The Night Stalker/The Night Strangler (Double Feature)
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- Interview featurettes: "The Night Stalker: Dan Curtis Interview," "Directing The Night Strangler"
Top Customer Reviews
"The Night Stalker" really put ABC's "Movie of the Week" on the map. With an unheard of 54 share (meaning over half the audience in the United States were watching the program), it blew away every other TV movie including the well regarded "Brian's Song" that came before it. Writer Richard Matheson ("The Twilight Zone", "What Dreams May Come"), producer Dan Curtis ("Dark Shadows") and veteran TV and movie director John L. Moxey ("Circus of Fear") crafted an amazing TV event. When it was first shown to ecstatic preview audiences ABC vice-president Barry Diller realized that they should have turned it into a theatrical feature.Read more ›
"The Night Stalker" pilot telemovie was based upon the short novel "The Kolchak Papers" written by ex-journalist Jeff Rice, and then adapted to the screen by well known thriller writer Richard Matheson, who has contributed some wonderful scripts to fantasy cinema including "The Incredible Shrinking Man", "The Martian Chronicles", and Steven Spielberg's first hit movie, "Duel".
Darren McGavin truly brings alive the character of the crumpled, abrasive, intrusive, but above all lovable newspaperman, Carl Kolchak in these two thrilling explorations into the undead set in modern day Las Vegas & Seattle.
"The Night Stalker" sees our courageous hero investigating a series of blood drained bodies amongst the glittering lights of Las Vegas. At first reluctant to believe that the murders could involve the supernatural, the cynical Kolchak is soon led to the conclusion that he is indeed tracking a modern day vampire. Kolchak must battle his long suffering boss, Anthony "Tony" Vincenzo (wonderfully portrayed by Simon Oakland), the local law enforcement headed by Sherriff Butcher & Chief Masterson (Claude Akins & Charles McGraw) and the manipulative district attorney to prove that an actual vampire is committing these grisly murders. Further depth is brought to the cast by zany character actor Elisha Cook Jnr as a compulsive gambler, and gorgeous Carol Lynley is the cocktail waitress romantically entwined with Kolchak. When "The Night Stalker" originally aired on January 11th, 1972 on ABC, it attracted nearly 54% of the TV audience between 8.Read more ›
I own both the Anchor Bay version--which is out of print--and the new MGM version. I haven't done a proper comparison of the two but based on memory, I think the blues really stand out more in the Anchor Bay edition. However, the MGM seems to me a fine transfer with no noticeable digital flaws of any kind. Now, if only someone would give the go ahead to release the TV series on DVD. Wouldn't that be something to write home about!
Darren McGavin once more slips into the role of Carl Kolchak, the inquisitive and often brusque newspaper reporter who somehow manages to get crossed up not only with big city bigwigs but also with supernatural happenings. Last time, it was in Vegas and it involved a vampire. Now it's Seattle and the culprit this time is an aging monster (Richard Anderson) who goes on a strangling spree against women every twenty-one years to keep his youth. He lives in Seattle's famed underground city, which is why he routinely escapes detection. But McGavin's on the case alone, having to stop Anderson before he strikes again. And when he's not after Anderson, he must also deal with Seattle's city fathers and his irascible editor Tony Vincenzo (Simon Oakland).
Featuring appearances by horror veterans John Carradine and Al Lewis, THE NIGHT STRANGLER is efficiently directed by "Dark Shadows" creator Dan Curtis, who served as the producer for the original NIGHT STALKER. McGavin is at his usual best, hard-nosed, tough, and with a tendency to rub those in authority exactly the wrong way. Richard Matheson once again has written a fine screenplay.
Even though it is a slightly inferior film, mainly because a sex strangler in a place like Seattle is not quite like a vampire in Vegas, THE NIGHT STRANGLER is effective and atmospheric horror/suspense entertainment, highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful movies that inspired a fantastic series. Thanks Darren, Simon and everyone else who made "Kolchak: The Night Stalker" possible.Published 1 day ago by C. J. Martin
Two great TV movies. When I saw them on DVD I had to have them. They are still as great as they were in 1972.Published 9 days ago by David Miller
Takes me back to my younger days. I always did like this TV series and couldn't pass up the chance to get the two movies that came out of that series.Published 12 days ago by T.M. Tolkien
I purchased two copies of this item, one for myself the other as a gift for a relative. both copies were of excellent quality and enjoyed enormously.Published 16 days ago by Amazon Customer
Kolchak is the perfect investigative reporter. So much fun!Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
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