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Primal Scream 

Ancient cells discovered in the arctic by oil men give rise to a carnivorous, evolutionary ancestor and a corporate cover-up.


Robert Scheerer


Jeffrey Grant Rice (created by) (as Jeff Rice), Bill S. Ballinger | 1 more credit »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Darren McGavin ... Carl Kolchak
Simon Oakland ... Tony Vincenzo
John Marley ... Captain Maurice Molnar
Pat Harrington Jr. ... Thomas Kitzmiller (as Pat Harrington)
Katherine Woodville ... Dr. Helen Lynch (as Katharine Woodville)
Jamie Farr ... Jack Burton
Jack Grinnage ... Ron Updyke
Barbara Rhoades ... The Secretary
Jeannie Bell ... Rosetta (as Jeanie Bell)
C. Lindsay Workman ... Dr. Fisk (as Lindsay Workman)
Regis Cordic ... Dr. Peel
Byron Morrow ... Dr. Cowan
Vince Howard Vince Howard ... Policeman
Sandra Gould ... Landlady
Al Checco Al Checco ... Nils


An arctic oil-drilling expedition unearths some strange organic matter, cells which begin to spontaneously multiply. When the cooling unit in their storage facility fails, the cells grow into a violent and deadly life-form, a murderous ape-man. Kolchak finds the feature story he's planning on writing about the murders blocked by the authorities at every turn, and it seems that pressure from the large corporation which sponsored the drilling is threatening to squelch the truth about the murders. Written by acidxian

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Release Date:

17 January 1975 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


At the beginning Kolchak stated the Manhattan Project "took place very close to here.". Kolchak is referring to the University of Chicago Metallurgy Laboratory ( Metlab) theoretical research on plutonium for the Manhattan Project in the 1940s which was conducted in the Chicago, Illinois area, not to be confused with the work done on The Manhattan Project laboratory, in Los Alamos, New Mexico. See more »


The side of meat is obviously a light weight fake, though the actor strives to make it appear heavy. Nothing much beats the real thing. See more »


[first lines]
Carl Kolchak: During World War Two, close to this very spot, science bore a child that changed the course of human relations and, to this day, threatens to end human history. It was called, innocuously enough, The Manhatten Project, and it grew into the terror we all have come to know as the hydrogen bomb. But this year, only a stone's throw from here, science delivered a new child.
See more »


Features The Mummy (1932) See more »

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User Reviews

Kolchak: "Primal Scream"
21 April 2018 | by WuchakkSee all my reviews

PLOT: An oil-drilling company discovers ancient cells in the artic, which spontaneously multiply and give birth to an evolutionary ancestor, an ape-man, who's on the loose in Chicago and killing people.

COMMENTARY: As usual, this episode features a few familiar faces from the 70s: John Marley from "The Godfather" (the horsehead guy); Jamie Farr from M*A*S*H; Katherine Woodville from Star Trek's "For the World is Hollow and I have Touched the Sky"; statuesque redhead Barbara Rhoades in a cameo as a secretary; and black cutie Jeannie Bell in another cameo as a victim of the pre-Neanderthal.

The climax in the cave-like tunnels under the site of the old Chicago stadium is effectually creepy, but it's overly reminiscent of the close of "The Spanish Moss Murders." "Primal Scream" is no better or worse than any other Kolchak episode, generally speaking, but the formulaic plotting of the series is now patently stale and it sucks the life out of the proceedings.

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