Kolchak is a stereotypical news hound; a loner, eccentric,
argumentative and pushy. He realises that a series of deaths are linked to a vampire
as but the more he tries to convince others, the less they believe the evidence
of their own eyes. He is on his own with this one ...
Directed by John Llewellyn
Written by Jeffrey Grant Rice (novel), Richard Matheson (teleplay)
11 January 1972
Darren McGavin as Carl Kolchak
Carol Lynley as Gail Foster
Simon Oakland as Tony Vincenzo
as Bernie Jenks
Claude Akins as Sheriff Warren A. Butcher
as Police Chief Ed Masterson
Kent Smith as District Attorney Tom Paine
Elisha Cook Jr as . Mickey Crawford
Stanley Adams as Fred Hurley
Linville as Dr. Robert Makurji
Jordan Rhodes as Dr. John O'Brien
Atwater as Janos Skorzeny
The strength of this movie is the
story; a real page turner which gets you sharing Kolchak's frustartion at not
being believed. While Kolchak is not the nicest of people, the gentle humour that
bubbles through the story keeps him just human enough.
The casting was excellent,
right down to many of the very small parts.
This TV movie broke the record
of the time for both audience share for a TV movie (over 40%) and sheer viewer
numbers. It was followed up a year later by 'The Night Strangler', a well-told
tale of the quest for longevity - and price people are willing to pay (alas, no
vampires!). While not quite such a big hit, this pair was strong enough to justify
a TV series "Kolchak", renamed for DVD and syndication as "The
Night Stalker", to avoid confusion with 'Kojak'.
Night Stalker and The Night Strangler are usuallyy sold as a Double Feature.