A Return to Salem's Lot (1987)





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A divorced dad and son attempt to build on their newly resurrected relationship by heading back to pop's hometown in up-state Maine. When he gets there, he finds that all the townspeople have turned into 300-year-old vampires. Some say that director Larry Cohen intended the vampire community to be a parody of old-blooded Republicans who so often rule in small-town America.
Rating: R
Genre: Horror
Directed By: Larry Cohen
Written By: Larry Cohen , James Dixon
Warner Bros.


Samuel Fuller
as Van Meer
June Havoc
as Aunt Clara
Andrew Duggan
as Judge Axel
Evelyn Keyes
as Mrs. Axel
Tara Reid
as Amanda
Brad Rijn
as Clarence
Robert Burr
as Dr. Fenton
Jacqueline Britton
as Mrs. Fenton
David Ardao
as Car Salesman
Kathleen Kickta
as Vampire Woman
Kathleen Kichta
as Vampire Wooman
Nancy Duggan
as Farm Girl
Rick Garcia
as Cameraman
Ron Milkie
as Townsperson
Bobby Ramsen
as Jungle Guide
Peter Hock
as Farmer Drone
Edward Shils
as Vampire Tenant
Richard Duggan
as Vampire Tenant
Lynda A. Clark
as Townsperson
Ron Millkie
as Townsman
Ted Noose
as Vagrant
James Gillis
as Vagrant
Sam Fuller
as Van Meer
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Critic Reviews for A Return to Salem's Lot

All Critics (2)

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August 14, 2005

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July 25, 2002

Audience Reviews for A Return to Salem's Lot

Darkness rises again in A Return to Salem's Lot, a mediocre sequel to the Stephen King classic. After moving to Salem's Lot to reconnect with his estranged son, noted anthropologist Joe Weber discovers that the town is completely inhabited by vampires, who proceed to coerce him to document their history and culture. The vampire society is interesting in concept, but it's overshadowed by the weak storytelling. And the acting is especially bad, particularly Michael Moriarty. A Return to Salem's Lot has some interesting ideas, but the filmmaking is extremely poor.

Dann Michalski
Dann Michalski

On the surface, on First Viewing, this movie SUCKS! Larry Cohen TOTALLY BLINDSIDED EVERYONE with this one: Notice its called A Return to Salem's Lot . . . its not a sequel to Tobe Hooper's TV-miniseries but rather more of a TOTAL REVAMPING and RE-IMAGINING of the entire "Stephen King Salem's Lot Mythos" . . . IT REALLY SUCKS on the first viewing because you TOTALLY EXPECT to see BARLOW and STRAKER and/or perhaps Ben Mears and, Mark Petrie, or even Susan or Father Callahan. BUT THERE'S NOTHING linking this to the original miniseries except the title and the picture on the video box (video sleeve, video jacket depending on which territory you live in) There's no BARLOW, no BEN MEARS, no Mark Petrie, no Straker instead the mayor of Salem's Lot is the King Vampire and Michael Moriarty (a little like the Ben Mears character) returns to his boyhood town (Salem's Lot) and discovers the vampires. So you have to pretend that the first SALEM'S LOT never happened and accept this movie on its own terms; to me it would be a 70% or an 80% maybe . . . but since it IS from Larry Cohen (who directed ITS ALIVE, GOD TOLD ME TO, Q-The Winged Serpent, BLACK CEASER, ORIGINAL GANGSTERS, and MANIAC COP) and since it is an "official Salem's Lot movie" from Warner Bros. that produced the original Salem's Lot its a 90%. Fangoria Magazine said Larry Cohen had a two-direct-to-video-picture contract with Warner Bros. and this A RETURN TO SALEM'S LOT and ITS ALIVE III: ISLAND OF THE ALIVE are the two movies . . . and they both SUCK . . . but because they ARE LARRY COHEN FILMS they default into a respectable area into the annals of horror. Larry Cohen is a very important horror (and exploitation) movie director (in MANIAC COP 2, the guy kills more police officers in the police headquarters shoot-out than The Terminator!).

Gordon Terry
Gordon Terry

The whole thing seemed to be constantly on one median level, with very few shocks. It never really yanks you into the story, and the music is extremely loud and dirge-like, making you feel like you're watching a very tepid documentary made without much thought. An extremely peculiar, rather uninteresting film, a considerable step down from the first film (which wasn't terrific, but was at least exciting!) I think they should have got Tobe Hooper in again - perhaps he was busy. It's very similar in feel to Halloween 4, which was a complete waste of time - there's a feeling that nobody knew what they were doing during the whole creation process, particularly the music composers, who were obviously filling time until they were discovered by Philip Glass.

Cassandra Maples
Cassandra Maples

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