Carl finds a spirit like monster is eating up the structure of a new hospital and draining patients of their protein.


(as Alex Grasshoff)


(created by) (as Jeff Rice), (teleplay) | 2 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Vincenzo
Nurse Janis Eisen
Don Kibbey
Walter Green
Robert Yuro ...
Detective Webster
Diana Lanier
Ron Updyke
Emily Cowles
Dr. Carrie
Dr. Hartfield
Frank Wesley
Melissa Greene ...
1st Girl
Dianne Harper ...
2nd Girl


Kolchak faces another Native American monster, this one known as the Matchemonedo, when he learns of a series of mishaps taking place in a newly opened hospital. The construction of the hospital has awakened Matchemonedo, an invisible manifestation that causes ruptures in the building's constitution, electrical outbursts, and deaths that are seemingly caused by electrocution. Kolchak enlists the help of a reluctant Indian shaman to combat the rampaging force. Written by acidxian

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Release Date:

13 December 1974 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Kolchak and Jim Elkhorn are doing research on Matchemonedo, The Energy Eater entity, and are reading diaries and logs of pioneers who encountered or mentioned the entity. Elkhorn fluently reads and translates from a French passage written by a French priest who refers to it. William Smith, who played Jim Elkhorn, is fluent in Russian, French, German , and Serbo-Croatian, as well as English. He learned foreign languages while serving as an Intelligence specialist for the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. See more »


The boom mic is visible when Kolchak brings an architect to the hospital to inspect it's lower levels. See more »


Jim Elkhorn: What do you mean, 'we,' white man?
See more »


Edited into Crackle of Death (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

Sizzling Death From Below The Earth -- Teamwork Saves The Day!
1 May 2017 | by (Troy, NY) – See all my reviews

Even though I love all the original KOLCHAK episodes, this one has a special place in my heart. It's not that it's scarier than pure horror episodes like THE RIPPER or THE ZOMBIE. And it's not that the concept of the Energy Eater is more intriguing than the science fiction terrors of MR. R.I.N.G. or THEY HAVE BEEN, THEY ARE, THEY WILL BE.

What makes this episode a special favorite of mine is that for the first and last time Kolchak has a real team behind him. He has not one but two sidekicks in this episode, and both of them practically steal the episode from Carl Kolchak himself!

Jim Elkhorn was a guy who really fascinated me as a kid. Legendary stuntman Bill Smith plays him with so much muscle power and vital energy that he practically jumps off the screen. This is a guy who gets all the girls he wants, who has the world by the tail. Yet the more you watch the more you see that underneath the cocky, macho exterior this is a thoughtful Native American who still feels a lot of bitterness about the way the old ways have vanished. "Aw, listen, it didn't work for my grandfather and it's not gonna work for me!" I really wanted him to come back and help Kolchak again, or at least get the girl! And that brings me to . . .

Nurse Janis Iselin, played by Elaine Giftos. There were always pretty women around in Kolchak's world, but they were either victims or doormats. And when Kolchak interacted with them it was usually just to put them in their place. For once it's not that way at all. Nurse Iselin is drop dead gorgeous, but you see right away that she's just as brave as Kolchak and just as smart. She plays a vital role in uncovering the nature of . . . the Energy Eater.

I just wish Janis and Jim could have got together for more than some Chinese food at the end of this spectacular episode!

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