Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital is the au courant punchline for schlocky horror. As critics agree, the scariest thing about that pretentious ABC miniseries was its power to induce boredom. This week, TNT airs its miniseries based on King's vampire tale, Salem's Lot (Sunday and Monday at 8 pm/ET). Does Rob Lowe — who stars as tortured novelist Ben Mears — fear that Kingdom's bad mojo may rub off?
"When you look at the classic stories in horror, Salem's Lot is one of the all-time best-selling, proven stories," Lowe tells TV Guide Online. "Kingdom Hospital was a whole other kettle of fish. The Shining, The Stand and Salem's Lot are my three favorite King stories. And I had such a great experience doing The Stand 10 years ago, I was excited to be back at bat."
Lowe hasn't yet heard what King thinks of the final product. "I spent time with him on The Stand, but not at all on this one," the 40-year-old actor admits. "King sold his rights to this, so he wasn't involved. But I know they've sent him a copy of it. Knowing him as I do, I'm confident he'll be pleased."
While TNT's Salem's Lot looks slicker than 1979's made-for-TV version, it's not all about technical trickery. "I like scenes where I'm creeping down the hallway to a door — behind which will be a guy who's either dead or undead. Either way, it won't turn out well," Lowe jokes. "No gore, blood or special effects, just good old suspense. I wanted to do a movie that grabs you by the throat and squeezes the grip and really gives you the chills."
We hate to spoil any surprises, but don't look for this hero to get the girl. In this case, Lowe's comely costar is movie starlet Samantha Mathis (soon to appear in The Punisher). "If ever there was an ill-fated romance," he moans. "I finally get a girl like that on television and she's a vampire! Go figure."