We’ve talked about ‘Salem’s Lot before, –and probably referenced it numerous times. It remains one of the most terrifying, and disturbing, vampire films ever made. The vampires are neither blessed with souls, or romance, or any desire to do good. Kurt Barlow was a testament to the old vampires who don’t want to date your daughter or make the world a better place, –or have any desire to get into heaven. Kurt Barlow was the vampire in ‘Salem’s Lot, responsible for turning an entire town into vampires, starting with the children.
He reminds me of Count Orlock in Nosferatu; a character that was terrifying because of his natural appearance. Max Shreck and Reggie Nalder have that in common; both of them were born to play vampires. “Shreck” actually means fear, –some film historians believed that perhaps Shreck was a pseudonym used by another famous actor who didn’t wish to work in horror using their real names. Reggie Nalder on the other hand, has a fairly benign surname, and first name.
In other ways, he was an even more vivacious and volatile screen presence; his last real role was in Salem’s Lot, but he was credited in two more X-rated films afterward, and had a minor role in a Disney movie with Bill Cosby in 1981. Nalder hated working with Cosby, and claimed he was a ‘rude, untalented pig’. Harsh. Before Salem’s Lot, he appeared in several other vampire and horror films. His nickname in the 70s horror community was ‘the Face that Launched 1000 Trips’, –but in reality, Reggie Nalder’s appearance and horror-theme look, was caused by disfiguring burns. Reggie Nalder finally escaped Bill Cosby when he died in 1991 of bone cancer; we wish him a pleasant sleep.