Tuesday, February 17, 2009

'Salem's Lot [1979]

Found a scan of an original promo (TV Guide no doubt) for this made-for-TV film:













Nice! And can it really be 30 years already? [No, no! Say it isn't so!] Somehow David Soul will be *just that old* always.

Far be it from me to "review" this film, except to say if you've not yet viewed it when DID you come out of that coma? ;-P For some reason I could never get into the novel [sorry Mr. King]; the film tells the story better than the novel. That's a switch.

Favorite scenes: The mysteriously moving packing crate in back of the truck. Mike Ryerson leaping down into Danny's grave, and soon confronted by the vampiric boy. The attempted exorcism in the kitchen. The softly squeaking rocking chair in a room above, in which sits Mike - now a vampire. The glowing eyes of vampires in the crawl space, stealthily advancing on Ben and Mark. The final sad and seductive scene in Mexico between Ben and Susan.

David Soul is now a British citizen. He enjoys tea and Rugby [blows my mind; I figured "Hutch" would always be in Malibu]. Lance Kerwin is an Episcopal priest. Bonnie Bedalia [a favorite '70s actress!] is Macaulay Culkin's aunt. Geoffrey Lewis, a fine actor, is also Juliette Lewis' father. Mr. Lewis played his share of nitty-gritty outlaws and cowboys; his role in this film is especially cool. And I do love Barbara Babcock.

5 comments:

Phantom of Pulp said...

Thank you, Cindy.

Nice reminder of how good 'SALEM'S LOT is.

Lance now a priest?

I was already a fan of his JAMES AT 15 before seeing LOT.

Cindy M said...

Hi Phantom :-)

I'd read a couple of years ago that Lance was an Episcopal priest, but wikipedia disagrees:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lance_Kerwin

Apparently "a pastor" of a different denomination. Hmmmm.

Cindy M said...

...and I have to admit that I wanted Ben to let Susan bite him, so they could be "together forever." I'm not much of a romantic, but theirs was a delicately smoldering and beautiful affair. A subtle power.

Karswell said...

This is one of my favorite films ever, and for a made for TV film it's surprisingly more terrifying than most theatrical films of the era. The night/s that this two part film originally aired on television in '79 will forever go down in my own persoanl history as two of the most frightening and nightmare inducing of all time. Could any kid who saw this film honestly lay in bed later that night facing the window with the curtains open? I ran into Fred Willard out in LA one time and talked to him about his small role in Salem's Lot and he was shocked that anyone would remember him in it!! His scenes are great though.

I have to disagree with you about King's book though Cindy, I've read it about 4 times now and think it's as fantastic as the film.

The Rob Lowe remake can suck it.

Cindy M said...

Karswell: "and for a made for TV film it's surprisingly more terrifying than most theatrical films of the era."

I definitely agree. Have it on DVD, need to watch it again soon.

"Could any kid who saw this film honestly lay in bed later that night facing the window with the curtains open?"

That's for sure. I never did [even prior], lol. That floating towards the window and scratch...scratch...{{shiver}}

"I ran into Fred Willard out in LA one time"

Really? Cool!

"and talked to him about his small role in Salem's Lot and he was shocked that anyone would remember him in it!!"

How could anyone *forget*? Those polyester clothes, his seedy personality and that fling with the secretary. He reminded me of that guy on "WKRP in Cincinnati."

"His scenes are great though."

Yes, especially when he meets the business-end of a shotgun.

All the actors gave 100%.

"I have to disagree with you about King's book though Cindy, I've read it about 4 times now and think it's as fantastic as the film."

I have a copy and have tried reading it 3 times. Can't understand why, as I've read a handful of King's other novels and loved 'em [especially "The Shining"].