Kolchak: The Night Stalker: Season 1, Episode 13

Primal Scream (17 Jan. 1975)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Horror | Mystery
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An arctic oil-drilling expedition unearths some strange organic matter, cells which begin to spontaneously multiply. When the cooling unit in their storage facility fails, the cells grow ... See full summary »



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Title: Primal Scream (17 Jan 1975)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Captain Maurice Molnar
Thomas Kitzmiller (as Pat Harrington)
Katherine Woodville ...
Dr. Helen Lynch (as Katharine Woodville)
Jack Burton
Jack Grinnage ...
The Secretary
Jeannie Bell ...
Rosetta (as Jeanie Bell)
C. Lindsay Workman ...
Dr. Fisk (as Lindsay Workman)
Regis Cordic ...
Dr. Peel
Byron Morrow ...
Dr. Cowan
Vince Howard ...
Sandra Gould ...
Al Checco ...


An arctic oil-drilling expedition unearths some strange organic matter, cells which begin to spontaneously multiply. When the cooling unit in their storage facility fails, the cells grow into a violent and deadly life-form, a murderous ape-man. Kolchak finds the feature story he's planning on writing about the murders blocked by the authorities at every turn, and it seems that pressure from the large corporation which sponsored the drilling is threatening to squelch the truth about the murders. Written by acidxian

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Release Date:

17 January 1975 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of the creature's victims is a truck driver called William Pratt - the real name of actor Boris Karloff, who also used to be a truck driver. See more »


Ron Updyke: It seems some dangerous animals did escape, including two large apes, a pair of adult African gibbons, as well as a Malayan tiger, a civet cat, and a pie-cost.
Tony Vincenzo: What's a pie-cost?
Ron Updyke: 89 cents.
See more »


Features The Mummy (1932) See more »

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User Reviews

On the trail of an ape-man.
2 September 2012 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Kolchak's caught up in a real fantastic plot, but one that is still never less than interesting. Scientists in the employ of an oil company have brought back extremely old cells after doing core sampling in the Arctic, and those cells have ended up in a freezer in Chicago. Unfortunately, the power to the freezer fails, and the cells "grow" after exposure to heat and dampness. Now they've taken on the form of a primitive being that supposedly spawned both humans and apes, and the thing is tearing a few people apart. Kolchak doggedly works the clues, interviewing various individuals and putting the pieces of the puzzle together. Not surprisingly, by the time this is over, he'll be once again on his own in tracking down the beast. Just like the best episodes of this series, it can get uproariously funny while still at the same time delivering some genuine suspense and spookiness. (That finale in the tunnels under the old stadium is wonderfully lit and eerie.) The ape man itself (himself?) looks hokey when we start to see it too much, but there are still some good moments as it stalks and kills the citizens of Chicago. The episode is often hysterically funny at times, and Darren McGavin has marvelous chemistry with the roster of guest stars. Keeping up the tradition of giving Kolchak a new police nemesis every week, this time it's a weary John Marley who must deal with this aggressive and pesky reporter. Other TV stars do well, including Pat Harrington of 'One Day at a Time' as the oil company's P.R. man and Jamie Farr of 'M*A*S*H' as a science teacher who initially wants to give Kolchak the brush off but soon becomes intrigued by his line of inquiry. This sequence with Farr leads to one of the biggest laughs in the whole story as Kolchak points to one diagram of a primitive species and quips, "I think I work for that one." Speaking of Vincenzo, he doesn't get to to as much this time, but there's some wonderful interaction between Kolchak and Updyke as the latter threatens to have Kolchak's car towed if he keeps parking in Updyke's parking spot. Also appearing are Katherine Woodville as Dr. Helen Lynch, beautiful Barbara Rhoades as a huffy secretary, Jeannie Bell as a victim of the monster, and Sandra Gould as the dotty landlady. Overall, this sizes up as a solid, both funny and creepy episode of this great TV series. Eight out of 10.

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