The second of two Kolchak compilation TV films. It combines two episodes of the Kolchak TV series, Demon In Lace (about a succubus) and Legacy of Terror (about Aztec ritualistic serial killings), and adds new narration.
In this compilation of two Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974) episodes, "Firefall" and "The Energy Eater," a reporter must investigate the supernatural occurrences of an arsonist's ghost trying to possess an orchestra composer, and then a strange Native American "bear god" that is feeding off the energy of the hospital buried over its site. Written by
Hail Carl Kolchak! You are truly one of the most affable, interesting, fun characters from television. I salute you. And although I love the character of Kolchak and all the Night Stalker characters, that does not mean that everything they appear in is good. Such, unfortunately, is the case with Crackle of Death. Crackle of Death was the result of the fusing of two Night Stalker episodes together and then having Darren McGavin, Simon Oakland, and Jack Grinnage add additional dialogue vis-a-vis voice-over. The result is a film that looks choppy, sounds choppy, and is choppy. What do I mean? Well, the stories are obviously not told in a manner of continuity nor was any real attempt at continuity tried. The whole film looks like it was pieced together in a slapdash method. The stories come from the episodes "The Energy Eater" about a hospital built over an Indian burial ground and haunted by an evil bear spirit and "Fire Fall" about a gangster that becomes a doppleganger for an orchestra conductor. Originally each episode was shot by a different director. Don Weis directed "The Energy Eater" and Alex Grasshoff directed the other. This lack of consistency in directorial vision is one reason for the ultimate uneveness of the project. McGavin, however, is very good as always. I watched him with the keenest of interest. He truly has captured a marvelous characterization in Kolchak. Oakland and the gang are fine too. I wish I could see the two episodes NOT as a unit of one but separately. They are available by Columbia House. This film, and another one which fused two other episodes called The Demon and the Mummy, can be seen at times on the sci-fi channel. If you are a fan of Kolchak the character this film is a must see, but if you are looking more for a good horror story...better look elswhere. I like both and found a compromise with Crackle of Death.
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