Thursday, May 24, 2012

Rare Flix: Salem's Lot

Vampires are alive!  How is this movie so hard to find?  Seriously, Salem's Lot is generally the highest-regarded of the Stephen King TV Mini-Series' made.  Granted, it's more well-liked than The Tommyknockers or The Langoliers, but my point remains the same!  Why did I have to find this film from a site of less-than-good repute and not on DVD (or Blu-Ray)?  All I can figure is that it's some sort of licensing rights thing, but that's not a very good excuse.  Do you know what Salem's Lot is about?  If you don't, shame on you.  It's about Vampires- and not those ones that play Baseball with Super-Speed.  This Mini-Series came out in the late '70s and features some big acting talent.  You can't go five minutes without seeing someone you recognize, even if you can't exactly place where from.  This is truly a Cult Classic, even if it is a bit bloated due to the nature of its format.  To find out what you missed or see what you already remember, read on...
There is a great mystery in the little Maine (take a shot!) town of Salem's Lot.  What is this mysterious man up to?
What is it that draws this Author (take another shot!) to the town where he grew up in?
What the hell is Fred Willard doing here?  Doesn't he normally do either good comedies or terrible ones?
People are being attacked- usually just before a cut and a musical sting- and coming back as Vampires to lure their former family/friends into the fold.
Some of them even get some super, glow-in-the-dark eyes to boot.  It could be worse- I'm just saying.
The greatest group of heroes is assembled to stop the Vampire threat.

Actually, it's just this Teacher, this Author and some Doctor.  Close enough.
This Nosferatu-ringer is The Master and he's nobody you want to mess with.  However...
...the heavy-lifting is mostly done by his 'Renfield.'  He pretty much just dies while laying in his coffin.
In the Epilogue, Two Years have gone by and our remaining heroes- the Author and a kid from earlier- are on the run from the leaderless Vampires of Salem's Lot.  Will they ever find peace?

Find out in the sequel (you won't actually find out, by the way)!  The End.
Even with all of the padding, it's still good.  At the film's heart, it's a good tale of a small town slowly being overrun with monsters.  It's unfortunate that both versions of the film have been as a Mini-Series, since I think that it could work just fine as a film- the Larry Cohen film not withstanding.  This one works because it feels genuine and offers up a real experience.  Well, as real as Vampires taking over a small town in Maine can be anyways.  If you can accept the drawn-out format of the film, you'll enjoy it.  Besides, what other film features Fred Willard being killed by a Vampire?  As a bonus, they even worked in this cameo from Klarion The Witch Boy (shout-out to all you Young Justice viewers)...
Next up, Larry Cohen's belated Sequel/Remake.  Feel free to explain this one to me with a straight face.  Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. absolutely wonderful movie, IMO even better than the novel (which is also great)