Thursday, December 14, 2017

From TV With Love: Salem's Lot (2004)

I suppose I shouldn't put this off any longer.  Today's Review is Salem's Lot, the Made-for-TNT Version from 2004 that is.  For no clear reason, I watched this a few weeks ago and didn't go to review it right away.  I'm getting forgetful in my old age, I guess.  The Story involves the Town of Jerusalem's Lot and a new infestation- Vampires.  I know that they want to be coy here, but it has been 30 years- we know that it is Vampires!  Can this one live up to the Original?  Do you even remember the Original (other than the blue Vampire)?  This one does what it can to match up with some big people in the Cast.  Rutger Hauer.  Donald Sutherland.  Rob Lowe.  Andre Braugher.  James Cromwell.  Samantha Mathis.  Yeah, she was also in that one Atlas Shrugged Film- I forgive her.  Will this one deliver and be remembered as a Classic?  To find out, read on...
A Writer- Rob Lowe- returns to his Hometown after a long time away.  Will people get over his recent past?
All that becomes fairly-moot when a kid goes missing, the victim of a Vampire attack.  Who would have guessed that something bad could happen at a small Town in Maine?!?
What secret is the Antiques Store Owner keeping?  I mean, you can't trust one of those guy in a Stephen King Story, right?
The Town starts to change as people start to disappear, become Vampires and then make more.
Can an Author become a bad enough dude to save 'Salem's Lot?  He's going to have to!
It wouldn't be Salem's Lot without this iconic bit.  The only real downside- a miniature, foam cross from a Model Set hurts Vampires.
This all leads up to the big showdown between Lowe and Hauer.  One monologues...and dies.

In Rob Lowe's Book, he states that Hauer showed up and made up a speech.  When told to do the one in the Script, he said that he never learned it.  As such, the whole bit is done with Cue Cards.  Ow.
Unfortunately, the Town is too far gone to save and Lowe does the only natural thing- track down the new leader (Cromwell's Priest-turned-Disciple of Vampires).
The pair both fell out of a window at the beginning of the Mini-Series and now both die as the Credits roll.  Um...yea?  The End.
Good, but a bit long.  The decision to make this one into a Mini-Series allowed them to expand the Story and feature many Characters.  Not all of them are super-interesting and not everything really pays off though.  Like other ones I've seen, you have to either accept or reject the bloat of the Format.  I wouldn't say that the Film/Mini-Series is boring, but it could definitely be shorter.  With that part out of the way, I have to compliment the Film for a good Tone, Setting and Acting.  When it works, it really works.  I will say that I missed the more over-the-top look of the Vampires in the Original.  Can you make a blue Vampire look serious?  I'm hesitant to say that this Version is better than the '70s Version, but it certainly looks less-dated (if that matters to you).  It is notable that they excised the blue make-up, but did have the Vampires explode into clouds of confetti when they die though...
Next time, the tale of a man and the rat in his house.  Is this the darker version of Mouse Hunt?  Stay tuned...

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