Stephen King’s vampire kingdom: Supernatural evil and human evil in TV adaptations of Salem’s Lot (1979, 2004) | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 8, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2040-3275
  • E-ISSN: 2040-3283



This article compares the representation of evil in the two TV mini-series adaptations of Stephen King’s 1975 vampire novel Salem’s Lot. The first adaptation for CBS in 1979 was directed by Tobe Hooper, and used a heightened gothic style in order to depict the takeover of the town by an atavistic European vampire who is presented in the style of Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922). In contrast the 2004 version for TNT, directed by Mikael Salomon, takes a more realist stance, downplaying the gothic in favour of suggesting that it is much more petty and human forms of evil that are the principal force behind the town’s destruction. As articulated by failed catholic priest Father Callaghan, the distinction between supernatural and human evil lies at the heart of King’s novel, and arguably at the centre of his writing more generally, and so by examining the way evil is depicted across these two adaptations, this piece will consider the duality that lies at the heart of King’s vampiric metaphor.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): adaptation; evil; gothic; remake; Stephen King; vampire
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