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Night 16 - Salem's Lot
Tagline - The ultimate in terror!
Directed by Tobe Hooper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist) and released on November 17, 1979 by Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). Ben (David Soul) returns to his hometown to write his latest novel but quickly becomes obsessed with the old creepy house up on the hill. Oddly enough, strange things have started to happen since the house has acquired new owners. Ben must find out just what is happening in Salem's Lot.
This was a mini series for television based on a short story by Stephen King. It stares David Soul from "Starsky and Hutch" fame, for those of use old enough to remember! The Vampire in this one is in true Nosferatu fashion. Bald head, long fingers and pointy front teeth. Ick! The movie is not real scary or gory, as it was made for long ago TV, but I always find it an interesting watch.
Some trivia about the movie...
1. Director George A. Romero was originally approached to direct a feature film version, but after the announcements of John Badham's Dracula and Werner Herzog's Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht, Warner Bros. decided to turn Salem's Lot into a TV mini-series. Romero dropped out, feeling he wouldn't be able to make the film the way he wanted to with the restrictions of network television.
2. The exterior for the Marsten House, the film's icon, was actually a full-scale facade built upon a smaller preexisting hill-top house. In total the facade cost the production an estimated $100,000 dollars to build.
3. Some of the foreign titles chosen for the films theatrical release overseas included 'Blood Thirst','Phantasma II', and 'Le Notti di Salem'.
4. After the mini-series aired on CBS with excellent ratings there was talk of continuing it as a regular television series for a while. The idea of making Salem's Lot a TV show never materialized though.
5. This was the first television mini-series (and the second film) to be based on the writings of author Stephen King.
6. The title of the novel 'Salem's Lot includes an apostrophe in front of the word Salem because the title is suppose to be short for "Jerusalem's Lot"; the actual name of the town where the story is set. To avoid confusion for the mini-series adaptation though the town is mostly referred to as "Salem's Lot" and the first apostrophe was dropped from the film's title.
7. Though 'Salem's Lot' was only Stephen King's second published novel, like many of his subsequent novels, it has connections to his 'Dark Tower' series. In this case, the character of Father Donald Callaghan appears in the later books of the series.
8. When it was released in Spain they called it "Phantasma II", being a supposed sequel to Phantasm. But the two movies have nothing in common.
9. Stephen King was inspired to write the book when he had his English class read 'Dracula', and became curious about what would happen if vampires came to America, specifically in a small town.