A New England village is plagued by vampirism in this blood-curdling shocker based on the bestselling novel by Stephen King, directed by Tobe Hooper (Poltergeist) and starring David Soul, James Mason, Bonnie Bedelia, Lew Ayres and Ed Flanders. Originally released as a two part mini-series, experience Salem’s Lot in its original, uncut form as a 3 hour movie extravaganza! Year: 1979 Starring: David Soul, James Mason, Bonnie Bedelia, Lew Ayres, Ed Flanders Director: Tobe Hooper
I’m not alone in my opinion that the vampire, Mr Barlow from Salem’s Lot (1979) is the most scariest and hideous vampire of all time. This was proven the other night when I put Salem’s Lot on for my 19 year old daughter, Kerry as she had never seen it before.
When I was about 12 years old I sat there silent and watched this with wide eyes, totally immersed in the scenery, watching the tree branches that looked like skeletal hands blowing in the wind. Long cast shadows with effective lighting perfectly matched the musical score that builds in the background until the movie arrives at that point where it TERRIFIES the viewer.
I remember crying my eyes out and begging my sisters to let me share their bed with them after watching the first part on TV and my mother telling me that I won’t be watching part two if I don’t calm down. I was hooked, but why?
Of course, I begged and I begged and I promised that I wouldn’t get scared. My mother eventually gave in for an easy life I suspect and I got to watch the second part the following night and unfortunately the events of the evening before were repeated, but on a grander scale.
The kids of today don’t seem to be as scared of horror movies like I was at their age.
So, I was waiting for the usual comments from Kerry like ‘this isn’t scary’ or ‘this is rubbish’ as I’ve seen her laugh at the film, The Exorcist, which I found to be bloody terrifying!
Meet Mr Barlow from Salem’s Lot
So far, we had seen a few vampires, mainly the Glick family and we had arrived at the scene where Mr Barlow first appears when he magically unlocked the cell door which held Floyd Tibbits. The camera stuck on Mr Barlow’s nosferatu head with those terrifying yellow eyes, loud music and the awful hissing and screeching sounds he made.
THAT WAS IT!!!
Kerry refused to watch anymore of Salem’s Lot!
It’s a shame because she missed one of the most terrifying scenes where Mr Straker along with Mr Barlow, entered the kitchen of the Petrie family in spectacular style. The room started to tremble and shake violently like it would in an earthquake and a black mass appeared on the kitchen floor, growing slowly to reveal the hissing and growling Mr Barlow. Mr Straker demanded that the priest surrender himself to the scariest vampire of all time.
James Mason played Mr Straker, who was Mr Barlow’s keeper. He lived in the old Marsten house and owned an antiques shop within Salem’s Lot. Mr Straker had a screw loose to keep a vampire like him. I never figured out if he was scared of Mr Barlow, or if he really wanted to be his keeper. Reggie Naldor played the role of Mr Barlow magnificently and he is one of the most evil, terrifying vampires ever to be seen.
If you haven’t watched Salem’s Lot, then you must purchase and watch the 1979 version with David Soul as it is the best in my opinion and don’t bother with any of the sequels or remakes. They don’t capture the true essence of the original and how the music together with the cinematography and great acting, all mixed together, without CGI made it a true horror classic.