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94 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Childhood memories of a tv movie classic
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...
Published on 19 Sep 2007 by G. Pace

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit dated but a good jump in places
First off you'll have to realise that this is a made for TV adaptation of Stephen King's novel. I didn't - so when it started it began with a 'preview' of what was to come I thought I put the wrong disc in! However we soon realised what was going on and had to laugh at ourselves.

Being a tv-adaptation it has that 'made for TV' feel about it, so it's not as...
Published on 7 Feb 2011 by dharmagirl


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94 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Childhood memories of a tv movie classic, 19 Sep 2007
By 
G. Pace (Halesowen, West Midlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Stephen King: Salem's Lot [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
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.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "You can do nothing against the Master..", 10 July 2006
This review is from: Stephen King: Salem's Lot [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
About time too! My ancient video copy has been threatening to snap so the news that "Salem's Lot" has a dvd release is just great.

Based on the novel by Stephen King this is truly frightening,a real white knuckle ride.It has Vampires who float through the air,sinister newcomers to a once cosy village,petrified priests and neighbours who rise from the dead!

David Soul is fabulously terrified as the writer who returns to his childhood home and the great James Mason looks classy and creepy.

Buy this, grab a pizza,draw the curtains....and watch out for The Master!
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best, 31 Oct 2007
This review is from: Stephen King: Salem's Lot [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
I remember watching this film as a young lad some 25 years ago and thinking that nothing else in the world could be as good or as scary. I had no idea who Mr. King was at the time but boy, I was about to. When anyone went into the Marston House in this movie I thought my chest was going to explode with fear and I lived the adventure with them. How could Ben Mears have even thought about moving in there? And then there was James Mason. My goodness, how on earth could he be so friendly and so sinister at the same time. And don't even get me started on Barlow. He haunts me even now.
It might have been 25 years ago when I first saw this but I have watched it countless times since and still shudder in the right places. This film and story leave you thinking that it is watching you and could still catch you by surprise.
I was far too young to be a King fan, but I begged my parents to let me read the books after watching this. How many more films make ten year old kids want to read?
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It does the novel proud, 25 April 2007
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This review is from: Stephen King: Salem's Lot [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
This is a masterly tale of horror, set in a small town, expertly directed by Tobe Hooper (who also directed The Texas Chain Saw Massacre & Poltergeist) and based on the chilling classic novel by Stephen King.

This made-for-television two-part mini-series clocks in at over 3 hours and each part is presented on its own disc with this DVD version.

The plot consists of a writer called Ben Mears (David Soul) who returns to his hometown of Salem's Lot to write a book about the Marsten House - an imposing property with a dreadful history attached to it. Shortly after he arrives he meets Susan Norton (Bonnie Bedelia), who is a fan of his work, and they become more than just good friends. Ben learns that the Marsten House has been bought by a couple of mysterious European gentlemen called Mr Barlow and Mr Straker. They have also purchased another property in the town that they are planning to open as an antiques shop.

Soon after Ben and Straker's arrival, strange things start happening. Young Ralphie Glick goes missing and his older brother Danny suddenly dies from unusual symptoms.

Before long most of the town's residents become sick and start dying. There is some sort of strange plague spreading through the town but who or what is causing it?

Part One on Disc One mainly involves the introduction of the various characters and setting up the elements of the plot but it is Part Two that really delivers the goods with an almost non-stop series of shocks and scares with enough jump-out-of-your-seat moments to rival Steven Spielberg's `Jaws'.

The cast is outstanding - Starsky & Hutch star and pop singer David Soul is ideally cast as the writer Ben Mears and Bonnie Bedelia (Mrs McClane in the Die Hard movies) is also suitably cast as his love-interest Susan Norton. Mr Straker is played by the suave and velvet-voiced James Mason and the Nosferatu-like vampire Mr Barlow is played by the one and only Reggie Nalder. The supporting cast features Geoffrey Lewis (father of Juliette Lewis, and recently seen in The Devil's Rejects), Lew Ayres, Elisha Cook and Ed (no, not Ned) Flanders.

This adaptation remains pretty faithful to Stephen King's novel and is still one of the best films ever made from one of his stories. Salem's Lot was also re-edited with a running time of just under two hours and released as Salem's Lot: The Movie. It was remade in 2004 with Rob Lowe as Ben Mears, Donald Sutherland as Straker and Rutger Hauer as Barlow. Although the remake is very good and well worth seeing, I think Tobe Hooper's original version is better. It does not rely on gallons of blood and high-tech special effects to achieve its shocks and its tense and scary moments. A sort of sequel was made in the 1980s called a Return To Salem's Lot but this film is not in the same class as the original.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite horror, 27 Nov 2007
By 
Mr. R. Wilcox "Rich" (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Stephen King: Salem's Lot [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Work this out then. I detest vampire films, yet Salems lot is my favourite horror film as its not a blood in your face type film. Its creepy, with a typical 70's-80's horror film feel to it. James Maison is just sublime in character. The Marston house is the scariest house of all scary houses yet we only get to see its inside on small occassions. The music is top drawer and maintains itself throughout the film in an creepy atmospheric way.
Excellent.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "You'll enjoy Mr Barlow, and he'll enjoy you...", 12 Mar 2008
This review is from: Stephen King: Salem's Lot [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Salem's Lot is that rare thing - a made-for-TV movie that is better than it should have been. It's almost and probably is Tobe Hooper's finest work by far, and one of the best vampire films ever made. The use of gore is almost non existant, so slasher movie lovers will be left feeling thirsty for more.
The film here is shown in its entirety. This is the 2 part, 3 hour TV movie. I myself remember the VHS copy which was the cinema version of the film, with an hours worth of cuts and edits. However, the cinema version was slightly more 'extreme' than the TV version, but was missing some vital elements of the story in order to keep the running time to just under 2 hours.
It's very well made, and still maintains the element of suprise shocks with the over-use of mist and fog effects, garish make-up, and traditional horror movie sounds. Of course, this is part of its charm, and the deliberate over-use of the elements is what makes this a proper horror film. Horror doesn't mean gore. It's the ability to scare and to shock, and Salem's Lot does just that. It's an assault on the senses.

I won't mention the story because all the other reviews have already covered that. I will say that it is different from Stephen King's story in lots of ways, and the more recent Salem's Lot with Rob Lowe is more accurate in telling the original story.
I have fond memories of this film from when i was a child. I first watched this in the mid eighties when i was about 8 or 9, and this became one of my favourite films of all time. Those who have never seen this film and are viewing it for the first time, i can't help but think may be disappointed because people sometimes expect too much. If you've never seen it, bare in mind it was made in 1979 primerily for TV. It is well above average for a TV movie, like i said earlier, and if you're happy with the fact that this is very low indeed on gore, and slightly camp in its approach, you'll be just about ready to watch one of the greatest slices of television that America has ever produced.

Just don't open the window if you hear someone scratching on the glass...
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too scary for words!, 8 Nov 2006
By 
G. Ridgley "GillR" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Stephen King: Salem's Lot [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
I'm so glad Salem's Lot is back on video. If you think nothing can frighten you on film then watch this! The fact that it succeeds so wonderfully and yet was orginally made for the small screen makes it even more of a mini masterpiece. I had to turn it off from time to time to recover from the shock(s)when I first saw it. A beautifully done piece of filming with a real appreciation of the psychology of frightening people.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Salem's Lot, the Tobe Hooper version., 24 April 2006
By 
Daddio C. "Keyzersoze2" (Aberdeenshire, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Stephen King: Salem's Lot [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
This, in it's time, was probably the most terrifying thing I'd seen on tele, when I was a kid. It also provided me with more nightmares than any other show at the time. True, is does look quite dated by todays standards, but just you try watching it with the lights out on a foggy night, with the curtains wide open! Was that a scratching I hear at the window? It also has some great actors Like James Mason for one, and a young David Soul. But it's the wonderful atmosphere that's the real star here, the hazy dream-like quality of the day-time photography that hypnotises you into believing that it could happen in your hometown. Yes it is a little different from the original Stephen King story, but trust me when I tell you, there is nothing better for scaring the living bejesus out of your older sister! Enjoy! Keyzersoze2...
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrifiying, 8 Sep 2006
This review is from: Stephen King: Salem's Lot [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
I do so agree.

I remember watching the original ; one cold, late November ,alone in the house.I haven't been so scared since the night I watched Psycho for the first time while babysitting .

It has to be the only adation of a Stephen King novel to successfully make the transition to TV/film.

James Mason is just awesome ,and I never realised that David Soul could act.

This is a classic!!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars About time too!, 3 Aug 2006
By 
R. Trainer (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Stephen King: Salem's Lot [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
I won't go into any details as this has been covered by the previous reviewers, but it is actually split onto two discs so that each part has it's own disc. One thing though there's a little teaser right at the start of disc one which I found disappointing especially if you've never seen it before, it kinda gives the game away to what's comming up.
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Stephen King: Salem's Lot [DVD] [2005]
Stephen King: Salem's Lot [DVD] [2005] by Tobe Hooper (DVD - 2006)
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