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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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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)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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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

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

Goofs

In the climactic showdown scene, when a weakened Skorzeny (Barry Atwater) is laying against the stairs he turns around to see Jenks holding the chrome cross close to his face. Apparently seeing his face in the reflection of the cross (and possibly being startled by his appearance), Atwater begins to laugh, and the camera quickly cuts away to another shot. See more »

Quotes

Carl Kolchak: [singing] I'll take Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island, too. Watch out you great big wonderful Big Apple, Kolchak's coming back. Yeah!
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Connections

Referenced in Wonderland (2003) 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

 
One of the best made-for-TV movies ever
14 September 2000 | by mr. sardonicusSee all my reviews

The 1970s produced a large volume of made-for-TV movies, and, unlike today, they did not have to be about relevant social topics or preach political correctness. Back then, TV movies could actually be made with no intent other than to entertain--what a decade!

The Night Stalker is one of the very best of these made-for-TV films. Be warned, the production values are not as good as a feature film, but the story, the writing, the acting, and the director's mastery of creepiness make up for any other faults. From McGavin on down the line, the acting is terrific! In fact, Carl Kolchak may be McGavin's finest role. Richard Matheson's writing is up to his usual standards of excellence. Barry Atwater is a great bit of casting as the vampire. If there is one fault, and it has to be laid at the feet of the director, it is the inept use of a stunt man as a substitute for Atwater during the action scenes. In some scenes it is painfully obvious that it is not Atwater; it's a wonder the scenes weren't clipped. But this is the price that is paid for a TV movie with a short shooting schedule. As a whole, The Night Stalker is one of the very best vampire movies ever made. Don't let a few faults deter you from an otherwise classic bit of horror film-making. Remember, this is a TV movie; if you want lots of gore, don't waste your time.


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