Day 4 – A Return to Salem’s Lot (1987)

Today was kind of a half-watch day. I put this movie on while my partner, Dave, and I put together an IKEA bookcase (two of them actually) for my DVD collection. I have read the original Stephen King novel, and I have done the same thing with the TV movie by Tobe Hooper where I just kind of put it on in the background. All that to say, you don’t really need to know what happens in either of those to watch this one.

I watched this one on Dave’s recommendation. He has only seen this movie (he hasn’t read the book or watched the original TV movie). I think he just really enjoys it because it’s another goofy Larry Cohen movie with Michael Moriarty in the lead. What’s not to like? Even if you’re not watching it at all times, you still hear some pretty great lines.

Stephen King had nothing to do with this. My theory is Larry Cohen saw or read Salem’s Lot and thought the story really started when everyone in town was a vampire. It’s about a documentarian/anthropologist who is suddenly called back to the states from filming a tribe in a jungle to take care of his “disturbed” son. They go to Salem’s Lot to fix up an old house, and what do you know, vampires are all over town. There were weird things like child weddings – except they’re really not children, because they’re old vampires – and an explanation of how the vampires don’t normally eat people. It’s just a special occasion. And they want Michael Moriarty’s character, Joe, to record all of this so they can release this information in 200 years. Eventually Joe, his son, and an old guy in town go up against the vampires for the movie’s climax. I may be missing aspects of the plot because I was distracted (i.e. Joe gets a vampire pregnant, Nazis are involved somehow, a young Tara Reid is in there somewhere), but does it really matter?

Like I said, it’s another goofy Larry Cohen movie. I saw a great quote on Wikipedia from a review in The Des Moines Register, “Return, in fact, plays like a movie made by people who’ve heard about how movies are made but who’ve never seen one.” If that doesn’t make you want to watch the movie, I don’t know what will.

Michael Moriarty + Larry Cohen = hilarious horror gold. I’m really looking forward to watching this one again and giving it my full attention.

As far as online videos go, I could only really find the trailer. Here it is:

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