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Old April 25 2012, 07:53 PM   #16
Icemizer
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Re: Kolchak: The Night Stalker (original)...

Captain Mike that reportersque was dead on and strangley when I read it, it was in Kolchaks voice. Absolutely loved the show as it was very unique back in its day. I know Moonstone comics put out several series of Kolchak adventures and some were very accurate to the show.
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Old April 25 2012, 07:53 PM   #17
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Re: Kolchak: The Night Stalker (original)...

Captain Mike wrote: View Post
"Meet Wanda, a wife and mother who was on her way home, wishing she didn't have to cook dinner this late....(****picture a monster coming up behind her and a closeup of her screaming****)....She never made it."
I would have closed that one with "She got her wish."
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Old April 25 2012, 10:27 PM   #18
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Re: Kolchak: The Night Stalker (original)...

Darren McGavin was fantastic. He's one of my favorites.

Starkers wrote: View Post
The Prisoner is a fantastic show, I'm not sure why I don't own it on DVD!
I was going to say because it's so expensive-- it was $150 the last time I checked. But I just saw it on Amazon for $25, so I think I'll get it.
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Old April 25 2012, 10:35 PM   #19
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Re: Kolchak: The Night Stalker (original)...

If you have a Blu-Ray player, the Blu-Ray set is well worth it. Not only does The Prisoner look great in HD, but there are actually some decent special features on the set, too.
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Old April 25 2012, 10:46 PM   #20
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Re: Kolchak: The Night Stalker (original)...

Hmm. I don't have a Blu-Ray yet. But I suppose it's inevitable that I should get one.
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Old April 25 2012, 10:55 PM   #21
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Re: Kolchak: The Night Stalker (original)...

Vendikarr wrote: View Post
Captain Mike wrote: View Post
"Meet Wanda, a wife and mother who was on her way home, wishing she didn't have to cook dinner this late....(****picture a monster coming up behind her and a closeup of her screaming****)....She never made it."
I would have closed that one with "She got her wish."
Yup! And I too heard McGavin's voice saying this.
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Old May 14 2012, 01:32 AM   #22
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Re: Kolchak: The Night Stalker (original)...

I said I would finish with The Prisoner first before launching into this show, but I just couldn't wait anymore.


"The Ripper" *****

Kolchak tracks a serial killer who just might be the original Jack the Ripper.

This was a riot and a strong opening for the series. I really liked watching the Ripper in action when the cops are trying to get him. The low-key f/x worked well. Indeed, with his Victorian style cape in some sequences the Ripper made me think of Batman in action in the shadows.

This felt a bit more small scale than the previous films, but then it is a one hour television episode. It doesn't feel quite as big a story, but then they're cramming it into a one hour episode. Nonetheless it feels very much like the previous films in terms of sensibility. Kolchak is still something of a goof and Vincenzo is again his long suffering boss. One thing this has over the films is a good opening theme song and better music throughout the episode.

My only complaint has nothing to do with the episode. Sadly it looks like the transfer to dvd really needs a proper remastering to get the better picture the series deserves. This box set looks like it was cobbled together on the cheap. You get twenty episodes on three double-sided discs. Sadly you don't get any archival extras. The series should be properly remastered as well as packaged together with the two original films in one proper box set.


"The Zombie" ****

Anyone connected with a particular murder is being found killed with their spines broken.

Kolchak learns a bit about voodoo while tracking an undead killer. The scene where Kolchak finds the killer dormant in an old funeral hearse within a wrecking yard is priceless, particularly when he attempts to sidle up to the body to pour salt into the mouth and try to sew the lips shut.
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Old May 14 2012, 08:42 AM   #23
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Re: Kolchak: The Night Stalker (original)...

Re; The Ripper, my main complaint would be that the Ripper seems to frequent the same massage parlour every night

Re; The Zombie, yeah some of the thinks Karl is called upon to do to destroy a monster are a bit overly complex at times!! (not that this is a bad thing, better that than he just stakes them all!)
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Old May 14 2012, 09:39 AM   #24
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Re: Kolchak: The Night Stalker (original)...

Ah, just thinking about these episodes makes me smile. Kolchak is so cool. In these first episodes, he also gets a continuing cast of supporting characters. There's Updyke-- "Uptight"-- who is the anti-Kolchak and Miss Emily-- you'll notice that the Peeping Tom old lady from "The Ripper" will play that role (and, if memory serves, she wrote one of the letters to Miss Emily that helps Kolchak track down the Ripper).

I also love how far Kolchak is from the traditional hero. The scenes where he is hiding in the Ripper's closet as the Ripper reaches in to hang up his coat, or the scene in the hearse where Kolchak is sewing up his lips and he opens his eyes, and Kolchak just breaks in sheer terror and runs away screaming are priceless.
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Old May 14 2012, 09:57 PM   #25
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Re: Kolchak: The Night Stalker (original)...

"They Have Been, They Are, They Will Be" ****

Kolchak's investigation into missing zoo animals might be linked to a UFO.

An invisible alien! Why not? Certainly saves on the f/x expenses. Again the low-key touches work. This time Kolchak doesn't waste much time trying to convince anyone of what he believes. And at the end we get to see a genuine alien spacecraft, something that actually took Mulder and Scully a while longer to do.

Almost everything James Gregory appears in makes him look like a goof. The only two good turns I've seen from him are in the 1962 film The Manchurian Candidate and Star Trek's "Dagger Of The Mind." At least in Barney Miller as Inspector Luger he fit the show's sense of comedy.

The government guys stay pretty much in the background...and they're not driving a black sedan...or even an LTD.


"The Vampire" *****

Kolchak has another vampire to find only this time in Los Angeles.

Kudos to the writers for creating a different vampire and tangentially tying it to the events in Las Vegas from the first movie. They don't connect it directly, but the connection is there just by referring to a string of murders between Vegas and LA.

Kolchak is something else. He's a goof and something of a klutz---watching him trying to be stealthy in the dark while knocking over everything is a riot---and yet rather than walk away he takes it upon himself to do what no one else thinks of doing. He doesn't just go out to find the creature to satisfy his curiosity, but goes prepared to do what needs to be done even though he's scared shitless.

Awesome!


"The Werewolf" ***

Kolchak is aboard a cruise ship full of passengers...and a rampaging werewolf.

There's a definate strain of comedy in this series, more so than The X-Files (which had its own kind of dry humour). And seeing Eric Braeden, who will later go on to play Victor Neuman in the soap The Young And The Restless, as a werewolf is definitely funny.

This one was missing the air of tension the previous episodes had...or at least I thought so. It has its moments, but it didn't strike me as quite as good. Part of the problem for me was the way the werewolf was done. It should have been kept more in shadow where the less-than-inspired makeup would be less evident.
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Old May 15 2012, 09:28 AM   #26
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Re: Kolchak: The Night Stalker (original)...

The UFO one is interesting, and I like Kolchak's summation at the end about a guy out for a drvie who breaks down, stops off to refuel and grab a bite to eat

The Vampire is good, it plays with expectations around the identity of the vampire and the bit where the woman stops by the roadside and the hand comes out of the ground is probably one of the creepiest moments in the whole series.

The Werewolf though...oh dear. Great idea with the cruise ship, but the wolf is so badly realised it's untrue!
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Old May 15 2012, 09:32 AM   #27
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Re: Kolchak: The Night Stalker (original)...

That was my favorite episode. I love Werewolves.

And the idea of setting it on a cruise ship was great; it kept the Werewolf within a small area, making it easier to move the story along.
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Old May 15 2012, 09:55 AM   #28
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Re: Kolchak: The Night Stalker (original)...

Oh yeah it's a great idea, but even on a tv budget they should have been able to do better than that, he looks like a dog and you can see pale skin beneath the mast/his shirt collar, at least use makeup to darken those bits! and like Warped said, keep the monster out of sight/in the shadows.
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Old May 15 2012, 01:46 PM   #29
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Re: Kolchak: The Night Stalker (original)...

Warped9 wrote: View Post
And seeing Eric Braeden, who will later go on to play Victor Neuman in the soap The Young And The Restless, as a werewolf is definitely funny..
At the time, Braeden was perhaps best known for playing scientists in Colossus: The Forbin Project and Escape from the Planet of the Apes.

I definitely recognized him back in the old days. "Hey, it's Dr. Forbin!"
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Old May 15 2012, 08:40 PM   #30
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Re: Kolchak: The Night Stalker (original)...

Re: "The Werewolf"

A werewolf on a cruise ship isn't a bad idea, particularly if the ship is sailing just when the moon happens to be full.

But there were misses. I understand being constrained by a TV budget, but still where's the creativity. They make a big point of mentioning this is an older ship built in the 1930s and destined for the scrapping yard. Funny, but it certainly didn't look like an old ship to me. It looked more like a relatively current vessel as they were using stock shots of some (relatively) modern liner. Could they not have found footage of an older ship for those long exterior shots? It also would have been easier to overlook if they hadn't shown what looked like a (then) modern looking bridge.

As for the werewolf the make-up/costume was poor. They might have gotten away with it if they'd kept him in shadow, but we saw him in the light and it looked really cheap and unfinished. They also pretty much ignored all the fuss among the passengers if they'd heard prolonged periods of gunfire above decks.

This wasn't horrible, but it just felt rather cobbled together. It started out creepy enough with reference to a family of five, including two children, being attacked and horribly mutilated. But after that the story veers into mostly comedy and next to no tension or drama.


"Firefall" ***

People somehow connected to a symphony conductor are bursting into flames.

A definate X-Files feeling to this story. Indeed I think The X-Files actually did a story about people dying by spontaneous combustion. While this isn't an awesome episode it's a step up from "The Werewolf" because of the weirdness factor. There's some definite WTF sense to it.


"The Devil's Platform" ****

People connected to a politician running for state senator are meeting untimely deaths.

This one gets back to form. Everywhere Kolchack goes there's a large black, menacing dog. But I'm still not sure if the dog was meant to be the devil incarnate himself or it was actually the politician transforming into the form of a dog. But the dog's amulet seemed to be the source of its power and once destroyed rendered it powerless.

Nice eerie feel to this story.
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