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Salem's Lot 

PG | | Horror | TV Series (1979)
A novelist and a young horror fan attempt to save a small New England town which has been invaded by vampires.
1,451 ( 26)




Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Complete series cast summary:
David Soul ...  Ben Mears unknown episodes


The successful writer Benjamin "Ben" Mears returns to his hometown Salem's Lot, Maine, expecting to write a new novel about the Marsten House. Ben believes that the manor is an evil house that attracts evil men since the place has many tragic stories and Ben saw a ghostly creature inside the house when he was ten. Ben finds that the Marsten House has just been rented to the antique dealers Richard K. Straker and his partner Kurt Barlow that is permanently traveling. Ben meets the divorced teacher Susan Norton that is living with her parents and they have a love affair. Ben also gets close to her father Dr. Bill Norton and his former school teacher Jason Burke. When people start to die anemic, Ben believes that Straker's partner is a vampire. But how to convince his friends that he is not crazy and that is the truth? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Iconic terror from the No 1 bestselling writer. See more »




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

17 November 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Salem's Lot: The Movie See more »


Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(uncut) | (DVD) | (TV) | (movie)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Jonathan Davis lead singer of the band Korn has mentoined this as one of his favorite horror movies See more »


In the meeting with Mark, his parents, and Father Callahan, Barlow (the vampire) simply breaks into the house without any invitation by its occupants. All of the other vampires in the movie need to be invited in. However, Barlow is a powerful master vampire for whom such "rules" may not apply. Note how he doesn't recoil from Father Callahan's cross? In fact, he actually touches it and throws it to the floor. See more »


Ben Mears: [looks at make-shift crucifix] Bless this cross in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. No atheists with false thoughts... The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He maketh me... He maketh me to lie down in... beside still water. He maketh me to lie down. He maketh me... He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He restoreth my soul.
[appears scared as dead body starts stirring under sheet]
Ben Mears: He leadeth me in the paths of the righteousness for His name's sake.
Ben Mears: Bill! ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The text of the opening credits appear and dissolve piece by piece into each other in a jigsaw puzzle fashion. See more »

Alternate Versions

A total of 4 different versions exist. The original CBS broadcast version, the CBS re-broadcast version shown a year later, the European theatrically released version, and the DVD/Blu-ray version. The original CBS broadcast version ran a total of 200 minutes including commercials. The CBS re-broadcast version shown a little while later was edited down to 150 minutes. The European theatrically released version which was edited even more down to 112 minutes (and cropped to 1.85:1) not only omitted a bunch of scenes but also had slightly more violent alternate takes of others (such as the infamous scene where Sawyer forces Crockett to put the shotgun in his mouth, in the original TV version he simply just holds it against his face). This version has only ever been released on VHS. Finally there's the DVD/Blu-ray version which runs a total of 183 minutes. This version contains the original unedited miniseries (without commercials) but it edits out the end credits of part 1, a preview of what would happen in part 2, a lengthy recap at the beginning of part 2, and the opening credits of part 2 (which were now shown at the beginning of part one as they have Reggie Nalder's name added to the cast list, which was not included in the original credits to part 1). So this version, instead of being presented in its original two-part format, is instead shown as a 3-hour long movie. Despite this there are no actual scenes edited out and is still the original unedited CBS version as seen in its original broadcast. See more »


Referenced in Be Kind Rewind (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Bathed in eerie portents
20 October 2011 | by chaos-rampantSee all my reviews

This is one of the most richly atmospheric films in horror, an article of pure latenight seduction and phosphorescent darkness.

Atmospheric not in the sense that a dry ice machine has pumped a catacomb full of haze and cobwebs are strategically placed in some dark corner, but as a place lived, with naturally dark corners and tangible portents: the old dark house on the hill breathing evil, the antique shop downtown, all velvety smell and musty colors, the small town lined with porticoes bathed in the quiet of a lazy night, yet harboring secrets and vice from inside. Prying eyes staring from behind a curtain.

Oh, at some point vampires come flying through the window, and it's still fine by me, it's one of the better vampire films and at 3 hours it's better fleshed than most of them; but I am just not attuned to the whole vampire lore so I leave this part to be enjoyed best by the traditional horror fan. It is actually one of the more potent retellings of the most familiar story in this field, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was not quite Dracula but that older film with longer shadows, so I will not spoil the discovery for you.

But the first part intrigues me in stranger ways, more suggestive, with menace that goes unspoken. The small-town facade that would later resurface in Twin Peaks.

There is a notion that matters in all this, but which is not pursued at all; the writer who feels from his perspective that it was his presence that awakened evil, it's fitting that it's coming from a writer because it's a self-centered, imaginative notion, but which from our end we know is bogus. Evil was already afoot, and was never centered around him. But he wistfully imagines himself at the center so he can write about it.

So I don't know what happened with Tobe Hooper. He was never very elegant with a camera, the way Argento was or occasionally Carpenter, but he was unmatched in his feel for the aural qualities of film. He could make a room hum with evil. My guess is that, being an intuitive maker, the feel came and went, or he forgot how to tap into it (you can see as early as Eaten Alive how he seems to be desperately trying to capture again the muse that gave him Texas Massacre). Or he plainly stopped actively chasing after the right material.

This was just right for him. Only Kubrick has better adapted Stephen King to my mind.

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