SALEM'S LOT (1979) Bluray edition Sept 30, 2021 15:36:51 GMT -5
Post by jdv on Sept 30, 2021 15:36:51 GMT -5
OCTOBER begins tomorrow and thus I've been watching horror movies (well, even more than usual), and as I was digging around I found out that Tobey Hooper's best movie, SALEM'S LOT, had recently been released on Bluray.
Seeing as it was only $10 on Amazon this was a total no-brainer.
And it turns out to be a great transfer. Indeed, it looks incredibly well preserved (someone obviously made sure the original print was taken care of from way back in the day). This version is the original 2 night edition, not the cut down 90 minute one once available.
Best of all, the higher definition print doesn't reveal any of the secrets, primarily Danny Glick's floating into his victim's room (if you can see them, turn up the contrast on your TV).
And it's those scenes - combined with a few other memorable scares - that help elevate this movie into something special. But it's not just great special effects & makeup (particularly Barlow) that make this movie one of the best vampire films ever made. The acting is fantastic - David Soul totally believable as a troubled writer coming home to excise personal demons only to find very real ones. Kenneth MacMillan, Bonnie Bedelia, James Mason, Lew Ayres, Geoffrey Lewis, Fred Willard, Julie Cobb, Elisha Cook jr - all play it completely straight faced and are all great in their parts. Maybe best of all is Reggie Nalder,
The sets are fantastic - the Marsten House one of the great haunted houses ever depicted, and it's really only a subplot in the movie. The music - by Oscar winner Harry Sukman - remains one of the most effective horror score ever written. He uses every trick in the book, a score very reminiscent of Jerry Goldsmith's best work (which is high praise indeed).
The hiring of Paul Monash to write the screenplay was an inspired one, as he had written the scripts for both CARRIE and PEYTON PLACE, the later being one the original prime time small American town soap opera. Monash succeeds in combining characters and getting straight to the meat of the story. King himself praised the effort, which is notable because only a year latter he condemned Kubrick's adaptation of THE SHINING. But it was producer Richard Kobritz who turned Barlow from a smooth talking Bela Lugosi-type vampire into the nosferatu monster seen in the show - a change for the better.
While it is a bit dated - filmed in 1979, only 4 years after the book had come out - you'll see a lot of bell bottom pants and feathered hair styles, but it kinda adds to the fun.
All in all, a great movie and a great transfer.
BOTTOM LINE: 4 "I vant to suck your blood!" out of 5 stars
Still scary as hell