Kurt Barlow is the vampire lord in Stephen King’s SALEM’S LOT, both in the original novel and in the cinematic adaptations that have followed, the masterful 1979 miniseries and the less-than 2004 remake of the miniseries, the one with Rob Lowe. Barlow will, we can safely assume, be the Big Evil in the forthcoming big screen film version of SALEM’S LOT. But what sort of Barlow will we be getting? The character in King’s novel is quite different from the one in Tobe Hooper’s miniseries. In King’s novel, Barlow is closer to the character of Count Dracula from Bram Stoker’s DRACULA; fitting, seeing as how it was the latter book that inspired SALEM’S LOT in the first place. Genre vet Reggie Nalder portrayed Barlow in Hooper’s adaptation, and his character was much closer to Graf Orlock from NOSFERATU. In the Rob Lowe remake, Rutger Haur played the version from the book. So which one will we be getting in the new film, whoever ends up playing him?
I hope it’s the one from the first miniseries. Hey, King’s book is great. But Hooper’s miniseries is even better. That look for Barlow is so iconic. It’s the image that immediately pops into mind when someone mentions SALEM’S LOT, and having the character only referenced but rarely seen up until the finale of the original miniseries established a potent patina of dread around the character. I think it would be a misstep to not feature Barlow in this familiar guise in the new film.