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A Return to Salem's Lot is a 1987 American horror film co-written and directed by Larry Cohen and starring Michael Moriarty, Andrew Duggan and Samuel Fuller.[1] It is a sequel to the classic 1979 miniseries Salem's Lot.

A Return to Salem's Lot
A Return to Salem's Lot (1987).jpg
Promotional poster
Directed byLarry Cohen
Produced byLarry Cohen
Paul Kurta
Written byLarry Cohen
James Dixon
Music byMichael Minard
Edited byArmond Leibowitz
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
September 11, 1987
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited States


Plot summaryEdit

Michael Moriarty plays an amoral anthropologist who has been lumbered with his dysfunctional adolescent son (Ricky Addison Reed). He returns to Salem's Lot, the town of his birth, to find that it has been taken over by the undead. A few living people are kept around to provide blood for the vampires and to operate the gas station and shops in the daytime. Knowing of the anthropologist's refusal to moralise about other people's lifestyles (in the opening scene he is seen refusing to interfere in a human sacrifice and concerned only for the quality of the film he is shooting), the vampires employ him to write their story. As the vampires' evil nature becomes clear, the anthropologist is joined by a Nazi hunter (played by Samuel Fuller) who helps him save his son, and at the climax the master vampire is impaled on the American flag instead of the traditional stake. As the trio escapes Salem's Lot, the vampires are left in the sun to burn along with their homes.



Filming took place in Vermont.[2]


The film was given a limited release theatrically in the United States by Warner Bros. in 1987. It was released on VHS by Warner Home Video the following year. The film was released to burn-on-demand DVD by the Warner Archive Collection in 2010.[3]

Critical responseEdit

The Des Moines Register gave the film a zero-star rating, referring to it as "a festival of bad acting" and "quite possibly the most amateurishly made vampire movie in memory," adding: "Return, in fact, plays like a movie made by people who've heard about how movies are made but who've never seen one."[4] Jim Schembri of The Age noted that the film "outstay[s] its welcome after about five minutes."[5]

DVD Talk commented that the film was "Too interesting to miss, but regrettably not very scary."[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Kings of Horror Day 13: A Return to Salem's Lot". Shock Till You Drop. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  2. ^ Farrell, John Aloysius. "Larry, Darryl, and Darryl are not typical vermonters". The Times Leader. Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. p. 42 – via  
  3. ^ "Return to Salem's Lot (DVD)". Retrieved April 15, 2011.
  4. ^ "A festival of bad acting". The Des Moines Register. Des Moines, Iowa. September 24, 1987. p. 57 – via  
  5. ^ Schembri, Jim (December 29, 1988). "New releases". The Age. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. p. 30 – via  
  6. ^ "A Return to Salem's Lot (review)". DVD Talk. Retrieved January 27, 2014.

External linksEdit