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The Night Stalker (1972)

TV Movie  |  Not Rated  |   |  Horror, Mystery  |  11 January 1972 (USA)
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Reviews: 64 user | 30 critic

An abrasive Las Vegas newspaper reporter investigates a series of murders committed by a vampire.


(teleplay), (story) (as Jeff Rice) , 1 more credit »
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Title: The Night Stalker (TV Movie 1972)

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Complete credited cast:
Bernie Jenks
Sheriff Butcher
Chief Masterson
Kent Smith ...
D.A. Paine
Mickey Crawford
Fred Hurley
Dr. O'Brien
Barry Atwater ...
Janos Skorzeny


Carl Kolchak is a newspaper reporter with an abrasive personality that has gotten him fired ten times from various big-city papers. Now he's reduced to reporting for a relatively small-time paper in Las Vegas. It's here he gets the story of his life. But will the local sheriff, or the D.A., or even his own boss, let him print it? He has an ally in the FBI agent brought in to investigate this strange case. It seems someone is biting the necks of young girls and draining their blood. Can this killer with supernormal powers really be a 70-year-old Rumanian millionaire? Can he really be a vampire? And can an aging reporter do anything to stop him? Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Horror | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

11 January 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Kolchak Papers  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$450,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


Aspect Ratio:

See  »

Did You Know?


The original script by Richard Matheson called for Carl Kolchak to be dressed in Bermuda shorts and wearing an Aloha shirt. Actor Darren McGavin said, "That doesn't sound like anyone I know," and elected to use a different wardrobe. While reading up on the character, McGavin noted that Kolchak had been fired from a New York newspaper years before, and thought, "That's it! He hasn't bought a new suit since!" So, Kolchak appeared in a circa 1950s suit. See more »


The first victim, Cheryl Ann Hughes, is described by Kolchak as 23 years old. But the actress playing her is clearly in her early 40s. See more »


District Attorney Tom Paine: [after a disastrously failed capture attempt of Skorzeny] Well, what are we gonna do?
Carl Kolchak: [from the back of the room] *Now* are you willing to listen to my insane ideas?
Sheriff Warren A. Butcher: [angrily] Kolchak, get out of here!
District Attorney Tom Paine: Warren, hold it, hold it! Kolchak, you were there, weren't you?
Carl Kolchak: Yes.
District Attorney Tom Paine: Every man we've questioned insists not only that Skorzeny was possessed of incredible strength, but that he was shot more than once during the capture attempt.
Carl Kolchak: [sarcastically] Oh, I'd say thirty or forty times.
Police Chief Ed Masterson: I'm sorry, I'm not ...
See more »


References Dracula (1931) See more »


Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Performed by Darren McGavin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Creepy vampire film.
18 August 2008 | by (Chyby, Poland) – See all my reviews

Las Vegas is a town where the unusual is considered normal.However when former top reporter Carl Kolchak played by Darren McGavin meets with police reluctance while covering the murder of a showgirl his curiosity is aroused.Suddenly there is a series of murders apparently committed by the vampire killer.The closer Kolchak gets to the truth the less he is able to reveal and the more frightened he becomes."The Night Stalker" is a taut and suspenseful mix of vampire horror and comedy.The cast is superb with McGavin playing Kolchak like a 1940s' reporter who has emerged from a time capsule into the 1970s.The portrayal of vampire Skorzeny is positively bone-chilling.I'm not deeply into made for TV horror,but "The Night Stalker" is very good.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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