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The Dark (1979)

Someone, or something, is on an indiscriminate killing and mutilation spree during night-time. Frustrated by the clueless police, the father of the first victim is looking for answers, no matter how far fetched they are.


John 'Bud' Cardos, Tobe Hooper (uncredited)
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
William Devane ... Roy Warner / Steve Dupree
Cathy Lee Crosby ... Zoe Owens
Richard Jaeckel ... Det. Dave Mooney
Keenan Wynn ... Sherman 'Sherm' Moss
Warren J. Kemmerling ... Police Captain Speer (as Warren Kemmerling)
Biff Elliot ... Detective Jack Bresler
Jacquelyn Hyde ... De Renzy
Casey Kasem ... Police Pathologist
Vivian Blaine ... Courtney Floyd
John Bloom ... The Dark
Bill Derringer Bill Derringer ... Herman Burmeister (as William Derringer)
Jay Lawrence Jay Lawrence ... Jim Hampton
Russ Marin ... Dr. Baranowski
Vernon Washington ... Henry Lydell
Mel Anderson Mel Anderson ... Policeman


At night the Mangler stalks the streets of Los Angeles, killing and mutilating random victims. On the trail are a TV reporter, the father of one of the victims, and a police detective, but despite their efforts only the mysterious psychic DeRenzy knows what the killer is and how to stop it. Written by Jeremy Lunt <durlinlunt@acadia.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A Chilling Tale of Alien Terror See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Trailer narrated by Percy Rodrigues. See more »


Sherman Moss: I'm not afraid of the dark; I'm afraid of what's in it.
See more »


Featured in Trailer Trauma Part 4: Television Trauma (2017) See more »

User Reviews

Tobe Hooper bailed on this one, 2cnd smartest thing he's ever done...
26 April 2006 | by rixrexSee all my reviews

The first smartest being Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Contrary to what other commenters say, this was not supposed to be a quasi sci-fi horror entry until AFTER initial screenings were sour. Then the producers decided to cash in on the ALIEN bonanza by adding prologue and epilogue and the laser-beam eye blasts. Devane was excited thinking he'd be working with Hooper, but with Hooper's leaving, he barely walks through the motions, Cathy Lee is only a little better. Wynn and Jaekal do well to hold things together, and John Bloom is perfectly cast once again as the lumbering creature. The best thing to be said about this is that it looks, sounds and feels like a 1970s ABC TV movie of the week, and why not? Just look at who wrote it and what else he has written. If you watch it thinking that it should have been made for TV, it's more enjoyable because your expectations might not be too high, and it comes off as fairly average. Actually, replace Devane with Darren McGavin, Wynn with Simon Oakland, make KFVI a newspaper, keep Richard Jaekal as Kolchak's nemesis, add a lot of Kolchak wit and cut it down to 50 minutes, and it's a good Night Stalker teleplay. Of course, don't forget the funky horns that announce Kolchak on the go.

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Release Date:

27 April 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Dark See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA


Box Office


$2,700,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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