Reporter Carl Kolchak is now in Seattle, Wahington, trying to solve the mystery of several strangulations that recur every few years where the victims are drained of blood in this second made for TV pilot. Written by
Beyond the 90-minute version, there was additional footage filmed featuring George Tobias as Jimmy "Stacks" Stackhaus, a reporter who had reported on the previous series of "Strangler" murders in the 1930's. In that footage, Kolchak tracks down the veteran reporter and speaks with him about the murders. See more »
Researcher Wally Cox traces the Night Strangler all the way back to the 1870s. All of the old news paper headlines report a murder in "Pioneer Square". This name wasn't adopted until 1970 to replace the original name of the neighborhood, "Skid Row". See more »
[hearing Kolchak in a bar]
Take a look around that corner, and see if there isn't someone that looks like he just came from a road company performance of "The Front Page."
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One hell of a follow-up to THE NIGHT STALKER and perhaps even scarier!
After an estimated 75,000,000 viewers tuned in to ABC-TV on Tuesday, January 11, 1972, television history was made. That night, one-third of America was transfixed to its TV sets as the tale of an intrepid, hard-nosed reporter named Carl Kolchak pursued an elusive modern-day vampire across Las Vegas before dispatching the bloodsucker with an inevitable stake-through-the-heart. At the time, THE NIGHT STALKER, an ABC Circle Film, became the most watched television program in the history of the medium, which enticed the ABC brass to quickly reassemble key players of the telefilm (actor Darren McGavin, producer Dan Curtis, and writer Richard Matheson) to lay plans for its sequel.
Thus, THE NIGHT STRANGLER hit the airwaves a year after its popular predecessor. The talented Darren McGavin reprises his role as Kolchak, the tenacious newsman in trademark straw porkpie hat and rumply seersucker suit, who arrives in Seattle, meets up with his cantankerous former editor Tony Vincenzo, and lands another unearthly assignment. This time around, the locum tenens of the vampire is an immortal alchemist named Dr. Richard Malcolm, an ex-Civil War physician who gains superhuman strength and avoids death by concocting an elixir of life, a substance whose main ingredient is human blood! Every 21 years since the end of the Civil War, Malcolm returns to the Seattle streets to procure blood from the bases of strangled women's skulls. But Kolchak manages to locate the undead medico's lair in Old Seattle's underground ruins and foils the creature's attempts at another 21 years of dormancy. Again, local authorities ice his chances at publishing his macabre story and the hapless reporter becomes footloose once more.
Like THE NIGHT STALKER, THE NIGHT STRANGLER is a bone-chilling tale that blends gritty detective drama with a touch of the supernatural. Fast-paced plot, nail-biting suspense, and above-average dialogue highlight this sequel, which rivals the original telefilm for originality and overall quality. Contrary to popular opinion, THE NIGHT STALKER and THE NIGHT STRANGLER are much better TV fare than any episode of the much-overrated Kolchak rip-off THE X-FILES, and these telefilms serve to remind viewers that TV has indeed produced some outstanding programs, programs which mark the halcyon days of the medium.
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