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The Night Stalker/The Night Strangler (Double Feature)

4.7 out of 5 stars 279 customer reviews

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(Aug 24, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews


Special Features

  • Interview featurettes: "The Night Stalker: Dan Curtis Interview," "Directing The Night Strangler"

Product Details

  • Actors: Darren McGavin, Carol Lynley, Jo Ann Pflug, Simon Oakland, Ralph Meeker
  • Directors: Dan Curtis, John Llewellyn Moxey
  • Writers: Jeffrey Grant Rice, Max Hodge, Richard Matheson
  • Producers: Dan Curtis, Robert Singer
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: August 24, 2004
  • Run Time: 164 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (279 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00026L7OU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,994 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Night Stalker/The Night Strangler (Double Feature)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Wayne Klein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 15, 2004
Format: DVD
The ultimate conspiracy has been uncovered. The Smoking Man isn't the father of "The X-Files" Mulder. Reporter Carl Kolchak is. . In January 1972 ABC ran a movie of the week they had mixed feelings about. The promos had received a good response and preview audiences rated it as highly as a very good theatrical film. "The Night Stalker" seemed like it was slumming since it really was a horror movie about a vampire stalking women in modern day Las Vegas. The modern day Van Helsing hunting down the vampire is a veteran, cynical reporter in a seersucker suit. Reporter Carl Kolchak (Darren McGavin) has had many big stories in his day but his sensationalistic style rubs his editor Vincenzo (Simon Oakland) the wrong way. Kolchak has a habit of ticking off city officials and generally getting the paper in hot water. When Kolchak announces in his story that a modern day vampire stalks the city streets he runs into a city cover up. Kolchak becomes the only person that can stop the vampire (Barry Atwater) because no one will believe his incredible story.

"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.
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Format: DVD
At long last...the two chilling, thrilling, witty and expertly crafted pilot TV movies to the cult 70's TV series "The Night Stalker" are finally available on DVD.

"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.
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Format: DVD
I can't praise these two movies enough. Kolchak is a reporter, a shamus, and a general pain in the you know what all wrapped into one. The movies represent, in my amateur opinion, some of the finest work ever produced by Dan Curtis and Richard Matheson.

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!
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Format: VHS Tape
Though a lesser film than its predecessor, THE NIGHT STRANGLER is still an above-average sequel to the classic 1972 TV thriller THE NIGHT STALKER.
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.
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