Salem's Lot - Did You Know?
Stephen King was inspired to write the book when he had his English class read 'Dracula', and became curious about what would happen if vampires came to America, specifically in a small town.
Director George A. Romero was originally approached to direct a feature film version, but after the announcements of John Badham's Dracula (1979) and Werner Herzog's Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979), Warner Bros. decided to turn Salem's Lot into a TV mini-series. Romero dropped out, feeling he wouldn't be able to make the film the way he wanted to with the restrictions of network television.
The now classic scene of the young vampire floating in the air, tapping on his brother's window, was shot in reverse to give it an eerie effect.
The exterior for the Marsten House, the film's icon, was actually a full-scale facade built upon a smaller preexisting hill-top house. In total the facade cost the production an estimated $100,000 dollars to build.
After the mini-series aired on CBS with excellent ratings there was talk of continuing it as a regular television series for a while. The idea of making Salem's Lot a TV show never materialized though.
In an interview with Reggie Nalder, the actor said that the contact lenses and heavy makeup work he had to wear for the role of Kurt Barlow was quite painful and took some time to get adjusted to.
In an interview with director Tobe Hooper, Hooper said that the makeup work on Reggie Nalder had to be constantly touched up as it would crack or fall off while the actor was performing for the camera. Hooper said that the film's finale with Barlow in his coffin required numerous takes to keep the makeup work intact during shooting.
The original novel established many motifs that Stephen King would use in his subsequent novels. It takes place in a small town in Maine, and many later stories took place in the small towns of Derry or Castle Rock. It features a much larger cast of characters than Carrie (1976) did, and most of his later books had a large cast. The main character, Ben Mears, is a professional writer, and another major character, Jason Burke, is a schoolteacher. Many of his subsequent characters were either or both. King himself also held both jobs.