Bloody mess as movie-making returns downtown in September

IPSWICH — Downtown will again be used as a backdrop when filmmakers roll into town in September.

Filming will take place in the AnnTiques area of South Main Street for five or six days, town manager Tony Marino told the select board on Monday.

The movie planned is ‘Salem’s Lot, a remake of Stephen King’s classic tale about vampires in small-town Maine.

IT writer Gary Dauberman will direct, according to Variety Magazine. In addition to the novel, which was published in 1975, King also wrote the movie script.

The book was adapted in 1979 as a miniseries starring David Soul as Ben Mears, who returns to Jerusalem’s Lot only to discover some rascal is turning the townspeople into vampires.

Another TV movie was made in 2004 that starred Rob Lowe. The production being planned would be the first time ‘Salem’s Lot was made for the big screen.

The plot has Mears return to town to write a book “about the long-abandoned Marsten House, where he had a bad experience as a child when he saw a hanging ghost,” Wikipedia said.

“Mears learns that the house — the former home of Depression-era hitman Hubert “Hubie” Marsten — has been purchased by Kurt Barlow, ostensibly an Austrian immigrant who has arrived in the ‘Lot to open an antique furniture store,” the often-correct online encyclopedia said.

“Barlow is supposedly on an extended buying trip; only his business partner, Richard Straker, is seen in public. The truth, however, is that Barlow is an ancient vampire and Straker is his human familiar.

“The duo’s arrival coincides with the disappearance of a young boy, Ralphie Glick, and the death of his 12-year-old brother, Danny, who becomes the town’s first vampire turned by Barlow. Barlow also turns town dump custodian Dud Rogers and telephone repairman Corey Bryant. Danny turns other locals into vampires, including the graveyard digger, Mike Ryerson; a newborn baby, Randy McDougall; a man named Jack Griffen; and Danny’s mother, Marjorie. Danny fails to turn his classmate Mark Petrie, who resists him by holding a plastic cross in Danny’s face,” Wikipedia said.

In Ipswich, Marino said movie scouts have also looked at the library and the police station and are thinking of using “one of the [police] chief’s cells.”

Also at the meeting, Chief Paul Nikas quipped, “They’re not my cell. They’re the town’s cells.”

Although the director, Dauberman, and producer James Wan have been named, there seems to be little information available on the cast.

“We don’t know who’s going to be in it,” Marino said.

Details online are also scarce. However, headlines like “Christoph Waltz Reportedly Eyed For Salem’s Lot Remake,” and “Jake Gyllenhaal Reportedly Offered Lead Role In Salem’s Lot Remake” can be found.

The Central Street area around Marcorelle’s served as the backdrop in April for George Clooney’s The Tender Bar, which is set to be released later this year.