November 6, 2012

The terror of Salem's Lot - Ralphie Glick

Whether the scene was inspired by Cathy's ghost from Emily Brontë's "Wuthering Heights" (1847) or the little girl in "Kill, Baby, Kill" (1966), Ralphie Glick (Ronnie Scribner) returning to his brother in "Salem's Lot" (1979) is still one of the most terrifying vampire attacks ever filmed.

To this day, I can't watch the scene without covering my eyes with my hands and peeking through my fingers at it. I'm not sure how exactly that is meant to protect me, but it's just something I do. I've also never been able to sleep in any bed that faces a window especially if the curtains are open.

Some might say that "Salem's Lot" traumatised me as a child, but I prefer to think of the experience as a valuable lesson about letting vampires in. Thanks to Stephen King and Tobe Hooper, I have yet to be bitten by a floating vampire child so the cautionary tale worked.

According to the Wikipedia article (which cites Cinefantastique magazine vol. 9 #2 as the source):
The vampire levitations were accomplished by placing the actors on a boom crane instead of traditional wires, "We didn't fly our vampires in on wires, because even in the best of films you can see them," producer Richard Korbitz explained. "We wanted to get a feeling of floating. And the effect is horrific, because you know there are no wires. It has a very spooky, eerie quality to it." The levitation sequences were also shot-in-reverse to make the scenes more eerie.

As much as I would like to embed the scene from YouTube, I really can't bear to look at it or the later one with Danny Glick (Brad Savage). I know it's on YouTube somewhere so you will just have to find it for yourself.

Instead, here's a video of Kate Bush singing "Wuthering Heights" in 1978. She's still ghostly but kind of hot too. Actually, I probably would let her in my window, but that's another story.

"Heathcliff, it's me, Cathy, I've come home. I'm so cold, let me in your window."

Okay, Kate, just let me change my underwear, and I'll be right with you. Please be gentle with me.

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