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Salem's Lot - The Miniseries (2004)

Rob Lowe , Donald Sutherland , Mikael Salomon  |  NR |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)

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Salem's Lot - The Miniseries + Salems Lot (1979) + A Return To Salem's Lot
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Product Details

  • Actors: Rob Lowe, Donald Sutherland, Samantha Mathis, Rutger Hauer, James Cromwell
  • Directors: Mikael Salomon
  • Producers: Mark M. Wolper
  • Format: Miniseries, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Turner Home Ent
  • DVD Release Date: October 12, 2004
  • Run Time: 181 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002OXVG4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,448 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Salem's Lot - The Miniseries" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Salem's Lot: The Miniseries (2004) (DVD)

The vampiric Stephen King tale returns to the small screen, 25 years after the first made-for-TV Salem's Lot, a Tobe Hooper-directed ratings hit. This time it's Rob Lowe as a successful writer who returns to his haunted hometown. As a kid, something awful happened to him in the spooky mansion on the hill; now that he's back, the mansion is once again buzzing with evil portents. The physical production (shot in Australia) is convincing, and it's fun to see old pros such as Donald Sutherland, Rutger Hauer, and James Cromwell cutting up in juicy roles. The storytelling, however, feels oddly disjointed, as though King's sprawl had been arbitrarily hacked away rather than adapted (a few big moments are bewilderingly left offscreen). The approach misses the basic assets of a vampire story: the disbelief, the lore, the sex appeal. Instead, it feels like a random collection of bits for short attention spans. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
103 of 126 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It sucks..... September 12, 2005
By Severen
***Warning: Spoilers Ahead***

I've always loved the novel and the 1979 miniseries. When I heard they were doing a remake in 2004, I couldn't wait! Then I found out Rob Lowe was starring. Eeeh, he was in "The Stand" a decade earlier and that managed not to suck. So I gave him the benefit of the doubt and tuned in. And in all fairness to Rob Lowe he can hardly be blamed for how awful it turned out.

Now I can understand changing around elements for "dramatic purposes" and "updating" and "adapting for television". Let's not forget the novel was written and published in the 1970's when there were no cellphones, laptop computers or Internet. It seems the fellow who adapted the novel, Peter Filardi, and went hog-wild with it. The end result is that the only the movie characters have in common with their book counterparts are the names. Ben Mears was once held captive by the Taliban? Matt Burke is gay? Susan Norton is a waitress? Did Filardi even read the novel? Then there is the problem of the very minor characters getting way, way, waaayyyy more screen time than they deserve, as in they shouldn't have been in the movie at all. Sandy McDougall, Dud Rogers, Charlie Rhodes and Ruthie Crockett are all very minor throw-away characters who don't deserve a place in the movie. Ruthie didn't even have any dialogue in the book for crying out loud!!! What is so special about these characters that they managed to get on screen and take away precious time from the real characters? This is reason why Barlow is reduced to a cameo, because Peter Filardi felt the inexplicable need to cram in as many characters as possible.

My biggest complaint is the way they handled the scene where a vampire Mike Ryerson comes back to Matt Burke's house.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Such potential October 30, 2005
By Trixie
Stephen King has not been treated kindly by the movies. For years, his books were turned into films. Most of them bad. None of them on par with the books. This has been remedied in the past few years by the television miniseries, the only format that can do King justice. For while he may be a horror writer, it's King's gift for prose and characterization that makes him shine above others in the genre. The Shining and especially The Stand fared well as miniseries. Now Salem's Lot has been remade. The Tobe Hooper version (also made for TV) was flawed in that it made some unwise changes to the book and had a silly ending but it was genuinely scary. And to that end, this remake largely falls short.

(This review is written from the perspective of someone who has read the book and I assume most viewers will have read it or are familiar with it.)

I don't know why every writer who takes a crack at King has to change plot and character needlessly but it seems they do. This version has far too much setup before anything really happens. Some of the good stuff includes an updated backstory for Ben Mears and a much more sinister history for him with the Marsten house (in this version, he actually witnesses the suicide death of Hubie Marsten instead of only imagining it years later.) This version also includes Dr. Jim Cody and Father Callahan-one of whom was eliminated from the original and the other serving a much truncated role. The Barlow character is also a full-fledged one instead of a speechless Nosferatu that relied on the Straker character (played in the original by James Mason) for a voice and personality.

Alas most of the new material is unnecessary padding and I was largely bored by the first half. For example, a new story line about Dr.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
The remake of "Salem's Lot"- The Miniseries is literally the worst movie I have ever seen in my entire life. What more can you say? It sucks. I highly recommend the original 1979 version of "Salem's Lot" starring James Mason and David Soul to this utter garbage. What a worthless piece of crap this movie is.
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31 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This was 'salem's Lot? Purleeze. October 20, 2004
'Salem's Lot is easily the most terrifying of Stephen King's novels. A dark and evil tale that scares the crap out of you. The 1979 version although annoying to purists (including myself) for the monsterfication of Barlow and some dodgy scriptwriting had one thing in common with the novel - it too was terrifying, it positively traumatised some viewers.

Bottom line: This is no more frightening than a tame episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it's an absolute pile of rubbish..... I find it extraordinary that a director can take such extraordinary material and turn it into something so utterly pedestrian.... and make no mistake here... the main problem was not the script, nor even the acting but the direction.

Three of the major scenes in the book and '79 version were ruined by the director here -- Danny Glick at the window, Marjorie Glick in the mortuary and the return of Mike Ryerson. How can you possibly ruin these scenes? A child holding the camera couldn't ruin these scenes.

Thoroughly disappointing, even more so because now Salomon has queered the pitch for everyone else -- no one else will be able to make this again for the next twenty years.
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33 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Can't stand up to the original August 28, 2006
Rob Lowe is mildly okay as Ben Mears, but his performance goes nowhere near David Soul's angst ridden, really convincing portrayal from the 1979 original. Donald Suterland is disappointing, and I don't think it needs to be said that his performance is less than spectacular, even absurd. He's no James Mason.

Rutger Hauer gives a better performance than this series deserved. His portrayal of King's Barlow is more accurate than the Nosferatuesque Reggie Nalder, but somehow this seems to work to the film's detriment rather than benefit. Rent the original film, or miniseries. I had high expectations, maybe that they'd build on the original a little, but it's just rushed, badly acted, trying too hard to be modern, and in general, a waste of time.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars How much sleep do you want tonight?
SCARY is not enough said about this series. for an oldie it is a goodie.
Published 1 month ago by Judith A. Richardson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I didn't remember this one but im glad I got it.
Published 1 month ago by Felisha M. Hawkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thank you
Published 1 month ago by reeni
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great transaction! Fast shipping, quality, great experience all round! Buy with confidence! Thanks so much!
Published 1 month ago by MysticKat74
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great Movie!!!!
Published 3 months ago by tonya
1.0 out of 5 stars ABSOLUTE GARBAGE
The point of this production is to convince you that everyone is a horrible person. This movie has nothing to do with a cool story about vampires. Read more
Published 4 months ago by hawkeye
5.0 out of 5 stars Great remake!
The original Salem's lot scared me to death as a kid. As with all remakes, I was a bit reluctant with this one. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jason M McCrea
1.0 out of 5 stars It sucks lemons and limes
Mostly limes.

Salem's Lot - The Miniseries (2004) is an inferior remake of Salem's Lot (1979), a TV movie that aired in November 1979. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Joker
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
If you liked the 1979 Salem's Lot, you will like this one. The two are quite different versions of the same story line. Both are worth watching if you like a good scare. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Kimberly McNair
5.0 out of 5 stars Salem's Lot
The old version of Salem's Lot was good, but, this version is much better. The vampire certainly is much better looking than the one in the old version and I watch this version all... Read more
Published 8 months ago by rhonda bryant
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