A Return to Salem’s Lot (1987)

While vampires are often depicted trying to enslave humanity, not a lot is ever discussed of the logistics: Constantly keeping up the supplies of Blood, keeping your empire hidden from others for if/when they decide they want to expand their territory. In 1987, and without the involvement of Stephen King, a sequel embarked to answer these questions. About what would happen if you would happen if the vampires succeeded and the dangerously enticing feeling of returning to your past, in A Return To Salem’s Lot.

The town has seen better days, especially since the vampires won!

A troubled kid, Jeremy, gets a chance to go back to the town his father briefly grew up in an attempt to save him from a life of institutions. When he arrives, the town seems particularly dead, but Joe doesn’t seem to mind. The older teenager that Joe heavily crushed on hasn’t changed, and more and more he’s being seduced by the prospect of permanently living back here. They want Joe to chronicle the vampire’s existence, and as a community, they are less of a threat due to their uptake of cow blood. They also want Joe and Jeremy to remain in the loving embrace of the community, despite his wishes. Jeremy will have to join forces with an unlikely hunter to save his father from the claws of Salem’s Lot.

A Return follows off from the vampire’s attempt to take over the town, and the law is in their pocket!

The original miniseries remains embedded in the memories of those who watched it, A Return lives up to its legacy, by mainly telling its thing with, the worst-case scenario of the original as a jumping-off point. With some creepy vampire kids also prevalent with lessons at night, and a basement of coffins. Props should also be given to the new characters, with memorable examples such as Samuel Fuller playing Van Meer.  He steals the show somewhat, being a Nazi hunter, who quickly deals with Jeremy’s attitude problem, and turning his skills to hunting vampires. Speaking of, Ricky Addison Reed does a terrific job in making Jeremy one of the most annoyingly anti-social kids imaginable (which is a task in of itself).

Ricky Addison Reed does a great job in playing troubling kid, Jeremy.

Rather than telling the tale again of a community slowly becoming consumed by vampires, A Return focuses after the fact, and raises some interesting questions about the community’s undetected survival, and also their history on the continent. A Return also follows up with many creepy concepts and ideas, such as relatives you thought were long passed away still living, and finally being able to be with your teenage crush, unnaturally preserved. Of course, the subtle insidiousness does lend a warped spin on all of these popular fantasies that the vampires can offer. These all give A Return to Salem’s Lot an abundance of avenues to explore and explore in an 80s punk-like fashion.

Creepy ideas and images are frequent in Salem’s Lot.

A Return puts more than a couple of spins on the original, a fresh supply of new ideas, and memorable concepts to counter-play the familiar conspiracy of vampires in the local community. Without the minds behind the original, A Return tries its best to advance Stephen King’s ideas, all while keeping its energy. Offering a captivating extension that feels very era-appropriate, without muddying the original. Those who enjoy some low-budget vampire thrills might get their kicks returning to Salem’s Lot.

Joe will learn the meaning of the saying “You can’t go home again” may not be literal!

If you want more positive reviews delivered to the e-mail box of your choice, you can click on that little text bubble at the bottom of the screen. Do you agree or disagree? or have a suggestion for another pop-culture artefact that needs a positive light shone on it? Leave a comment in the comment box below! But remember to keep it positive!

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