Friday, November 8, 2013

Fear Friday ~ Is Maine Really That Creepy?

This week we are taking a little trip back to the 1970's for Fear Friday. And yes, those bell bottoms and perms were frightening but that is a different story! Tonight it is all about one little town in Maine, a creepy old house and the creatures of the night that seem to be multiplying like rabbits. Enjoy!

Every Friday at the Laughing Vixen Lounge Blog is Fear Friday. Fear Fridays are a celebration of all films spooky. Horror is a very broad genre and the Lounge loves it all. Each Friday you will find a review of a different film. These can range from Classic Horror (black and white and cheesy), Thrillers (suspense, jumps and a good mystery), outright Horror (chop chop, slash slash, die die) and anything else in between.

So pop some popcorn, kill the lights and enjoy tonight's selection. And please, share your comments on the film. Bad or good let me know what you thought of it. And now, my little ghouls and dolls, the Laughing Vixen Lounge Blog is proud to present this week's film.

Fear Friday - 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 so it looks dated, but I always find it an interesting watch.

A sequel, Return to Salem's Lot, was made as another mini series in 1987. I have not seen this one. There was a remake of Salem's Lot in 2004 again as a mini series with Rob Lowe as the title character. From what I remember it was OK but nothing to brag about. You can also read Jerusalem's Lot, a short story in Stephen King's collection "Night Shift", which is a prequel that tells of the early days of Salem's Lot and it's evilness.

Take a look at the original trailer.

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', and 'Phantasma II'.
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.
10. Stephen King has said he based the town of Salem's Lot on the town he grew up in, Durham, Maine. The was even a real Marsten House, an abandoned house with the same name which he and his friends explored as kids.

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