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Updated on July 29, 2010


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Salem's Lot - The Mini-Series

This is not meant to be a comprehensive review of the movie. Just some odd thoughts, tidbits and trivia about the CBS mini-series.

- The movie was filmed in Ferndale, California, which is in Humboldt County. It seems rather odd that they would choose a small town in Northern California, since the story itself is set in the state of Maine. Ferndale is close to being the Western most point in the continental United States, which is about as far away from Maine as you can get.

- The screenplay went through a number of re-writes prior to being approved. It is condensed considerably from the original book written by Stephen King.

- At the time the mini-series was filmed, Stephen King had already had two of his books adapted into movies. Those were Carrie and The Shining.

- One of the co-stars of the mini-series is Ed Flanders, who is probably best known for his work in the NBC Television series St. Elsewhere playing Dr. Westphall. In an eerie twist of fate, Flanders (who was from Minneapolis, Minnesota) died in Denny, California, a very isolated town that lies less than 100 miles East of Ferndale in neighboring Trinity County. The nearest major town to both Ferndale and Denny is my hometown of Eureka, California. Flanders, who reportedly suffered from depression, died in 1995 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

- The mini-series was released in Europe as a feature length movie, although it was edited quite heavily. A number of alternate scenes that never made it into the mini-series (some of which did make it into the European release) have popped-up recently via YouTube, although they have never been officially released in North America. You can find quite a few of them at (URL has since been moved).

- There was a "sequel" of the movie called "A Return To Salem's Lot" that aired on the CBS Television network in 1987. It bore no relation to the original movie whatsoever and was not based on material by Stephen King. In another odd twist of fate, the sequel starred actor Michael Moriarty. The original Salem's Lot mini-series included actor George Dzundza, who played the character of Cully Sawyer. Dzundza and Moriarty are probably both best known for their roles in the pilot of the eventual long-running TV series Law & Order, which debuted in 1990. Dzundza left the series after the first season and was replaced by actor Paul Sorvino.

- The town where the original mini-series was filmed has been featured in a number of other Hollywood movies. Besides playing the part of the town of "Salem's Lot, Maine", Ferndale, Califronia has also "appeared" as "Cedar Creek, California" in the 1995 Dustin Hoffman movie "Outbreak". Ferndale was also the backdrop for the 2001 movie "The Majestic". Quite a number of other movies have had their outdoor scenes filmed in Humboldt County. They include the Star Wars sequel Return of the Jedi (look for the redwood trees) and Jurassic Park: The Lost World (scenes near the beach). Humboldt County's capital Eureka, California is supposedly the backdrop for the Sci-Fi Network's series EUReKA , although to the best of my knowledge, no footage has ever been filmed in Eureka. The series itself is filmed in British Columbia, Canada.

- Salem's Lot was remade into a new mini-series that starred actor Rob Lowe, taking the place of original actor David Soul. It appeared on the TNT cable Network in 2004. Unlike the original, this one was actually filmed in Australia.


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    • Stephen Crowley profile image

      Stephen Crowley 6 years ago from Wales, UK

      Salems Lot written by my favourite author, and the David Soul version my favourite mini-series of all time. Both the original and the new Rob Lowe version were excellent adaptations of the novel for different reasons. One thing they both have in common, a truly wonderful scary few nights in front of the box.