83 user 42 critic

The Night Stalker (1972)

Not Rated | | Horror, Mystery | TV Movie 11 January 1972
An abrasive Las Vegas newspaper reporter investigates a series of murders committed by a vampire.


Richard Matheson (teleplay), Jeffrey Grant Rice (story) (as Jeff Rice)
4,672 ( 180)
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Darren McGavin ... Carl Kolchak
Carol Lynley ... Gail Foster
Simon Oakland ... Tony 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


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


Horror | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


According to producer Dan Curtis, the film was shot for $450,000 and filming was completed in 12 days. See more »


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 »


Carl Kolchak: So think about it and try to tell yourself wherever you may be in the quiet of your home, in the safety of your bed, try to tell yourself, It couldn't happen here.
See more »


Referenced in Kolchak: The Night Stalker: The Vampire (1974) See more »


Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Performed by Darren McGavin
See more »

User Reviews

One of the most suspenseful thrillers ever to grace the small screen!
6 November 1998 | by duluozSee all my reviews

THE NIGHT STALKER, the telefilm adapted from the then unpublished novel THE KOLCHAK TAPES by Jeff Rice, presents viewers with a most frightening and utterly BELIEVABLE vampire, Janos Skorzeny (Barry Atwater), a creature who resembles a tormented heroin addict more so than the glamorized, two-dimensional vampire fare of Anne Rice and Buffyland. Darren McGavin's gritty portrayal of Carl Kolchak, the intrepid newshound on the vampire's trail, is certainly the most inspired role of his career. Of all the horror films in existence, THE NIGHT STALKER is certainly at the top of this genre's list for its surrealistic, cinema verite photography, first-rate acting, top-notch directing (John Llewelyn Moxey) and for its "The Front Page Meets Dracula" screenplay by fantasy veteran Richard Matheson. This is a telefilm that chills as well as offers a parable about political corruption and deceit. Now how timely is that?

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 83 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »






Release Date:

11 January 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Kolchak Papers See more »

Filming Locations:

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA See more »


Box Office


$450,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed