7.7/10
4,779
76 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.

Writers:

Richard Matheson (teleplay), Jeffrey Grant Rice (story) (as Jeff Rice)
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Popularity
4,390 ( 986)
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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
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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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A planned third installment in the franchise, 'The Night Killers', was scripted but ABC opted to develop the TV series instead of continuing the films. The plot had Tony Vincenzo hiring Kolchak to work for him in Honolulu. While there, Kolchak discovers a cover-up involving UFOs, a nuclear power plant and important people being murdered and replaced by androids. See more »

Goofs

At the construction site where the girl's body is found, Kolchak's car can be seen in the distant background, ready for the "cue" to come roaring forward. When he gets there, you can see the previous tire tracks where the scene has been rehearsed. See more »

Quotes

Carl Kolchak: [sarcastically, when Vincenzo criticizes his story] How about a special featurette, with a border of roses? An interview with the two girl victims, in Heaven, with a cellestial choir in the background.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Scream 3 (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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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