I was a teenager when this miniseries hit the small screen and it scared the pooh out of me, especially the scene where the teen vampire os scratching on his friend's window. I think I had nightmares about that for a week afterward! Salem's Lot is a slow burning suspenseful thriller that is some of the best horror 1970's TV had to offer. Based on a wonderful story by Stephen King under the masterful direction of Tobe Hooper [Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Poltergeist], Salem's Lot captures a feeling of dread that doesn't let go from start to finish. Some people might be surprised that Hooper would be capable of directing such a subtle thriller but a great director is a great director. He definitely hit this one out of the ballpark.
Salem's Lot has a dynamite cast with some of the best character actors of the 70's popping up all over the place. David Soul [Starsky & Hutch] plays novelist Ben Mears who has come to Salem's Lot to write his next novel. His sidekick in fighting the vamps is Lance Kerwin [James at 16] who plays a young horror fan. Both of them are great. Also included in the cast are James Mason [North by Northwest, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea], Elisha Cook, Jr. [Rosemary's Baby], Geoffrey Lewis [The Lawnmower Man, The Devil's Rejects] and a dozen more I don;t have time to mention. They might not be household names but you have seen them in EVERYTHING! Kudos to the producers and casting director for being able to assemble such an amazing group of actors and actresses.
Salem's Lot was deservedly nominated in 1980 for three Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design and Title Sequences, Outstanding Achievement in Makeup, and Outstanding Achievement in Musical Composition. If you're a fan of vampire films, Salem's Lot is classic stuff. Don't miss it.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.