July 18, 2011

A Return to Salem’s Lot


We love Larry Cohen (director) and Michael Moriarty (star), but this movie was a serious let down.  Moriarty is stiff, the plot is thin to say the least, and the action mostly bookends the movie. On the up side, the veteran actors and actresses steal the show; they deliver the best lines and bring levity to this bland horror movie.

The plot unfolds something like this:  Anthropologist Joe Weber moves to Salem’s Lot with his son for complicated and diluted reasons. The town is of course inhabited by vampires, and residents want Weber to write their “bible”. [Everybody knows anthropologists are MUCH better writers than vampires!] The son, meanwhile, becomes enchanted by the idea of becoming a vampire, having been seduced by one of the vampire children (Tara Reed). Only Nazi hunter Van Meer (Sam Fuller) can save the son, and rid Salem’s Lot of the vampire scourge, though it’s never clear why.

Things to watch for: Ever randomly changing footwear on the hero’s son. Rubber masked blue vampire inexplicably stalking the cast. The mom from A Nightmare on Elm Street. Elderly vampires feeding on live cows. Moriarty’s shirtless love scene…actually, you should turn away for that one.

What the filmmakers might have been thinking: Rubber masks work like make-up right?

What we learned: Vampires have a reflection, tolerate garlic, are terrible writers and can transform shoes. (Also; cows are immune to vampirism.)

Yep that’s: Sam Fuller

Some “That lady!” moments with:  Ronee Blakley (A Nightmare on Elm Street) and Tara Reed (The Big Lebowski).

Previews: none
Tag line:  none
Choice line from the synopsis:  “Now get ready for A Return to Salem’s Lot---by quadrupling your life insurance.”
VHS release company:  Warner Home Video
VHS release:  1988
Original release:  1987

Our rating: Better with a loud group.

                                      (from left to right, top to bottom) 
                                1.    Our anthropological hero.
                                2.    Sam Fuller ladies and gentlemen!
                                3.    Our hero’s offspring
                                4.    Rubber vampire!
                                5.    Tara Reed.
                                6.    Rubber mask vampire, very scary.
                                7.    Some of our better cast members and a boom mike.
                                8.    Ronee Blakley and another boom mike.
                                9.    Some of the only action in the film.
                              10.  Good times had by some, melting had by others.
                              11.  Oh dang, I’ve been shot in the head!
                              12.  Well I may have bullets in my head, but my new tie makes it all better
                              13-15.  The sound guy on this movie really must have been short, or drunk.


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