24 July 2014

Salem's Lot (1979)
184 min.
Directed by Tobe Hooper.
With David Soul, James Mason, Bonnie Bedelia, Lance Kerwin, Lew Ayres, Ed Flanders, Geoffrey Lewis, Marie Windsor, Elisha Cook, Fred Willard, Clarissa Kaye, Reggie Nalder.
Popular TV vampire classic from genre director Tobe Hooper.

Writer Ben Mears (David Soul, of Starsky and Hutch fame) returns to his home town hoping to rent the creepy old mansion called the Marsten House.

Turns out the place is already being leased, by one Richard Straker (Mason) who's set to live there with his unseen - and highly mysterious - business associate, Kurt Barlow (Nalder).

Meanwhile, the local townspeople are being turned into vampires, one by one. Mears and his former teacher Burke (Ayres) suspect the new coven of bloodsuckers is the work of Barlow.

But how can they prove such an outlandish claim? And if it's true, will they escare the wrath of Barlow and Straker?

Screen veteran James Mason is appropriately menacing as Barlow's keeper, while there's a genuine sense of misty doom throughout that yields a decent handful of good chilling sequences.

Among them are the 'tap, tap...tap on the window' scene - truly a memorable fright visual.

One of the more successful small screen adaptations of a Stephen King novel.

Long, but ultimately rewarding: a perfect rainy night watch.

Initially aired in two segments.

Also known as Blood Thirst.

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