"Kolchak: The Night Stalker" The Werewolf (TV Episode 1974) Poster

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Stalking A Werewolf
a_l_i_e_n6 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Kolchak takes a cruise but soon discovers a sufferer of lycanthropy has also booked passage on the same ship.

Vincenzo sends Carl on a luxury ocean liner to do a series of articles on the swinging-singles cruise scene. Once on board Carl finds himself thoroughly annoyed by some of the singles including Paula (Nita Talbot of "Hogan's Heroes") and the annoyingly chummy Mel (Dick Gauthier from "Get Smart").

With the arrival of the first full moon, something begins slaughtering both passengers and members of the crew. Before being knocked out cold, Carl manages to snap off a few pictures of the hairy assailant. However, when he regains consciousness in the infirmary he discovers the film has been removed from his camera.

On the other side of the curtain he overhears another passenger (an employee of NATO) pleading with the ship's doctor for some narcotics to help suppress the violent dreams that have been plaguing him. Though clearly intimidated by the high-strung passenger, the doctor sends him away empty-handed.

More nighttime attacks occur, but the crew succeeds neither in subduing the assailant nor keeping the crisis a secret. Stymied in his efforts to use the ship's radio, Kolchak enlists some of the singles to help him contact Vincenzo, who provides him with information about all recent wolf attacks. Of particular interest is one incident that occurred at a NATO base in Greenland. For Carl, all the evidence seems to point to the inescapable conclusion that there is a werewolf on board the ship. Of course the stuffy captain refuses to even consider the notion, leaving the reporter to take matters into his own hands by stealing some silver buttons from the captain's dress uniform with which to make silver bullets.

That night, the full moon sends the werewolf off on yet another killing spree. Carl bravely ventures above deck to face the beast, and fires two rounds into it. Bleeding from it's wounds, the werewolf then grabs Carl and tries to throw him off the ship. As he dangles from the railing, Carl manages to haul the werewolf over the side and into the sea below.

One brilliant aspect of Paul Playden's story is the inspired choice of setting it on board a ship. With miles of ocean between it and the nearest port, each attack by the creature increases the feeling of claustrophobia as the sprawling ocean liner becomes a hunting ground with no possibility of escape for anyone on board.

Restricted by the TV standards of the time from showing any real gore, director Allan Barron effectively creates a measure of horror by having the camera move in on the faces of victims about to be attacked, then freezing the frame to create a snapshot of dread. In addition, the werewolf's assaults are fast and frenzied with plenty of action. In one memorable sequence, a victim is tossed down a slide into an empty swimming pool. Later, the werewolf is shot with a flare gun which barely slows it down as it continues mangling it's way through the crew.

Playing the lycanthropic passenger with considerable intensity is actor Eric Braeden. Before joining the "Young & The Restless" as Victor Newman, Braeden made a career out of playing one bad guy after another, and here he is especially effective as Bernard Steiglitz, NATO man and victim of a werewolf bite. With his imposing height, cold-eyed looks and the barely contained fury he conveys with his German accent, Braeden plays Steiglitz like a loaded weapon with a hair trigger.

The only aspect of this episode that really lets it down is the terrible makeup for the werewolf. Not only is it unconvincing, for some reason they didn't even spring for a set of fangs to try and make it look a little more frightening. Fortunately, closeups of it's face are kept to a minimum. With clever setups and extra distance kept between the mask and the camera, the director wisely allows the action to sell the scenes in which the werewolf appears.

The most riveting part comes at the end as Carl, amidst the sounds of screaming and gunfire coming from above deck, feverishly works to fashion his makeshift silver bullets. When he ventures topside, gun in hand, director Barron stages a suspenseful game of cat-and-mouse between man and beast with the werewolf leaping from roof to roof over Carl's shoulder. Shadows of both opponents stalking each other add to the suspense.

The musical accompaniment (credited to Jerry Fielding) is effectively eerie and also, where appropriate, perfectly enhances the more humorous scenes in which Carl deals with the singles. Like any good episode of the series, "The Werewolf" is a masterful blend of both laughs and terror.

Speaking of humour, Paul Playdon and David Chase's script is filled with dry wit and great characters. Dick Gauthier in particular as Mel, one of the shipboard players, gives such a winning performance that it comes as quite a shock when Carl later discovers that he, too has been killed by the werewolf. The best line comes when Nita Talbot's character Paula says, "I don't know what's gotten into everybody" to which Kolchak quite accurately replies, "Claws and fangs."

The makeup being it's only real flaw, "The Werewolf" is a solid episode and unique, too in that it was one of the few stories in the series that had Carl stalking something outside of his beloved Chicago.
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9/10
This Is The Captain Speaking, There Is A Werewolf on Board!
verbusen24 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Remember the song by Aerosmith? Kolchek's got a gun, Kolchek's got a gun, werewolves better run. This episode works really good despite the utter silliness the series wanted to have. Is it scary? Well maybe at the end, as Kolchak confronts the beast, but until then its really good camp. A werewolf in a leisure suit? Well I guess werewolves have fashion statements as well. OK lets look at this show, which I bought on DVD. It was a really really cool, like in Six Million Dollar Man cool, for me as a pre teen in the day to watch. My life at that time was controlled by adults and since we only had one TV (remember those kind of days?), I rarely got to see but the one or two episodes I think when this was first run. That tid bit of getting just a taste can really make you crave something versus if you had it all available. A great Night Stalker episode, from a camp viewpoint, not scary at all but a lot of fun. I love the way they did the stop motion when the monster attacked, very well done. Look for the character actors you will remember in different roles, there's Hymie the robot from Get Smart and the a-kissing Luetenant from McHales Navy here (Parker I think was his name), and of course the monster is played by the guy who was the German Officer in Rat Patrol and in a soap opera for years (may still be there, are there soap opera's anymore?). 9 of 10, this is not a boring Night Stalker episode.
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10/10
One of the best Episodes
markfaressa6 November 2009
The werewolf episode of the Nightstalker is one of the best 7 episodes of the show. Set on a cruise ship, the viewer can feel the claustrophobia of being isolated with no where to run while murder and fear is all around. Our classic hero Carl Kolchak is once again up to the task of figuring out what may be going on and goes head-to-head with the ships captain and his crew in trying to convince them of the terror that is aboard their ship. The formula is constant.The actors portrayals are perfect and the pace is great. Definitely an episode I never get tired of putting into the DVD player. Goes great with "The Vampire", "The Knightly Murders", "Horror In the Heights" "The Ripper" and 'The Zombie" and "Chopper"
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10/10
Episode for the Ages.
P_Cornelius16 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I always enjoy this particular episode. It has a great mixture of suspense and comedy. Poor Vincenzo, cheated out of his Christmas time holiday cruise and forced to give up his ticket (and expense money) to Kolchak. And where does Carl find himself? On a singles cruise, with a super wolf. And has there ever been a better werewolf than Eric Braeden's Bernhard Steiglitz, with his broad brimmed fedora and luminous eyes piercing out from the shadows? Otherwise, the real fun is watching Kolachak grow ever more exasperated with the singles set, especially with that icon of singles, Dick Gautier in the role of Mel Tarter!, cracking one lame joke after another. And poor Nita Talbot's Paula Griffin giving her copyrighted performance as the frustrated middle aged single woman, who all too obviously spends most of her life before the TV set, watching old movies.

To use a clichéd phrase: TV just doesn't get any better than this.
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7/10
The Werewolf
Scarecrow-8811 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Editor Tony Vincenzo just can't win. He finally gets a chance of a vacation but has it snatched away as accountants are flying in from New York to check to see that the INS paper is in tip top financial shape. So Kolchak gets to substitute in his place! Funny. Well, Kolchak will get more than he bargained for as the cruise he boards has a passenger who is a werewolf! Yep. Once a NATO officer, bitten on the left arm by a wolf, responsible for the slaughter of a family in Montana, Bernhardt Stieglitz (Eric Braeden) boards a cruise ship on its maiden voyage, unable to control the beast from within. Numerous werewolf attacks on passengers and particularly crew, Captain Julian Wells (Henry Jones) will try to keep a lid on any mention of a monster on board, Kolchak making things especially difficult. But Kolchak, willing to believe the attacker is a werewolf, will butt heads with Capt Wells, taking matters into his own hands…he will steal steel buttons from Wells' naval jacket, borrow a few pots, get a priest (a bit randy and not totally up on his Godly duties) to pray in Latin over some bullets he's making as to vanquish the werewolf. Many know Braeden from the long-running soap opera, The Young and the Restless, but his work here is minor; he has an intense scene with the cruise ship's doc, asking for narcotics to control the pain, belittling him when he doesn't. Richard Gautier and Jackie Russell are luxury liner mainstays, once married, living it up energetically (Gautier is Carl's roommate on the voyage, immediately welcoming him heartily on board) and Nita Talbot steals her scenes as a cinephile who reluctantly helps Kolchak in his mission to get the goods on what is attacking members of the crew (she is set up by Gautier with Carl but this doesn't hit off as he hoped). Overall it was entertaining seeing Kolchak on board a cruise ship, annoying the ship's crew this time around with his snooping and nosy investigation. The werewolf is not shown much in close-up preferring to establish it as a menace that lurks in the shadows, leaping out in full attack mode when victims are vulnerable. Seeing the werewolf toss around members of Wells' crew is rather neat as it does prove how vicious and powerful the beast can be on the offensive. The cover-up at the end is rather unsettling, considering how everything is swept under the rug, including Braeden's whereabouts and link to NATO. McGavin has marvelous chemistry with Talbot; the two make quite a team.
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7/10
A lively and frequently funny episode.
Scott LeBrun4 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Poor Vincenzo (Simon Oakland): the guy always gets the short end of the stick. He's scheduled to take a (working) vacation on an ocean cruise but is side tracked by the need to to meet with some auditors. So it's Kolchak who gets to benefit from his misfortune. He's supposed to ultimately write an expose of "swinging singles" cruises, but gets caught up in a weird story that is much more his style. An honest-to-God werewolf is loose on the ship! This episode isn't as scary as other entries, although by the end it does manage to build some suspense. The werewolf makeup is shoddy, but the feral creature proves quite formidable in attack scenes. This episode is worthy for a true change of pace in terms of its setting and for putting a fresh spin on a traditional monster. Allen Baron returns to direct once again, and gives the proceedings a cracking pace and an action packed story. There is one hair raising moment for Kolchak where he's in danger of punching out for good, and at the end he's very much breaking the fourth wall as he dictates the memoirs of the eventful trip. The werewolf in this case is an appropriately tormented individual, played by TV veteran Eric Braeden. One can't help but feel bad for him as he does everything possible to deal with his impending transformations. The episode really succeeds when it comes to the laughs; it gives Kolchak yet another huffy nemesis to contend with, in this case, the officious captain of the ship, played by Henry Jones, and a highly animated female cohort played by Nita Talbot; her character is an old movie buff and it's a delight to see the chemistry that she has with Darren McGavin. Definitely a fun episode overall. At the least, it's certainly never boring. Seven out of 10.
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8/10
A typically solid and satisfying episode
Woodyanders17 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Carl Kolchak (a terrifically zesty performance by Darren McGavin) finds himself in yet another dire situation when he's trapped on an ocean liner with lethal and tormented werewolf Bernhardt Stieglitz (well played with gripping intensity by Eric Braeden). Director Allen Baron, working from a smart and absorbing script by David Chase and Paul Playdon, relates the compelling story at a constant snappy pace, expertly builds a considerable amount of claustrophobic tension, and stages the werewolf attack scenes with real rip-roaring gusto. The sturdy acting from an able cast rates as another substantial asset: Simon Oakland as Kolchak's perpetually irritable editor Tony Vincenzo, Henry Jones as the stern, by-the-book Captain Julian Wells, Nita Talbot as perky classic movie buff Paula Griffin, Richard Gautier as merry swinger Mel Tarter, and Jack Grinnage as fussy wimp Ron Updyke. Ronald W. Browne's polished cinematography makes inspired use of snazzy freeze frames. Jerry Fielding's robust shivery score hits the spine-tingling spot. Kolchak's climactic confrontation with the werewolf is truly exciting and suspenseful. Only the regrettably shoddy werewolf make-up fails to impress. A fun and enjoyable show.
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7/10
Among the Best!
gavin69429 April 2015
Kolchak (Darren McGavin) is on assignment to interview singles aboard a cruise ship, and finds out some kind of wolf creature is killing passengers during the full moon.

This is just such a great story. First, because there are not nearly enough werewolf movies (or television shows) out there in comparison to vampires and zombies. So any chance to see those furry beasts on screen makes me pretty happy. But then, you add the element of a cruise ship. Besides "The Love Boat" (which had not yet debuted), how many shows took place a cruise ship? Very few.

And as a bonus, we get Kolchak trying to access places he should not be able to by assuming different identities -- very poorly. His lack of knowledge on the USS Yorktown foils his plans, and but his persistence might just overcome his own shortcomings.
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6/10
When you want to find a werewolf, try going on a cruise!
MartinHafer5 November 2013
Even for a "Kolchak" episode, this one has a weird setup. Vincenzo (Simon Oakland) is supposed to be going on a cruise but at the last minute he is forced to cancel. However, there STILL is a ticket and Kolchak is sent on the trip. This isn't the weird part. What's weird is that a werewolf is apparently aboard!! Even weirder, the audience is expected to believe some guy in a cheap drugstore wolf-man mask is a real monster!! Yes, the folks making this show really went hog-wild--spending what appears to be $3.98 for a quality wolf-man costume! So, apart from the bad mask, is the episode any good? Well, not really. It is entertaining, I'll grant you that. But the show is silly even by "Kolchak" standards.

By the way, I am a bit of an airplane and boat nut, so a few observations about this episode. First, early in the film you see a 747 that, if you pay attention, changes airlines several times! Also, the ship shown in the program is a combination of two ships. The shots of the ship at sea are of the SS France (later re-christened the SS Norway) and the rest of the shots were done on the Queen Mary--which had been decommissioned and was parked in Long Beach, California (where it remains today as a hotel).
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5/10
Werewolf on board
kapelusznik184 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
****SPOILERS*** Forced to take the place of his boss Tony Vincenzo, Simon Oakland, who had to cancel due to an IRS audit reporter Carl Kolchak, Darren McGavin, takes a pleasure cruise in the Caribbean on the cruise ship Hanover. The cruise turns out to be anything but a pleasure for him as well as those, passengers & crew, on board. It's the former NATO agent Benhardet Stieglitz played by the perennial "Good German", from the TV series "Combat' & Rat Patrol", Eric Braeden who's on the cruise. Stieglitz somehow got bit by a werewolf in Greenland and turned into one himself but only when there's a full moon out at night. It doesn't take long for Stieglitz to go into action in there seems to be a full moon on every night of the cruise.

After about a half dozen attacks Kolchak who unknowingly took photos of the raging and almost unrecognized, who had so much facial hair that only his teeth or fangs were visible, Stieglitz soon realize that there's a homicide lunatic on board to whom bullets have no effect on! With the help of fellow passenger and movie expert Paula Griffin, Nita Tolbot, Kolchak finds out the only way to stop this psycho is blasting him with a silver bulled blessed in Latin by a Catholic priest! The very two things, silver & Latin speaking catholic priest, that seem to be in short supply on the cruise ship!

***SPOILERS*** Finally getting all the ingredients , Catholic priest & silver button's from the ship's captain dress suite, Kolchak armed with silver bullets or pellets for his shotgun confronts the wild & crazy Stieglitz in what can be considered a fight between good & evil. With the silver bullets not having any effect on the wild and uncontrollable Stieglitz it's his wet shoes, from the waves of the Caribbean sea, that does him in. That's by him by slipping and despite Kolchak's, what a nice guy, attempt to save him falling into the sea Stieglitz never is to resurface or be seen, alive or dead, again.
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