Sign In

Salem's Lot 1979: Two Part Version?

Author
Time

For those who are not aware, Salem’s Lot, in its original TV broadcast, was a two-part broadcast, shown one week apart in 1979. In the version of Salem’s Lot currently available on DVD and BluRay, the film has been edited into one whole 3 hour movie, with no interruptions. What I’m curious is, has the film ever been released as two separate parts on home video, with Part 1 and Part 2 being their own separate things. I remember reading that the UK DVD had this two part copy: can anyone confirm this? Is that copy available online or to purchase anywhere? I’d love to see this version.
Thanks!

Author
Time

I don’t have the U.K. DVD but I believe the LD release from the 1990s had the uncut miniseries.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

I have the UK DVD I will check it for you. I think you might be right that it is indeed in two parts. I am in a bit of a mess though moving house so If I don’t find it then sorry for this.

But If I do find it then I will update you on this.

Author
Time

Ronster said:

I am in a bit of a mess though moving house so If I don’t find it then sorry for this. But If I do find it then I will update you on this.

Alright, thanks! And don’t go through to much trouble to find it, this isn’t urgent or anything.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Fuddlyduddly said:

Ronster said:

I am in a bit of a mess though moving house so If I don’t find it then sorry for this. But If I do find it then I will update you on this.

Alright, thanks! And don’t go through to much trouble to find it, this isn’t urgent or anything.

Yes found it this morning. It is on 2 discs no special or bonus features so that should confirm that is is indeed two parts.

Author
Time

I’ve read that the UK 2 disc has a few secs of extra gore that wasnt shown in the TV version.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

It’s been packed away. But if you let me know about what scene it is. Then I will look when it get’s unpacked at the other end. But it won’t happen in a hurry. But I will keep an eye if you have any questions. And happy to help.

But I won’t be able to do screen caps so I will just have to give a brief description in relation to what your questions if you have any might be.

Author
Time

If you do check, could you check how part 1 ends and part 2 begins? Where does part 1 finish, and are its end credits the same as part 2? How does part 2 start? Does it have a recap or any footage before the main title, and are the main titles the same as part 1?
Thanks, and again, if it’s to much trouble don’t bother.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

I still have screen cap capabilities now so I will post some for you.

Part 1 starts with a few minute preview of part 1 at the start and then cuts to this.

Part 1 end credits after Vampire boy bites the man in the grave. freeze frame zoom. Producer Credit here “Richard Kobritz”

Part 2 also has a recap of part 1 (same as part 1 I think) and a voice over states on black screen “and now the conclusion of Salems Lot” a shot of the moon at night wolf howls. The house fades in to frame dramatic music then title card below and opening credits the same. Dissolve to road with Jeep heading for Salems lot.

end credits the same.

It’s sourced from a print with pops and scratches.

131.56 Part 1 including preview
132.03 Part 2 including recap ^ Same.

Author
Time

Very interesting, thank you. Strange that Part 1 would start with a preview/recap of part 1. You’d think that would spoil some of the film. Thanks for the info!

Author
Time

IIRC, that was a common thing with television programs of the era, intended to “hook” viewers right away so they didn’t change the channel.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

Author
Time

The VHS released by Warner UK in the mid-90s under their “Terror Vision” label was definitely the full two-part version, including all recaps and the reinstated gore. That was the first time the miniseries had been released on video in the UK, all releases up until then were of the feature cutdown. (The alternate scene from the feature version of Fred Willard putting the gun in his mouth still hasn’t been included on any release of the miniseries, as far as I’m aware.)

Author
Time

Interesting. I wonder if Ronster’s DVD copy has that extra gore, or if his version is more like the 3 hour cut on Blu-Ray?

Author
Time
 (Edited)

I’m pretty sure any “extra gore” is solely referring to the shot of Ed Flanders impaled on the antlers, though there are also alternate angles of one or two other scenes in the feature version if I remember correctly.

Here’s an excerpt from an Amazon customer review of the UK DVD:
“Regarding this two dvd set. . . It’s two discs, 184 minutes here so the uncut version. Picture is full frame. The sound is in mono and subtitles are English, Danish, Czech, Italian, Danish, Finnish, Norw, Polish, Spanish, Swedish and Portugese! As has been previously said, at the beggining of each disc there is a scene synopsis (spoilers!) so I would just select scene 3 on disc one and 29 on disc two until the proper movie starts or it may spoil it for you!”
(link here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/customer-reviews/R2KQG1BNRG2LHA/ref=cm_cr_getr_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B000FDFWYG)
So take that as verification that the UK DVD does indeed have the recaps at the beginning.

Author
Time

Fuddlyduddly said:

Interesting. I wonder if Ronster’s DVD copy has that extra gore, or if his version is more like the 3 hour cut on Blu-Ray?

You will have to tell me what i am looking for because i am not totally familiar with the film i had the VHS release and i liked it so i got the Dvd version gave the vhs away.

I do not have a computer set up or internet so lkke i said at this time i am pretty up the spout. But i will check the Dvd if you explain what you are looking for or post me a screen cap.

Not ideal but anyway that is life.

Author
Time

No that’s ok. The extra gore scene is when the doctor character is stabbed on a wall of horns inside the Marsten house by Straker. It happens in/during the climax.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Ok and what does the extra gore consist of? Or if you do not know describe or post a screen cap of where you think the extra scene is.

You saying he is pierced on the antlers?

So it is in part 2 near the end?

I have my pc set up now and my TV but no internet yet.

I would need to find the DVD again but i think by chance it ended up in the front not at the back. But quite busy with everything but to be honest fed up with it all and need to relax a bit.

Author
Time

I’m sorry, but I’m not quite sure what it looks like. Don’t worry about finding it, it can wait till your house move is done.

Author
Time

As the “impaled on antlers” shot was in the VHS version I mentioned earlier, it’s certainly a safe bet that it’s on the UK DVD too; I would imagine they used the same master tape.

UK fans should also be aware that the full-length miniseries is screening on 35mm next month at BFI Southbank, London as part of their Stephen King season!

Author
Time

Fuddlyduddly said:

I’m sorry, but I’m not quite sure what it looks like. Don’t worry about finding it, it can wait till your house move is done.

I also have the 2006 2-disc PAL UK release of SALEM’S LOT (1979). Dr Norton’s impalement death, is the same as the 3hr NTSC US DVD/Blu-ray versions and the old edited SALEM’S LOT: THE MOVIE videotape.

The new 3 hour NTSC US Blu-ray version has a slight edit to a different scene. The exterior shot of Straker’s fine antiques shop (during opening day) doesn’t start as early as the DVD version - watch the person riding a bike past the shop.

Author
Time

Would anyone with the necessary skills be interested in recreating (as closely as possible) the 112-minute “Movie” cut of Salem’s Lot that was released on VHS?

I know that there are some alternate takes of at least one scene in that version that have no HD source but there’s no reason the BD could not be used as it wouldn’t alter the scene at all.

I realise that this version has been pretty much forgotten but it’s the version I grew up with as well as (apparently) Stephen King’s preferred version.

George creates Star Wars.
Star Wars creates fans.
George destroys Star Wars.
Fans destroy George.
Fans create Star Wars.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

I made a thread announcing such a project (in SD) nearly ten years ago to the day: http://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Salems-Lot-1979-theatrical-version-preservation/id/8633 Weird timing! Obviously mine didn’t go very far, and I was hindered by a lack of sources as well as not particularly good equipment at the time. Needless to say I’d certainly love to see it done well!

ETA: I actually saw a 35mm screening of the theatrical edit a couple of years at a Halloween allnighter here in London. It was in great condition and was projected in 1.37:1.

Author
Time

Turisu said:

Would anyone with the necessary skills be interested in recreating (as closely as possible) the 112-minute “Movie” cut of Salem’s Lot that was released on VHS?

I know that there are some alternate takes of at least one scene in that version that have no HD source but there’s no reason the BD could not be used as it wouldn’t alter the scene at all.

I realise that this version has been pretty much forgotten but it’s the version I grew up with as well as (apparently) Stephen King’s preferred version.

Did this last year as an experiment. Turned out OK but the 2-part original is still the best version to see.

Author
Time

I too prefer the complete miniseries but would like to see a restored version the movie cut!

Author
Time

Curious that the movie cut never appeared on Laserdisc.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?