Salem's Lot: The Cinematic Cut

Updated
salemscinematic_front
Faneditor Name:
Original Movie Title:
Genre:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1979
Original Running Time:
183
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
140
Time Cut:
43
Time Added:
1
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
I have taken the classic miniseries and edited down to its core story. Some of the melodrama is gone as are plotlines that didn't go anywhere. Now we get a leaner and meaner take on the story and getting there with a little bit of a brisker pace.
Intention:
I really enjoyed this miniseries the couple of times I've watched it, but there are parts that felt like it could use a little bit of editing to get things go quicker.
Other Sources:
Salem's Lot Original Soundtrack was utilized to mask scene cuts and transitions.
Special Thanks:
DwightFry and BionicBob
Release Information:
Digital
Cuts and Additions:
-Reframe the movie to 16:9 widescreen
-Bring running time to 150 minutes or less
-Remove all fade/hard cut to black commercial breaks
-Remove Crockett/Bonnie/Cully affair
-Cut Cully completely, Bonnie only appears in the scene when Ben talks to Crockett
-Move some scenes around, including cutting the opening in Mexico, but reusing the footage to add to the end
-Tighten things up such as the removal of the several excessive scenes of Straker leaving the house and driving into town
-Added a vampire-esque hissing sound for Ralphie Glick's two vampiric appearances and a bite sound during his second one
-Upped the music volume during Straker's murder of Dr. Norton to add to the terror of the scene

User reviews

4 reviews
Overall rating
 
9.7
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.8(4)
Visual Editing
 
9.8(4)
Audio Editing
 
9.3(4)
Narrative
 
9.8(4)
Enjoyment
 
9.8(4)
Overall rating
 
9.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
7.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
This made for tv-serie/film scared the hell out of me as a kid.
I still enjoy this a lot and I think Tobe Hooper made a great job with it.
This cinematic cut is even better with a better pacing and the 16:9 widescreen reframing is really well made and makes it look like a "real" movie.
I really don't miss anything that was cut out and the story flows very well.

Sadly there's some small audio glitches (pops) on my file that lowers my points but this is a very enjoyfull edit overall.

Well done!
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Overall rating
 
9.3
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Salem's Lot left quite an impression on me when I saw it as a young teenager when I was staying with my Nan. David Soul, the majestic James Mason... and then there was Mr Barlow... blimey, how he scared me! Of course, with the passing of time, and the fact that I haven't seen the film or TV version for many many years, it would be wrong of me to expect the film to have the same impact as it did. However, as a keen admirer of musiced's work, I was more than excited to check his version out.

Overall, this edit does a very successful balancing act of maintaining the key character beats whilst pushing forward the narrative at a quicker rate. Not that the intention here is to make a fast moving Salem's Lot, but more one that focuses on the main characters and seeing the story develop naturally from that viewpoint - or at least that's how it came across to me. It certainly improves the pacing for me, even if the depth of the characters here is still not that deep to be honest. David Soul comes out best of all for me. I've always liked him as an actor, and I truly like him as writer, Ben Mears. I love the way the story ends with Ben and Mark on the run from the vampires, and it actually makes me wish there had been a weekly TV Series carrying on their weekly fight against evil.

On the technical side, Musiced deserves huge praise for some excellent picture reframing here, to the point where you would never know it wasn't filmed in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio. I never noticed any poor visual or audio edits, and all in all I had a blast watching this again in what is a very skillful fanedited version. It still manages to be a creepy adaptation of an excellent novel, and it's nice to see less obvious movies like this getting the fanedit treatment.
L
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(Updated: October 16, 2022)
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Absolutely the best version that can be rendered out of the 1979 Salem's Lot miniseries. The problem with the full-lenght version is that it's already a very compressed adaptation of a book that's between 400+ and almost 700 pages long, depending on the printing. So, inevitably, in order to tell the story in three hours a lot of character stuff had to stay skin deep, and as a result we have a collection of supporting characters that are little more than stock 70s soap opera types, with little to no complexity. And then, there's the theatrical cut that lost one hour of footage yet insisted on keeping all the subplots, with the result of being very uneven, plot hole-ridden, and rendering the characters even flatter.

So, how to make the best possible version? Doing what any wise editor should do: instead of compressing stuff even further, dropping subplots in order to let what remains breathe. Which is exactly what Music Ed has done here: get rid of flat stuff that never really worked, and concentrate on the aspects of it that do work wonderfully: the atmosphere, the scares (no one will ever forget THAT scene), and the magnificently suave and sinister performance of the always excellent James Mason, forever one of my favorite actors. And the result is a very well paced, cinematic, and truly spooky horror film. Definitely the best possible cut of this.

The reframing to 16:9 works so well that it took me seconds to forget this was filmed in the old TV ratio. Editing is absolutely flawless, as are video and audio quality. I have to mention, however, the strange case of "Schrodinger's sync issues" that may or may not be present, depending on the player you use to watch. I don't know why this happens, but in any case, if one watches it on VLC or PotPlayer, all should be good, and the issue will be either barely noticeable or inexistent.

Definitely a replacement cut for me, and very highly recommended, particularly around this Halloween season. You will enjoy this edit (and it will enjoy YOU!)
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Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
This was an incredible nostalgia watch for me.
Growing up in the 70s, my Horror foundation was poured and cemented by three things -- the Universal Monster movies, the Network tv version of John Carpenter's Halloween and SALEMS LOT.

As a nine year old, it forever became imprinted on my DNA in terms of visuals and storytelling.

Now, as boy in his 50s, I can appreciate the filmmaking that went into telling this story even more but can also can acknowledge the weakness of this beloved childhood spookfest.

Thankfully, MusicEd has eliminated most of the weaker elements. Padding and characters that serve little to no purpose have been either eliminated entirely or relegated to the background. By doing so, the Hitchcockian style of the story becomes significantly more pronounced. The movie tension now builds unfettered until the third act which still gives me uncomfortable goosebumps all these decades later.

There is masterful skill NOT on display here. And what I mean by that, unless you are intimately familiar with every frame of the original, you will never notice most of the cuts and audio work. Commercial breaks are gone, scenes flow naturally from one into another through talented editing trickery. The new 16x9 reframing is excellent. If this was my first exposure to Salems Lot, I never would have guessed this was originally 4x3.

Now there are multiple moments where the viewer might think the audio goes off sync for a second or two. I can assure the viewer this is not the case. It is simply how the original ADR/Dubbing/audio was mixed back in the day. However, I should also note, the fan edit video file did have audio issues when I used my computer's default player (Dell Media). But when played with VLC or from a Memory Stick on my television, the audio was equal to the original source.

Again, I want stress how much of a fun throwback watch this was. Seeing so many familiar, fantastic 70s character actors in this production made me smile. David Soul gives an exceptional performance, especially during the 3rd Act. And James Mason! So creepy!

MusicEd has taken an already good old, if dated, horror thriller and has made it tighter, better and scarier.
A definite Halloween Treat!!!

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