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Richard K. Straker


Kurt Barlow

Hello everyone. Yet, ANOTHER Salem's Lot PE proposal, haha. Listen, I love Salem's Lot, my favorite Stephen King story, alongside IT. So yeah. In case you didn't know, Richard Straker and Kurt Barlow from the 1979 Salem's Lot miniseries have separate pages from their mainstream counterparts, given that they are actually pretty different characters, and the 1979 miniseries is drastically different from the book . You might be thinking, wasn't there already a PE proposal for these guys? Yes, the original versions of them. The proposer for the original proposal stated that it was specifically for the book versions. The 2004 versions of Straker and Barlow automatically qualify as PE, because they are barely different than their novel counterparts. This is a different case though. Not only is Tobe Hooper's famous Salem's Lot adaptation vastly differs from the book, and merges and/or removes some characters, and change or remove some plot elements, but Straker's and Barlow's portrayal are also very different here too.

In summary, Straker and Barlow in these versions are pretty different than their original versions, and did some different crimes, but I still think they might qualify. I am 50/50 on whether this version of Barlow counts, but I definitely think this version of Straker counts. Let's get into it, shall we?

What's The Work?[]

Salem's Lot is a 1979 two-part miniseries directed by Tobe Hooper. Based off of the 1975 Stephen King novel of the same name, Salem's Lot was regarded as a cult classic, and had different edited movie versions released in Europe. The plot centers around a novelist writer named Ben Mears, who returns to his childhood hometown of Salem's Lot, formerly known as Jerusalem's Lot. However, Ben Mears learns of a terrible truth, from a haunted house up on the hill of the town, the "Marsten House", a stranger named Richard Straker is helping his master, the vampire Kurt Barlow, on unleashing vampirism across the town.

Who Are Kurt Barlow and Richard Straker? What Have They Done?[]

Kurt Barlow is a millennia old vampire. It is unknown who or what he exactly is, but what is known is that, unlike other vampires, he has free will and has the ability to control lesser vampires. He was at some point named "Kurt Breichan", but changed his last name to "Barlow". At some point in time, Barlow met a man named Richard K. Straker, who agreed to become Barlow's servant and mortal watchdog. Not only that, Straker also had his mind linked with Barlow's. Barlow is mute, so he uses his servant Straker as his mouthpiece when confronting people in situations. In public, Straker pretends to be this businessman, and Barlow, who is never seen in public, is his business partner.

At some point in the 1970s, Straker retired from whatever job he was using in Europe, and made a deal with an American estate owner named Lawrence "Larry" Crockett to buy an abandoned creepy house named the "Marsten House" on the hill of Salem's Lot, Maine. Straker claimed that he and his "business" partner, Barlow, are planning on owning an antique shop store in the local town of Salem's Lot. Straker moved to America and settled in the Marsten House. However, after preparing to secretly ship his master, Straker set his and Barlow's plan into motion. After ordering Larry Crockett to move this big crate (secretly containing Barlow) across the sea and into a truck, Straker went into the night and sacrificed someone's dog for his own sadistic amusement, and later found two boys named Ralph and Danny Glick. Separating the two by summoning a wind, Straker captured Ralphie, and killed him. Straker took Ralphie into the basement of the Marsten House, and placed his body there as an offering to Barlow.

At the same time, after the crate containing Barlow was set in the basement Marsten House, Barlow broke free and attacked Larry Crockett in the middle of the night, killing him and leaving his corpse on Larry's car to move by itself. Barlow would then return to the Marsten House, and feast on Ralphie's blood, turning him into a vampire.

The next day the people of Salem's Lot were looking for a missing Ralphie Glick. Ben Mears, a writer who grew up in Salem's Lot and returned to it to make a new book, finds a piece of black clothing on a bush, matching the description of Straker's clothes. The local town police call Straker to bring in his suits as evidence if he was the one who kidnapped Ralphie. Straker did that, but cunningly took the wrong suits to the local town sheriff for inspection, making it hard for the police to find evidence that Straker was the one who kidnapped Ralphie. Later, a now reborn vampire Ralphie Glick would move on to infect and drain the blood of his elder brother Danny. Danny would go to the hospital, and Ralphie would continuously visit Danny in the night, to the point where Danny died.

Danny Glick would be buried by the town in a coffin, but reawakens as a vampire and bites the coffin burial man Mike Ryerson. Mike would eventually die and be reborn a vampire, and vampirism would began to rapidly spread to Salem's Lot. Ben Mears and his girlfriend Susan Norton, alongside Susan's father, Dr. Bill Norton, learn the truth that vampires are creating more vampires in Salem's Lot after confronting a now reawakened vampire Mrs. Glick.

Barlow would first show himself on screen when he goes into the night and opens the cell of a prisoner named Ned Tebbets, and attacks him and drains him of his blood, turning him into a vampire. Later, Barlow and Straker would attack the house of the Petrie family, where they were discussing with a priest named Father Callahan. Barlow shakes the house using his powers before breaking in through the window of the house, and popping up and killing the Petrie couple by smashing their heads together. Their son, Mark, was furious and lounged himself at Barlow. Father Callahan held up his cross. Straker entered the scene and, speaking Barlow's thoughts as Barlow's mouthpiece, tells Callahan that Barlow would let Mark go and save him for another night if Callahan agrees to go into a religious battle against Barlow. Callahan makes the deal, making Barlow let Mark go and face Callahan. However, Callahan's faith was not enough, and Barlow plucked the cross from Callahan's hand and crushes it in his hand. Barlow presumably killed Callahan afterwards.

Later, Mark, eager to avenge his fallen parents, carves wooden stakes and goes to the Marsten House with the intent on killing Barlow once and for all. Susan Norton, Ben Mears's girlfriend, follows Mark into the house. There, Straker knock out Mark and captures Susan, presenting her to Barlow, who turns her into a vampire. Straker then straps Mark into a chair full of ropes. Ben Mears, alongside Susan's father Dr. Bill Norton, enter the house. There, they bump into Mark, who freed himself from the ropes. Dr. Norton wanders upstairs and bumps into Straker, who picks up Bill without difficulty and spears him onto a wall of sharp antlers, killing the doctor. Straker would try to kill Mark and Ben, but after being shot by a gun from Ben several times, Straker succumbs to his wounds, and dies.

Shortly afterwards, Ben and Mark would pull out Barlow's coffin from a secret room in the basement of the Marsten House, and, after a few struggles, Ben successfully stakes and kills Barlow, causing Barlow to slowly, but also rapidly decay to dust. Afterwards, Ben and Mark set fire to the Marsten House, causing it to burn up in flames as the fire carries towards the town and burn up the now deserted, vampire populated town.

Heinous Standards?[]

First of all, the heinous standards of this Salem's Lot are pretty low, given it it an adaptation and has no connections to a bigger "Dark Tower multiverse" or anything like that.

First with Barlow, he was the one who came up with the plan to infect Salem's Lot into his personal domain. He kills Larry Crockett, leaves his corpse in the car, attacks Ned Tebbets and turns him into a vampire, turned Susan into a vampire, and caused the entire town of Salem's Lot to become a group of mindless, soulless, vampires. Barlow also wanted to go into a religious battle with Father Callahan, intending on disposing him given he was the "holy man" of the town. He also killed Mark's parents in front of Mark.

For Straker, he easily passes too. Barlow couldn't have succeeded in all of this hadn't it been for Straker. Straker was the one who was able to trick Larry Crockett into sending a crate that secretly contains Barlow's coffin to America, and Straker was the one who bought the Marsten House for his master so that Barlow could dwell there. Straker also takes sadism in whenever Barlow kills some people, and he smiles to Ben when hinting of what Barlow would do for the whole town. Straker also has crimes of his own, he killed Mike Ryerson's dog in the middle of the night for no real reason, and participated in presenting a young child named Danny Glick as an offering to Barlow. Straker also takes Susan to Barlow so that she could become a vampire. Finally, Straker grabbed Dr. Bill Norton and impaled him on a wall full of sharp antlers, brutally killing Dr. Norton.

They both pass the standards easily in my opinion.

Freudian Excuse/Mitigating Factors?[]

Okay, so first of with Straker. There is nowhere to assume that Straker was forced into servitude by Barlow, nor does it show he is brainwashed. Straker thoroughly enjoys what he is doing, and doesn't show hints of insanity at all. As for his servitude to Barlow, well, like the novel counterpart and the 2004 version, Straker isn't shown to have genuine loyalty to Barlow. He just serves Barlow for some unknown purpose, and just seems to enjoy what Barlow does by spreading chaos and death, and there is nowhere to assume that Straker genuinely cares for his master.

Barlow also isn't shown to care for Straker either, so that isn't mitigating. But here is the problem with Barlow, he seems like a GDV. He is mute, and bestial, not charismatic at all, and just kills people here and there, there is a reason why Straker has a more prominent role than Barlow. So yeah, it might be that Barlow might suffers from lack of personality. However, I might have an argument for Barlow too. Yes he does have pretty low character and personality, but we have to remember this thing first of all: so far, as I know, if a villain who has barely any characterization has demonstrated at least an understandable motive, they might count. From what I have seen from Barlow in this version, he doesn't speak, but he does speak through his servant Straker. No, he is not outright possessing Straker, but his mind is linked with Straker's allowing Straker to understand what his master's motives are through telepathy.

In the kitchen scene when Barlow and Callahan confront each other, Straker speaks for Barlow and says that Barlow will let Mark go and save him for another night if Callahan goes into a religious battle with Barlow, meaning Barlow does have a slight character and motive. He even lets Mark go when Callahan agrees to go into a religious battle with Barlow, meaning he does have control over himself and does have a motive. This doesn't really count, because I might be wrong, but I think that Barlow might have been slightly grinning after killing Mark's parents in front of him, but as I said before, I could be mistaking that for a grin, given that his teeth are always open.

EDIT: Barlow and Straker let Mark go only for a pragmatic reason, they just let Mark go so that they can motivate Callahan into going into a religious battle with Barlow, as seen in this video...

Final Verdict[]

Easy Yes to Straker, but I am gonna be neutral on Barlow. I will let you decide if Barlow has enough character or not. Otherwise, I think that at least Straker might count. I will leave it up to you guys.