An investigative reporter stumbles onto an artist that has made a pact to come back after his death to sculpt a statue of a demon using human blood and clay. Once the demon is awakened he will be granted immortality.
Reporter Carl Kolchak is now in Seattle, Washington, 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
At the end of the film Kolchak is telling Vincenzo and Janie Watkins (now both also out of work thanks to him) that he's going to drive them to New York City and that they'll love New York. Director Dan Curtis and screenwriter Richard Matheson had actually planned to do a third Kolchak movie set in NYC. In New York, Kolchak was going to discover that Janos Skorzeny - the vampire from the first film - was not only not dead, but active again! This film was going to complete a planned trilogy of Kolchak movies, entitled The Trilogy of Terror. 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 »
All right, all right. I'm willing to buy the idea that these two series of murders might somehow be connected. I'm even willing to buy that they might have been committed by the same man.
But a man, Kolchak, a man. Not some sort of a SUPER DEAD MAN!
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Kolchak is back in a superior follow-up to The Night Stalker!
The Night Strangler is the follow up to the successful 1972 TV movie 'The Night Stalker'. Aside from featuring similar titles, the films also share similar plot lines, and it could be said that this is something of a remake of the first film with a slightly more in depth story. I won't profess to be a big fan of the first film in the series, although I found it to be a more than decent TV movie and I did enjoy it. This film isn't a big improvement over the first one, although I would say it's an improvement; with a longer running time and a more well thought-out plot, this one delves into it's subject matter more and feels more like a proper movie than a made for TV movie. Darren McGavin once again plays Kolchak; a maverick reporter who this time finds himself in Seattle after being ran out of Las Vegas (probably for annoying everyone with his constant persistence!). Coincidence strikes and pretty soon he's on the trail of yet another vampire! He discovers that every 21 years for over a hundred years, a group of people have been killed within a small time period and thinks the murders are connected.
The thing that stands out most about this film is most definitely the central performance from Darren McGavin. His portrayal of the stubborn reporter is great to watch and always ensures that the film is entertaining. A lot of the film consists of our unlikely hero trying to convince the relevant authorities that his suspicions are fact and them disbelieving them. These scenes are fairly clichéd, although they are fun to watch; and again it's mostly because of McGavin's excellent impersonation of the central character. Since the film is really about the detective on the trail of the vampire, there's not a great deal of actual bloodshed or bloodsucking in the film, although that isn't much of a hindrance because as a thriller it works very well and director Dan Curtis does manage to create several moments of suspense that kick the action up a level. It's always obvious where it's all going, and the ending doesn't come as a surprise; but it's a fun time getting there. This film and the first one were pilots for a TV series and obviously they did the trick because Kolchak was solving more mysteries in his own TV series a year after this film was released.
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