Shocktober Theatre: Salem’s Lot (1978)

Tobe Hooper’s TV adaptation of  SALEM’S LOT remains one of the best, if not wholly faithful, Stephen King films. This two-part mini-series scared millions of kids and adults back in the day and still packs an unnervering wallop. Hooper is a master of uneasy tension and visual threat as this brief scene demonstrates. Here is a boy breaking Vampire Rule Number One: Never Let Them In.

8 Responses to “Shocktober Theatre: Salem’s Lot (1978)”

  1. I so agree with your appraisal, christian. Salem’s Lot was the only King novel that gave me a nightmare when I read it back in the 70s. Hooper (and screenwriter Paul Monash) did a masterful adaptation. Great pick for this month. Thanks.

  2. Yeah, this mini-series STILL gives me the heebie jeebies. Hooper maintains a good slow burn feeling of dread that slowly creeps on ya as the miniseries goes on until the vampire threat kicks in good and proper. This is definitely my fave King adaptation, even over THE SHINING and NIGHT FLIER (which is pretty damn good, too).

  3. shocktober, yay! how exciting (never let them in indeed)

    ‘salem’s lot’ is one corner of the hooper holy trinity, really; i know his career has had a rather ignominious decline, but this outstanding adaptation along with his classics ‘texas chainsaw massacre’ and ‘poltergeist’ enshrine him as one of the great horror directors in my church.

    (and barlow has got to be one of the most sublime vampires ever put on film, doesn’t he? christ, those teeth…hey show us your teeth why don’t you! he gives me the willies in a big way)

  4. christian Says:

    There’s more memorable scenes in this TV movie than 90 percent of King adaptations or any other genre film frankly.

    Let me count the ways:

    – James Mason nailing it: “The Master wants you. Your faith against his faith. Could you do that?”
    – The scene above.
    – The amazing kitchen appearance of Barlow.
    – The vampiric ladies crawling out of focus behind David Soul.
    – Soul elbowing Barlow before staking him.

    Haven’t seen it since its debut and those moments are seared.



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