Sunday, February 3, 2013
Kolchak The Night Stalker
Long before he played the dad in A CHRISTMAS STORY and long after he'd played hard boiled detective Mike Hammer, Darren McGavin played THE NIGHT STALKER.
Simply stated, it's The X-Files done 1970s style. It was first introduced in the highest rated TV Movie at the time in a film called THE NIGHT STALKER (1971). McGavin battled a Vampire in either Las Vegas or Los Angeles (I think it was Vegas). It was such a monster hit (pun intended) that a sequel was made two years later again with McGavin in THE NIGHT STRANGLER featuring an ageless Dorian Gray type of villain living in a secret underground city underneath Seattle.
That was a big enough hit that ABC ordered a full on series and it debuted in 1974 as KOLCHAK THE NIGHT STALKER-- airing on Friday nights and nobody watched. The monsters were better when they weren't shown-- and they seemed to forget this fact from the original movies. The show was a mix of comedy and horror and well received by the six fans who watched it.
Later in the 70s CBS took the reruns of the show and started showing them at 1130pm on Friday nights-- and it became one of the first true "cult" hits of TV history-- inspiring the creators of The X-Files and a host of others, myself included.
The show lasted only 20 episodes but I love every one of them, even the bad episodes. They are a regular view of mine on Netflix and I own not one but TWO sets of the DVD should one ever wear out (I like it that much).
If you have Netflix and you're new to Kolchak I suggest you start out with any of these episodes;
HORROR IN THE HEIGHTS
THE KNIGHTLY MURDERS
You won't be sorry.
Posted by Andy Fish at 12:00 AM