end credits of part 1, a preview of what would happen in part 2, a lengthy recap at the beginning of part 2, and the opening credits of part 2 (which were now shown at the beginning of part one as they have Reggie Nalder's name added to the cast list, which was not included in the original credits to part 1). So this version, instead of being presented in its original two-part format, is instead shown as a 3-hour long movie. Despite this there are no actual scenes edited out and is still the original unedited CBS version as seen in its original broadcast. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Excellent
3 January 2004 | by GafkeSee all my reviews

This movie is an odd cross between "Peyton Place" and "Nosferatu"...and it works! Set in the small, isolated and somewhat inbred community of Jerusalems Lot (called Salems Lot by the locals) this film is more about small town dirty secrets which are really not secret at all. Everyone knows everyone else's business, gossip is a way of life and the town's mistrust of outsiders is both expected and justified when two men show up in town and a little boy goes missing. This is a story about a small town that just happens to have a vampire in it.

James Mason is elegance personified as the "Renfield" character who sticks out like a sore thumb in this tight-knit community and makes himself the object of suspicion when he moves into the local haunted house and opens up an antique shop. His European accent, expensive suits and somewhat prissy manners make him a hot item of gossip. So too does the arrival of Ben Mears also cause local tongues to start wagging. Mears was born and raised in Salems Lot, having moved away as a small child. He returns as a semi-successful author and a recent widower, haunted by childhood memories of the Marsten House - the local haunted house in which James Mason now resides. Yet another outsider is Mark, a new teen in town with a morbid collection of horror movie paraphernalia. These three characters are drawn together by force as more people go missing and the small town residents, with their narrow vision, cannot accept what is really happening. It is up to the outsiders - the author who knows, the teenager who believes and the human who is a monster - to solve the mystery.

When the vampire finally appears, it is a frightening, exhilarating experience. Reggie Nalder as Barlow, the ancient Master whom James Mason serves, is a disgusting parasite, a physical homage to Nosferatu with his rat-like teeth, his long bony fingers and his hypnotic eyes. He is the frosting on the cake for this excellent film. By the time he makes his appearance, it is almost unnecessary. The paranoia has already decimated the town, and the fear of the unknown is the greatest monster of all. But though he may be unnecessary, he is not unwelcome. He is a wonderful vampire, a truly hideous beast, a fine salute to what a vampire should be - ugly, vile and obscene.

This is one of my all time favorite vampire films, right up there with Nosferatu and Subspecies. To hell with whining, pretentious vampire Pretty Boys - this is the real stuff, and it doesn't get much better than this.


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