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The Night Stalker (1972)

An abrasive Las Vegas newspaper reporter investigates a series of murders committed by a vampire.

Writers:

Richard Matheson (teleplay), Jeffrey Grant Rice (story) (as Jeff Rice)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Darren McGavin ... Carl Kolchak
Carol Lynley ... Gail Foster
Simon Oakland ... Vincenzo
Ralph Meeker ... Bernie Jenks
Claude Akins ... Sheriff Butcher
Charles McGraw ... Chief Masterson
Kent Smith ... D.A. Paine
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Mickey Crawford
Stanley Adams ... Fred Hurley
Larry Linville ... Makurji
Jordan Rhodes ... Dr. O'Brien
Barry Atwater ... Janos Skorzeny
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Storyline

Carl Kolchak is a newspaper reporter with an abrasive personality that has gotten him fired ten times from various big-city papers. Now he's reduced to reporting for a relatively small-time paper in Las Vegas. It's here he gets the story of his life. But will the local sheriff, or the D.A., or even his own boss, let him print it? He has an ally in the FBI agent brought in to investigate this strange case. It seems someone is biting the necks of young girls and draining their blood. Can this killer with supernormal powers really be a 70-year-old Romanian millionaire? Can he really be a vampire? And can an aging reporter do anything to stop him? Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 January 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Kolchak Papers See more »

Filming Locations:

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$450,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The vampire, Janos Skorzeny, was played by Barry Atwater. One of the first series that Fox Network broadcast was called "Werewolf." The predator that turned that show's main character into a werewolf was played by Chuck Connors and was also named Janos Skorzeny, an homage to the character in "The Night Stalker." This was a recurring character, and in an interview Chuck Connors said that it was one of his favorite characters and thoroughly enjoyed playing it. See more »

Goofs

The stuntman's airbag is visible in the lower right corner of the screen when the hospital orderly is thrown out of a second story window. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Robert Makurji: [referring to Kolchak's theory about the murders] Mr. Paine, I shouldn't be so inclined to reject Mr. Kolchak's theory out of hand if I were you. It is at best highly speculative, but not altogether unwarranted.
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Connections

Followed by Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Manhattan
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Performed by Darren McGavin
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Golden Age of Wampyr
14 October 2003 | by GroovyDoomSee all my reviews

Good stuff here as modern-day vampirism gets a respectable TV-movie treatment that managed to bring something original to the mixture by having the story told from the point of view of a weary reporter.

Darren McGavin is unforgettable in a telefilm that set the record for ratings shares in its day. His reporter, Carl Kolchak, becomes a believer in the supernatual when he investigates a series of murders where the (female) victims are drained of blood. Kolchak uncovers the truth--the murders are the work of a "real live vampire"--and the truth is quickly covered up again by the Las Vegas police department, who don't want the news of a vampire to interfere with business (one is forced to consider that the ultimate proof of bonafide supernatural goings-on would ultimately be of more importance, but that would spoil the fun).

The film is delightfully dated in its fashions and styling, but otherwise the treatment of the material is surprisingly contemporary, which goes to show just how far ahead of its time "The Night Stalker" really was. 70s genre buffs will be thrilled to see plenty of familiar faces among the cast, including Carol Lynley and Elisha Cook, Jr. The finale, where Kolchak makes the classic spooky-movie mistake of confronting the monster in his own lair, manages to be both tongue-in-cheek and hair raising at the same time. A real example of how storytelling and creativity can render a big budget unnecessary.


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