Quentin Tarantino Insults Frightening Stephen King Adaptation: “Man, was I disappointed”

Quentin Tarantino

As fans eagerly await the arrival of Gary Dauberman’s (Annabelle Comes Home) long-delayed Stephen King adaptation of ‘Salem’s Lot, they at least have both Tobe Hooper’s 1979 miniseries and Mikael Salomon’s 2005 series to keep them vampiric company. Hooper’s adaptation especially remains a classic in the genre, widely believed to be one of the greatest made-for-television horror movies of all time. Not everyone agrees with that assessment, however. Film nerd and seminal filmmaker himself Quentin Tarantino, usually singing the praises of unsung gems he hopes new audiences will discover, actually isn’t the biggest fan of Hooper’s adaptation.

Synopsis: A novelist and a young horror fan attempt to save a small New England town which has been invaded by vampires.

While Quentin Tarantino remains a huge fan of Tobe Hooper’s work, regularly highlighting the likes of Eaten Alive and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre as some of the greatest horror movies of all time, his section on Hooper in his book, “Cinema Speculation,” goes in pretty hard on Salem’s Lot. Check out what he had to say below:

“When I finally saw it, I was prepared for something great. And man was I disappointed. To me, it just seemed like a stretched-out TV movie done in a very TV-style (and I like TV movies)…I tried to watch it again a couple of years ago and it was just too dull. I turned it off after about twenty-five minutes.”

I hate to be that guy, but I’d have to agree with Quentin Tarantino here. While I remain a huge fan of Stephen King’s works, both written and adapted, Salem’s Lot has always eluded me. Tobe Hooper’s adaptation certainly has some striking, iconographic horror imagery, though the entire enterprise is too plodding for my taste.

Vampires have never been my favorite subgenre, and while I respect a lot of what King accomplishes with Salem’s Lot, he has plenty of works I enjoy considerably more. The same could be said of Hooper whose manic, independent flavor is better conceptualized in the likes of The Funhouse than it is in Salem’s Lot.

What do you think? Are you a fan of Tobe Hooper’s adaptation, or do you agree with Quentin Tarantino? Let me know over on Twitter @Chadiscollins!



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