Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1972)


The adventures of Carl Kolchak (Darren McGavin) a Chicago newspaper reporter who investigates the strange, supernatural goings on in the dark of the night. One things for sure, if Kolchak’s in town then weird and mysterious things are not far away.


Say cheese..

If you aren’t familiar with Kolchak then think of a 70’s incarnation of The X-Files. Freak of the week mystery horror and science fiction. The X-Files comparison is from Chris Carter himself who was inspired by Kolchak in his creating of the series. Even having Darren McGavin, in an episode called Travelers, playing an FBI Agent who had worked on the first X-Files case, like a forefather to Mulder.


Kolchak – The Night Stalker is the first TV movie adapted from a novel by Jeff Rice called The Kolchak Papers. After it’s success a second TV movie was commissioned called The Night Strangler (I’ve not seen this one yet) then a 20 episode TV series which aired between 1974 and 1975.


I was lucky to stumble across it by chance when it was shown on British television sometime in the 90’s. Only managed to watch a few episodes but kept an eye for it whenever it was shown. Chuffed to bits that I now have the boxset on it’s way to me after seeing a video by Mike Take On The Movies recommending it. Especially excited to see episode 5 The Werewolf, I wonder if it’s anyone I know?


Right what’s the The Night Stalker TV Movie about?
Carl Kolchak is working in Las Vegas when a series of gruesome strange deaths of young ladies start to appear during the night. Getting a sniff of the story, Kolchak tags along to the annoyance of the cops, to find out more. What unravels itself to our reporter is the unbelievable notion that these sinister murders all bear the resemblance to folklores of vampires! It takes some persuading of the police force chiefs and government officials, could this really be a modern day Dracula? Armed with his portable tape recorder, camera, cross and wooden stake, our hero reporter goes off into the night searching for that killer story.


Barry Atwater makes a great strange looking bloodsucker as Janos Skorzeny

This is really good fun tv entertainment featuring some excellent fights, chases and spot the body doubles scenes. Oh and a funky as hell music score by composer Bob Cobert ramping the tension to the max with chase themes and blazing funk jams.


The mystery cassette tapes

Now on a random note my “Day Walking” self did a series of music mixes called The Soul Mystery sometime back. Investigating different types of music with soul. Bit’s of soul and jazz with a touch of folk. Well helping out with the detective duties picking the tunes is our mystery reporter Carl Kolchak. He was the first helper of 5 mixes. The others were Dr Scott Nelson (4D Man), Sapphire & Steel, Dr. Charles Forbin (Colossus) and then finally Colonel Glenn Ross (Doppelgänger). All in the name of fun I must add.

Happy viewing and enjoy yourself…. Mikey The Wolfman.

Further Reading Links

The Night Stalker (1972) IMDB

The Night Strangler (1973) IMDB

Kolchak: The Night Stalker  WIKI

3 thoughts on “Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1972)

  1. You’re gonna love the show and the stream of guest stars as well. McGavin vs. Oakland and their constant bickering is always a highlight. Thanks for the link thru to the video and let me know if you enjoy the show as much as I do though I think I can already predict the answer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sure I will and I can’t wait to delve in. £6.99 for the boxset too, bargain. Plus I picked up The Invaders collection of 43 episodes with Roy Thinnes for £10 at the same time. I haven’t seen that since being obsessed with it as a teenager. Happy days. Now the mystery is gonna be how to watch all this stuff!!!! Cheers buddy

      Liked by 1 person

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