I’ve also recently watched (again) Tobe Hooper’s original tv mini-series adaptation of ‘Salem’s Lot, one of Stephen King’s finest works. I vividly remember reading the novel as a 13-year-old not that long before the series was shown on the BBC.
Although I enjoyed this adaptation then and still do now, it is not a patch on the book (how many movies and tv shows are though?). It is better then the 2004 remake starring Rob Lowe. I remember being genuinely shocked when the 1979 version of the vampire, Barlow first put in an appearance. Though I was much more creeped-out by James Mason who played a thoroughly creepy and downright menacing Straker. Of course it has nowhere near the same impact now; the make up and effects were convincing for the late ’70s but look very dated and rather less convincing here in the ’00s.
It was an enjoyably nostalgic watch but I don’t think I’d recommend it unless you’re a fan of Mr. King’s work (but not if you’re the nitpicking, geeky kind that’ll just pick holes in it – then again maybe that’s your bag, in which case…)