A Return to Salem's Lot (1987)

Executive Produced & Directed by: Larry Cohen

Written by: Larry Cohen & James Dixon


Michael Moriarty .... Joe Weber
Ricky Addison Reed .... Jeremy Weber
Samuel Fuller .... Van Meer
Andrew Duggan .... Judge Axel
Evelyn Keyes .... Mrs. Axel
Jill Gatsby .... Sherry
June Havoc .... Aunt Clara

Special Appearance:

Ronee Blakley .... Sally

Release Date: Limited Theatrical: May, 1987








A divorced father and anthropologist named Joe Weber (Michael Moriarty) tries to spend time with his son Jeremy (Ricky Addison Reed) due to his work schedule and the two of them don't seem to see eye to eye when they go on a vacation spot in Salem's Lot as he is asked to write a "bible" for the town's ghastly group lead by Judge Axel (Andrew Duggan) but he finds that Axel and the rest of the townspeople are vampires and that his son is possibly going to be a part of it when he meets up with a girl named Sherry (Jill Gatsby) who tempts him to join her and the rest of the people there.
Joe goes to the aid of one of the locals who isn't a vampire yet named Van Meer (Samuel Fuller) to go on a vampire slaying and put an end to Axel's evil deed's along with trying to save his son.


There's a conversation between Joe and Jeremy as a dysfunctional father and son relationship while driving in the car which doesn't look realistic at all in which it looked obvious which it looked too planned out and unnatural.
We spot shots on a group of kids giggling and surrounding vagrant's as this situation was trying to look spooky but it was extremely amateurish regardless.
There's also a scene with a punk kid screaming after encountering that the townspeople are vampires which looks extremely obvious as well as them going in to bite her friends as it looks a little amateurish. There's a good approach however by Mrs. Axel coming up to this kid and biting her finger as well as a good close up shot on her tasting the blood and licking her lips which I had to say looked spooky and well done. There's cheesy shots on someone's hands as monster hands as well as face shots on monstrous faces in which fails to look creepy like it's supposed to be.
There's a good still discussion between Jeremy and Sherry out at night and telling him to join her which looked not as bad as most of the moments on the creepy conversations here but again it's nothing to brag about.
There's good close up shots on the people like Mrs. Axel, Judge Axel and Aunt Clara drinking blood from dead cows which looks creepy and almost gothic like but still looked a wee bit cheesy but sometimes cheesy is good.
A good shot on Joe and supporting character Amanda making out and then lying on the ground. But however there's a shot on her opening her mouth looking as if she's about to bite him on the neck which didn't look convincing and not looking natural.
There's Joe carrying Jeremy at a river and placing him down with two vagrant's attacking him with nice camera shots looking up on both of them using a stick or other weaponary about to strike him. However there were struggling brawling scene's which looked incredibly sloppy.
There's some interesting moments with both Joe and Van Meer trying to be forceful with Jeremy about his behavior but sometimes it looked a little wooden.
Many terrific shots with both Joe and Van Meer going place to place and driving a stake through people's hearts in coffins. A great shot on the two of them walking down some stairs in a cellar and then shots on some vampires crawling out of their coffins and slowly trying to creep up on them.
A good intense moment with Aunt Clara screaming at Joe on what he's done as well as Judge Axel getting aggressive as well with Jeremy and Joe demanding him to let his son go.
A great shot on Judge Axel entering the barn with a light behind him looking demonic and ready to attack which was nicely done but it fell flat when the action on all of that was going to happen.
There's shots on Joe, Van Meer and Jeremy in a vehicle driving with vampires jumping on the car while they're driving which looked terribly trashy and you can tell that it was a set.
There's shots on the vampires falling while the sun shines which looked extremely obvious as well.
Bottom line is that it's an embarrassing sequel and has nothing on the original in which has bad writing and sloppy direction to it. The performances were extremely cheesy too. However, this film is campy fun to watch but not meant to be taken seriously. For the fans who wanted another scare like in the first on this isn't the film for you but if you want to watch it to get a kick out of it then try it at your own risk.
The special effects were done very cheaply and the whole film has plenty of low production values too.
Some scene's seemed to borrow a bit from Children of the Corn with kids as vampires and playing at the playground all through the night which looked mildly amusing.
I dug it for what it was since I am into films that are so bad it's good. This was one of those types indeed.
Close to the end of the film looked very adventureous with the vampire slayings and the battling that's happening but at the same time alot of it looked amateurish nonetheless.

The acting is incredibly wooden for most of the cast members in this film. Lead actor Michael Moriarty (Joe Weber) tried to do his best playing the main hero in the film as he showed some energy and some good intense expressions too to top it off but yet his characteristics were a little off. Oh well at least he did his best.
Ricky Addison Reed
(Jeremy Weber) who played his vulgar son was another story as all he did was say his lines showing no characteristics at all. Out of all the kids who tried out for this part why was he chosen I don't know. He didn't seem to pull his weight at all and all he got going for him for the story was his charming looks but that's it.
Andrew Duggan
(Judge Axel) however who played a vampire Judge showed great anger and aggrassions with his powerful speaking in the film. He really brought alot to his part and found him to be the best actor in the film along with a nice masculine look to him.
Evelyn Keyes
(Mrs. Axel) who played his wife in the film was quite spooky too with her thin looks and intimidating cold speaking as well. She really knew how to portray a horror character so another gold star for her.
Jill Gatsby
(Sherry) did come across mysterious as a young vampiress and brought what she had to do with her role in it. She wasn't award winning amterial though but was considered above average and made sure she was one of the drawing cards to the story.

Tara Reid unbuttons her top exposing her breasts in a room as well as doing the same thing in another scene outside.

Many necks are bitten but it looks very fake
Cows necks are bloodied
Vampires faces melt and rot

There's the cheesy classical sounding synthesizer music but some of it sounded okay. There's good deep sounds as well as the odd chiming sounds which almost seemed to ripoff the theme from The Exorcist. We also hear some out of synch adventuroeous music towards the closing credits to the film all composed by Michael Minard.