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Kolchak - The Night Stalker
DVD | Box Set
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Kolchak: The Night Stalker, the uniquely eerie mystery series that paved the way for The X-Files, comes to DVD for the first time with all 20 original one-hour episodes of the 1974-1975 series. Emmy nominee Darren McGavin stars as Carl Kolchak, a headstrong investigative reporter on the trail of the paranormal: zombies, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, succubi and even aliens. No matter how unnatural or unbelievable, Kolchak is there to uncover the truth…one supernatural threat at a time. Join the hunt in the dark alleys and creepy hidden lairs of Chicago with such sensational guest stars as Scatman Crothers, Antonio Fargas, Sharon Farrell, Dick Van Patten, Jamie Farr, Larry Linville, Jim Backus and more. Kolchak: The Night Stalker is finally on DVD, digitally restored to capture every shiver every scream, and every bump in the night.
The acknowledged inspiration for The X-Files, and the basis for an updated 2005 network version, Kolchak: The Night Stalker was a short-lived 1974 series spun off from a pair of extremely popular made-for-TV movies about the supernatural adventures of dogged newspaper reporter Carl Kolchak (Darren McGavin). Though plagued by low ratings and critical brickbats, the show has cultivated a huge cult following over the past three decades, which has given rise to this three-disc set, which compiles all 20 episodes of the show. Though none of the episodic stories matches the suspense and writing strength of the Night Stalker or Night Strangler movies, TV horror fans will appreciate the parade of interesting and inventive monsters encountered by Kolchak (including a witches' coven in "The Trevi Collection"; an Aztec cult in "Legacy of Terror"; a Hindu Demon in "Horror in the Heights," which was penned by Hammer Films scribe Jimmy Sangster; and a headless biker in "Chopper," an episode deemed in extreme poor taste by Stephen King and co-written by Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, and Sopranos creator David Chase). McGavin is of course topnotch as Kolchak, and he's well-matched by Simon Oakland as his hot-tempered boss; guest stars include Scatman Crothers, James Gregory, Phil Silvers, Eric Braeden, Tom Skerritt, and Richard Kiel as the monster in two back-to-back episodes. Sadly, no extras accompany this fun collection of Kolchak's creepiest cases. --Paul Gaita
- All 20 original episodes on three double sided discs
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Top customer reviews
But the characters! I love it for the characters, and chief of these, of course, is Darren McGavin's title character, the intrepid and rumpled reporter, Carl Kolchak, who makes you laugh even when he's not trying to. Arguing with his boss, arguing with the police, bravely following monsters into old houses and sewers and what not. He never gives up. And all the time Kolchak insists that the public has the right to know if there is a monster among them. Each episode ends with Kolchak speaking into his miniature tape recorder, warning anyone who might be willing to listen, such as: "Try and tell yourself, it couldn't happen here." Just try!
Before the TV series, there were two made-for TV movies, "The Night Stalker" and "The Night Strangler". These aren't included with this TV series set; I have them combined on a separate single DVD. The first movie aired on ABC on January 11, 1972, and it was the highest rated TV movie up to that time. The sequel aired about a year later.
The Night Stalker/The Night Strangler (Double Feature)
Then, in 1974, we finally see the series, 20 weekly episodes were shot and aired.
We fans couldn't understand why it was cancelled, but the facts are clear. Out of eighty-four series airing on TV during the 1974-75 season, "Kolchak" ratings finished in 74th place. ["All in the Family" was the top show that season.]
If you'd like more background about the show, I recommend "Night Stalking: A 20th Anniversary Kolchak Companion", by Mark Dawidziak. Originally published in 1991, Dawidziak interviewed McGavin (who was also executive producer), Jeff Rice (creator, author of original books), Dan Curtis (producer) and Richard Matheson (screenwriter extraordinaire). In addition, he talked to directors, writers, composers, guest stars, and TV critics.
For example, David Bianculli, TV critic for the New York Post, had this to say about episode #2, "The Zombie": "More than fifteen years later, I still feel squeamish thinking about Kolchak crawling through a car graveyard trying to pour salt into the zombie's mouth and then sewing its lips shut before it could wake up. You're watching and watching and then the zombie's eyes opened!"
Night Stalking A 20th Anniversary Kolchak Companion
Though out of print, you can still find used copies.
Very recommended series for this family!
Most recent customer reviews
“Kolchak the Night Stalker” was a newspaper reporter for the INS company in Chicago who investigated weird and mysterious stories...Read more
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