6.8/10
18,587
215 user 77 critic

Salem's Lot (1979)

A novelist and a young horror fan attempt to save a small New England town which has been invaded by vampires.

Director:

Tobe Hooper

Writers:

Stephen King (novel), Paul Monash (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
1,268 ( 10)

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Soul ... Ben Mears
James Mason ... Richard K. Straker
Lance Kerwin ... Mark Petrie
Bonnie Bedelia ... Susan Norton
Lew Ayres ... Jason Burke
Julie Cobb ... Bonnie Sawyer
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Gordon 'Weasel' Phillips (as Elisha Cook)
George Dzundza ... Cully Sawyer
Ed Flanders ... Dr. Bill Norton
Clarissa Kaye-Mason ... Majorie Glick (as Clarissa Kaye)
Geoffrey Lewis ... Mike Ryerson
Barney McFadden Barney McFadden ... Ned Tebbets
Kenneth McMillan ... Constable Parkins Gillespie
Fred Willard ... Larry Crockett
Marie Windsor ... Eva Miller
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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

The album cover of Swedish band Ghost's first album Opus Eponymous was inspired by the movie poster. 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

Mark Petrie: [reading from his speech] 1951. A fire started in the old mill. It spread rapidly on both sides of Griffin Road and burned towards the Marsten House on Pabiscuitti Hill.
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

Salem's Lot originally aired as a 2-night mini-series with the first episode airing on November 17, 1979 and the second episode airing the following week on November 24, 1979. See more »

Connections

References Blood and Roses (1960) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

horror classic that delivers atmosphere and tension in spades
28 October 2001 | by reasonbran234See all my reviews

This movie is not for those people who want to watch busty teenager chicks get slashed and stabbed to death by tall guys with hockey masks and machetes. For that kind of elevated thrill, rent "Summer Camp 5" or something. But for those of you who want a horror movie worthy of the name, rent "Salem's Lot:the mini series". This series scared the hell out of me when I was younger, and very little has changed. David Soul gives the performance of his career as writer Ben Mears and absolutely becomes the character. James Mason is genuinely chilling as Straker, the humorous but not quite well intentioned antiques salesman and, uh...'partner' of Mr. Barlow, aka Nosferatu. I've never seen a horror movie that builds up an atmosphere of suspense and fear as effectively as this one does. It is true that King didn't like it, and as far as I'm concerned that's more to its credit--let's remember that this is the guy behind that illustrious cinematic masterpiece "Maximum Overdrive". The book is one more trashy vampire novel among many, as forgettable as it is trite. Hooper transforms King's boring,oh-it's-just-Dracula-again run of the mill vampire into a mysterious, terrifying monster in the tradition of authentic horror. Don't just watch it, buy it. A necessity.


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