IMDb > The Night Strangler (1973) (TV)
The Night Strangler
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The Night Strangler (1973) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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Richard Matheson (written by)
Jeffrey Grant Rice (characters)
View company contact information for The Night Strangler on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 January 1973 (USA) See more »
A reporter hunts down a 144-year old alchemist who is killing women for their blood. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
"The killer had the rotted features of a CORPSE?!" See more (32 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Darren McGavin ... Carl Kolchak

Jo Ann Pflug ... Louise Harper

Simon Oakland ... Tony Vincenzo
Scott Brady ... Capt. Schubert

Wally Cox ... Mr. Berry

Margaret Hamilton ... Prof. Crabwell

John Carradine ... Llewellyn Crossbinder

Al Lewis ... Tramp
Nina Wayne ... Charisma Beauty
Virginia Peters ... Wilma Krankheimer
Kate Murtagh ... Janie Watkins
Ivor Francis ... Dr. Webb
Diane Shalet ... Joyce Gabriel
Anne Randall ... Policewoman Sheila
Francoise Birnheim ... Restaurant Woman
Regina Parton ... Merissa (Ethel Parker)

Richard Anderson ... Dr. Richard Malcolm
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

George Tobias ... Stacks / Jimmy Stackhaus (scenes deleted)

George DiCenzo ... Underground Tour Guide (uncredited)
Bill McLean ... Charlie the Bartender (uncredited)

Directed by
Dan Curtis 
Writing credits
Richard Matheson (written by)

Jeffrey Grant Rice (characters) (as Jeff Rice)

Produced by
Dan Curtis .... producer
Robert Singer .... associate producer
Original Music by
Bob Cobert  (as Robert Cobert)
Cinematography by
Robert B. Hauser (director of photography) (as Robert Hauser)
Film Editing by
Folmar Blangsted 
Casting by
Hoyt Bowers 
Production Design by
Trevor Williams 
Set Decoration by
Charles Pierce  (as Charles R. Pierce)
Makeup Department
Scotty Rackin .... hair stylist
William Tuttle .... makeup artist (as William J. Tuttle)
Production Management
Christopher Seitz .... unit production manager (as Christopher H. Seitz)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Christopher Seitz .... assistant director (as Christopher H. Seitz)
Art Department
Robert M. Anderson .... property master (as Robert Anderson)
Hendrik Wynands .... construction coordinator (as Hank Wynands)
John Rozman .... leadman (uncredited)
Sound Department
Gary S. Gerlich .... sound effects editor (as Gary Gerlich)
Harold Lewis .... sound mixer
Charles L. Campbell .... supervising sound editor (uncredited)
John Kline .... sound editor (uncredited)
Roger Sword .... sound editor (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Ira Anderson Jr. .... special effects (as Ira Anderson)
Dick Ziker .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Don Johnson .... gaffer
Robert O. Moore .... key grip (as Robert Moore)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
James M. George .... costumer: men (as Jimmy George)
John S. Perry .... costume supervisor (as John Perry)
Barbara Siebert .... costumer: women
Editorial Department
Kent Schafer .... assistant editor
Music Department
Leonard A. Engel .... music editor (as Len Engel)
Transportation Department
Norman Honath .... transportation manager (as Norm Honath)
Other crew
Betty A. Griffin .... script supervisor (as Betty Abbott Griffin)
Lois Kerst .... production assistant
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
74 min | USA:90 min (video version)
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Canada:PG (video rating) | Iceland:16 | UK:12 (1998 video re-issue) | USA:Not Rated | USA:TV-PG

Did You Know?

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 »
Anachronisms: 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 »
Dr. Richard Malcolm:What's a few lives compared to immortality, Mr. Kolchak?See more »
Movie Connections:


Who is the fifth victim?
Who is the sixth victim?
Where was the first movie set?
See more »
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
"The killer had the rotted features of a CORPSE?!", 25 May 2008
Author: drmality-1 ( from Illinoize

Carl Kolchak is my favorite TV character, hands down. So yes, I am pretty biased towards anything Carl appears in. This pugnacious misfit was an anachronism even in the 1970's...he would have been much more comfortable in the wild-and-woolly journalistic days of the 20's and 30's. He's clumsy...tactless...socially inept...and completely fearless in pursuit of the truth. He gets beaten up, but never beaten down. Plus, I like his hat.

Following the humongous success of "The Night Stalker", it was only natural that a sequel be commissioned. With Dan Curtis and Richard Matheson teaming up on the creative end, there were no worries that "The Night Strangler" would be second-rate or inferior. Even though in many ways it is a virtual remake of the first film, the sequel manages to be even eerier and more frightening, while containing many humorous touches and character bits.

Kicked out of Las Vegas after the Janos Skorzeny "vampire" debacle, Kolchak makes his way to Seattle...just in time for a rash of mysterious murders of young women to break out. The victims have had their throats crushed by a man with incredible strength and a small amount of blood has been syringed out of the base of their skulls. Obviously more than just a typical serial killer is at loose. Digging through the moldy archives of the local newspaper (with the help of Titus Berry, played by the great Wally Cox), Kolchak discovers that every 21 years since 1889, six women have been strangled during a period of 18 days. In each case, the killer was described as having superhuman strength and in some cases looking like a corpse.

When Carl proposes the theory that the same man is responsible for all the killings going back to 1889, he gets the same response he did in Las Vegas: disbelief, silence and stonewalling. His long-suffering editor Tony Vincenzo is driven almost to a heart attack by arguments with Kolchak and pressure from the police and the powers that be.

Kolchak learns that the killer may be lurking in the sinister Seattle "underground"...the remains of the 19th century town buried beneath the modern metropolis. With the help of a sexy belly dancer (cute Jo Ann Pflug), he plunges into the underground in search of the seemingly immortal maniac. The only question is: what will he do when he finds him? The villain in "The Night Strangler" is more interesting to me than the bestial Janos Skorzeny. He is more ghoulish because of his rotted features (depicted in a grisly police sketch) and yet more intellectual, because he is able to speak and articulate his mad reasoning. The scene where Dr. Richard Malcolm, the Night Strangler, converses easily with the mummified remains of his dead family sitting at a cobwebbed dinner table, communicates how utterly insane this genius has become. Richard Anderson, soon to play Oscar Goldman in "The Six Million Dollar Man", gives a chilling performance in his relatively brief scene as Malcolm.

As was typical for all Kolchak vehicles, the movie is full of well-known character actors. It's a joy to watch these old pro's in action. Scott Brady is the belligerent police Captain Shubert, cadaverous John Carradine is the publisher of Kolchak's paper, Al Lewis is a drunken bum lurking in the Seattle underground, and, best of all, the Wicked Witch of the West herself, Margaret Hamilton, is a stern college professor who gives Carl information on alchemy and immortality. She has the movie's best line. When Carl asks if everlasting youth was possible, the professor replies "If it was, I'd be an 80 year old sexpot." The scenes in underground Seattle are terrifically spooky and the sequence where the killer bursts through a glass window to get to a victim had me jumping out of my chair. The mixture of humor and horror was never done better than in the Kolchak stories.

Yes, the story is very familiar and yes, the shouting between characters gets a little overdone, but "The Night Strangler" is nothing but pure entertainment. Check it out and discover why Carl Kolchak is one of the greatest characters ever to appear on TV.

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