52 user 37 critic

The Night Strangler (1973)

Not Rated | | Crime, Horror, Mystery | TV Movie 16 January 1973
A reporter hunts down a 144-year old alchemist who is killing women for their blood.


Dan Curtis


Richard Matheson, Jeffrey Grant Rice ("The Night Strangler" based on some characters created by) (as Jeff Rice)
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Darren McGavin ... Carl Kolchak (as Darren Mc Gavin)
Jo Ann Pflug ... Louise Harper
Simon Oakland ... Tony Vincenzo
Scott Brady ... Capt. Roscoe Schubert
Wally Cox ... Mr. Titus Berry
Margaret Hamilton ... Prof. Crabwell
Richard Anderson ... Dr. Richard Malcolm
John Carradine ... Llewellyn Crossbinder
Al Lewis ... Tramp
Nina Wayne Nina Wayne ... Charisma Beauty
Virginia Peters Virginia Peters ... Wilma Krankheimer
Kate Murtagh ... Janie Watkins
Ivor Francis ... Dr. Webb
Diane Shalet Diane Shalet ... Joyce Gabriel
Anne Randall ... Policewoman Sheila


Reporter Carl Kolchak is now in Seattle, Washington, trying to solve the mystery of several strangulations that recur every few years where the victims are drained of blood in this second made for TV pilot. Written by Humberto Amador

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A real horror story. See more »


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Northwest author Bill Speidel ("You Can't Eat Mount Rainier") appears as himself onstage in the Blue Banjo nightclub in Seattle. The Blue Banjo was the headquarters and starting point for the famous Underground Seattle tour. See more »


Several of the articles shown in the archive files of the "Seattle Daily Chronicle" clearly have the headline pasted over genuine newspaper pages by the art department; this is especially noticeable on the edition from [Tuesday] 27th March 1952 headed "WOMAN STRANGLED IN PIONEER SQUARE", which is peeling away. See more »


Policewoman Sheila: I'm sorry, Captain Schubert is very busy, you can't go in there.
Carl Kolchak: Yeah, well, I gotta see him.
Policewoman Sheila: I said you cannot go in there!
Carl Kolchak: I'm going in there, sweetheart.
Capt. Schubert: What's going on here?
Policewoman Sheila: I told him you were busy, sir.
Carl Kolchak: I've been trying to see you since 1:30 this morning, and I'm not gonna leave until I do.
Capt. Schubert: It's all right, Sheila.
Policewoman Sheila: I'm sorry, sir.
Capt. Schubert: It's all right, Sheila.
See more »

Alternate Versions

There is a 90-minute version, which features additional footage with Al Lewis, Kate Murtagh, George DiCenzo, and Margaret Hamilton which was cut for the original TV release. This 90-minute version is the one typically released in syndication to fill the standard 2-hour movie slot. See more »


Remade as Night Stalker: Timeless (2006) See more »


My Blue Heaven
Music by Walter Donaldson
Lyrics by George Whiting
See more »

User Reviews

Grand Horror With a Comedic Twist
15 July 2000 | by BaronBl00dSee all my reviews

Part of the success of The Night Stalker and this its sequel has to be the ever-present humour created throughout the script in the character of Carl Kolchak. He is a character that is as stubborn as ever andone that despite his need/desire for a story shows more humanity and ethical standards than the system which continually steps on him. He is at one point a caricature...sneakers and the same suit and the same straw hat....and yet possesses common sense, intelligence and wit. These contradictions in character often provide a lot of comedic relief in the Night Stalker/Strangler movies and the television series as well. No one better understands this than Darren McGavin who essays the role of the obstinate reporter. Each of his performances is a real treat. And although I have been genuinely frightened by these films and the series...many of my fondest memories are about the funny things..the character traits(and outfit) of Kolchak, the discussions between Kolchak and super veteran character actor Simon Oakland(his boss), the situations Kolchak faces out of lack of care, and so on. In many ways The Night Strangler is a better film that the first one...perhaps not as scary..but better written and acted. Great character actors abound with the likes of Al Lewis, Margaret Hamilton, Wally Cox, and John Carradine. The story this time deals with the secret of a man who kills young women for their blood...a need he must satisfy every few years. He lives in a city below a city...and the shots of this subterranean polis are visually striking. Great story, great acting, wonderful sets, and lots of scary moments and funny ones make this a triumph of the small screen.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

16 January 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Time Killer See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

ABC Circle Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (video)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System) (uncredited)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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