I remember as a twelve year old watching the concluding part of this original version and it frightened me so much that i actually got into my parents bed (much to my fathers utter disbelief), because i didn't want to sleep alone in my bedroom that night. He kicked me out after five minutes and later that night thought it would be a good idea to creep into my room in the dark, jump on my bed and hiss like a vampire---bringing me to tears and only stopping when my mother shouted at him to leave me alone. For weeks after i couldn't sit in my room at night without the curtains being drawn together -- with no gaps showing.
Such was the impact of this tv movie (although when i later read the novel by Stephen King, i found that if the movie had have been adapted even more closer to the novel then it would have been much better.
Three key scenes from the book are translated to the screen brilliantly
--Danny Glicks nocturnal visit to Mark Petries bedroom window
--Matt Burkes confrontation with an undead Mike Ryerson, is also a classic--with an exceptional change in the fact that when Burke opens the bedroom door, Ryerson is in a rocking chair as opposed to lying on the bed as in the novel and last but not least---
--Ben Mears and Doc Nortons vigil with Marjorie Glick in the mortuary where she rises to join the undead and is promptly banished with a crucifix.
The change to Barlow from a dracula like vampire to a hideous nosferatu like creature was probably a big risk when the film was being made but it pays off beautifully here, as in the scene where we first see him still makes me jump. The vampires in this film are probably the best looking vampires put on film as they look so evil, it's a pity that we don't see more of them. Although the film has dated, it still has an impact and like i said earlier---if Tobe Hooper would have followed Kings novel more closely, then i think this film would be very hard to beat. Then again if you have had the misfortune of watching the dreadful Rob Lowe remake, you will appreciate this version even more. I think it will be a long,long time before someone makes an adaptation of the lot that is as good as this. If you haven't seen this then you are in for a real treat and don't forget to close the curtains and lock all the doors of your house before you watch it. Pleasant dreams.