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Salem's Lot - The Cinematic Cut (RELEASED)

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 (Edited)

For some more details, feel free to check out the IFDB listing: https://ifdb.fanedit.org/__trashed-11/

Stephen King’s book was huge in 1975 and WB acquired the rights to make it into a feature. Loads of directors wanted to do it, but no one had a script that turned the 400 page novel into something faithful for the screen. It was then moved over to WB’s television department where it was felt it would better be presented as a miniseries. After a screening of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, director Tobe Hooper was brought on board to make the miniseries happen.

With a running time of 183 minutes, 1979’s Salem’s Lot still holds up relatively well today. While the fashion has aged, the scares have not!

I appreciate the miniseries and I enjoyed the story enough to check out Rob Lowe’s 2004 miniseries remake. The remake has its strong suits and isn’t nearly as bad as it is made out to be, but it can’t hold a stake to the original.

My goal was to shave the movie down to a more manageable run time in order to get to the scares a little quicker. Also, I have reframed the movie to be in widescreen!

The one major plot point that I felt needed to go was the Boom Boom Bonnie/Larry Crockett affair which also meant Cully had to go. My reasoning is that not only did it not have any effect on the overall story, but Crockett’s dead body is found and Ben is a suspect even though the Constable could’ve asked Weasel who would have easily pointed to Cully probably being a much more prominent suspect. Once Larry’s body is found, we never hear anything of the affair again and we see them escape the town before all hell breaks loose, so what was the point (in the context of the movie other than to show another shadier side of the town)? Removing this plot did not affect the story and is never mentioned after Larry is found.

The character Weasel was also completely cut from my version as he did not add anything to the main plot.

Major Changes:
*Love triangle plot gone
*Weasel character gone
*No more gratuitous shots of Straker driving into town
*Ben is no longer thinking of himself as the beacon for why the town starts going to hell
*No opening in Mexico
*Mike’s dog is gone
*Added a vampire hissing sound and a bite sound during both of vampire Ralphie’s appearances
*Meticulously reframed for 16x9 widescreen viewing

Original run time: 183 minutes
Fan Edit run time: 140 minutes
Time cut: 43 minutes

PM if you’re interested in viewing this! All I ask is that once you’ve had a chance to view it you leave a quick (or long) review here in the thread. Thanks!

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Whoa! This looks fun.
And just in time for Halloween.

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How about some screen-shots? I’d be interested in seeing the new widescreen (1.85:1?) framing.

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 (Edited)

Slavicuss said:

How about some screen-shots? I’d be interested in seeing the new widescreen (1.85:1?) framing.

I don’t have the work files anymore, but the reviews on IFDB have pointed out that the reframing works well. Some have said they forgot that it was originally a full frame presentation. PM me if you want to check it out!

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Haven’t watched the whole thing yet, but I like what you’ve done with the new ‘widescreen’ framing. Nice job!

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Slavicuss said:

Haven’t watched the whole thing yet, but I like what you’ve done with the new ‘widescreen’ framing. Nice job!

Thank you!

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Just finished watching the rest of it.

SPOILERS

You’ve made some interesting editing choices. I didn’t even miss the ‘Cullen Sawyer & slut wife’ subplot at all (even though I love the scene with the shotgun - a real sweat-inducing, classic brown trouser moment, if ever there was one).
I liked the reuse of the “Marsten House” shot (from the opening titles?), now used to cover the commercial fade-to-black, just after Mark Petrie falls down the stairs and sprains his ankle. This shot is ‘unbroken’ in the “SALEM’S LOT: THE MOVIE” version. I can see why it couldn’t be used for your cut (inferior videotape quality)
What did you use for the exterior shot of Eva Miller’s boarding house (at the 1 hrs - 54 secs mark)? It looked like something from “Little House on the Prairie”?

I wish you didn’t cut short Barlow’s first appearance in the prison cell. There’s so little of him as is.

You did a great job! I enjoyed that. Thanks!

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Slavicuss said:

Just finished watching the rest of it.

SPOILERS

You’ve made some interesting editing choices. I didn’t even miss the ‘Cullen Sawyer & slut wife’ subplot at all (even though I love the scene with the shotgun - a real sweat-inducing, classic brown trouser moment, if ever there was one).
I liked the reuse of the “Marsten House” shot (from the opening titles?), now used to cover the commercial fade-to-black, just after Mark Petrie falls down the stairs and sprains his ankle. This shot is ‘unbroken’ in the “SALEM’S LOT: THE MOVIE” version. I can see why it couldn’t be used for your cut (inferior videotape quality)
What did you use for the exterior shot of Eva Miller’s boarding house (at the 1 hrs - 54 secs mark)? It looked like something from “Little House on the Prairie”?

I wish you didn’t cut short Barlow’s first appearance in the prison cell. There’s so little of him as is.

You did a great job! I enjoyed that. Thanks!

Glad you liked it and thanks for your review!

*The first time I saw the mini series, I wasn’t a fan of the Crockett/Bonnie/Cully plotline. I kept wanting to go back and follow Ben. I understand why it was there and it adds to the character of the town, but I could do without it especially because there were no repercussions from it. NO ONE thought to talk to Cully?! I read somewhere that there was supposed to be a scene of Bonnie and Cully dumping the body near where Ben and Susan are, but again that is never addressed. The story would be perfect for a limited series where they could expand on all of that, but it just didn’t work for me.

*Yeah that VHS version looks terrible and I wish I could utilize it, but I did the best I could.

*So, that shot of the exterior was from a Zillow ad for a house in Massachusetts. It was the best I could find to help mask the commercial break and music cross fade from Mike getting bit to Ben on the phone. Truthfully, when I saw it I thought that looked like what I would picture her house to look like. It’s funny how some people don’t notice it and others don’t like the exterior shot of the Marsten house after Mark gets hurt.

Thanks for watching!