50 Years of Kolchak: A Legacy

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by cooleddie74, Jan 12, 2022.

  1. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Punk Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    On the bus
    Disappointing.
     
  2. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Location:
    Behind Enemy Lines
  3. Foxhot

    Foxhot Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Location:
    foxhot
    The Kolchak/Vincenzo dialogue in the show isn't bad, but in the TV movies it's spectacularly epic. Which is how it should be, sir, because we are TALKING about the NEWWWWWWWSSSSSS!!!!!!!
     
    RJDiogenes and Starkers like this.
  4. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    I actually just saw this for the first time a few months ago, I had been hearing about it for years, but never saw it until I caught it Saturday nights on MeTV or Cozi. Sadly it was on to late for me, and I never made it all the way through an episode, but I did like what I saw. I might have to see if I can find it on a streaming service and watch it that way.
    EDIT: And it's not a streaming service, but it is on the NBC website.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2022
    cooleddie74 likes this.
  5. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Escaped from Delta Vega
    I watched the original when it premiered, and its semi-documentary approach, with very realistic reactions (including denial of the supernatural) made it absolutely riveting...and horrifying. Up to that time, no vampire film or TV series had ever placed the vampire in so realistic a setting (aside from some plots from Dan Curtis' own Dark Shadows soap opera), with the creature triggering the very kind of panic the film's district attorney character Paine (Kent Smith) breathlessly argued against causing by the media reporting that law enforcement was looking for a real vampire.

    Only ABC seemed to be shocked by the breakout, then-historic success of the film. For everyone else who watched it, they could not stop finding enough descriptions about how frightening and effective The Night Stalker was. Its one of the best horror (in general) and vampire films ever produced.

    The sequel--The Night Strangler was only similar to its predecessor in that a strong, shadowy man killed several women, but the comparisons ended there, with the antagonist--despite being a serial killer--was played as someone deserving of a bit of sympathy, as expressed by Kolchak with his "that's all you'll ever have" remark about Dr. Richard Malcolm's life extensions. Of course, Kolchak, never allowing sympathy to be confused with what he won't give--a sense of absolution to Malcolm--destroys the Erlenmeyer flask containing the serum--sealing his own fate be damned.

    Unlike so many fantasy productions, where there's next to no believable characterization when the leads are on downtime, or not directly involved with the main plot, TNS built the relationships between Kolchak and Tony, Louise Harper and even added dimension to his head-butting with Captain Schubert. TNS had that rare distinction of being a sequel almost as great as the original entry.

    The TV series...well, enough ink and keystrokes have been dedicated to its shortcomings ("monster of the week" plots, Dan Curtis not being involved with the series, etc.), but KTNS--for so short a run--had a few episodes that were worthy of its legacy peppered across that season, such as "Mr. R.I.N.G.", "The Vampire", "The Ripper", "The Devil's Platform", "The Zombie", and "Horror in the Heights", to name a few, so the series could not fall into the "bad spinoff" category (see the TV end of the Star Trek franchise for details).
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2022
    cooleddie74 and J.T.B. like this.
  6. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2001
    Location:
    The Warped Sector of the Demented Quadrant
    For a failed series that ran just 20 episodes before cancellation it certainly feels like it accomplished so much more than other one-season shows that get the axe from the network and are never revived. Two hit TV-movies preceded it and the show was a major influence on the creation of one of the most popular sci-fi series in history, The X-Files. That's a pretty nice legacy for a relatively low-budget network monster and ghoul drama aired at around the same time as Richard Nixon's resignation from office.

    Plus: Darren McGavin. That man was sublime in the role.
     
  7. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Location:
    Behind Enemy Lines
    Oh McGavin was brilliant.
     
    Push The Button and TREK_GOD_1 like this.
  8. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2001
    Location:
    Mr. Adventure
    Due to this thread I actually watched Night Stalker movie the other day. Both movies are up on Youtube so they're easy to throw in the background. I'm not sure if I've seen the movie before or just the series. The vampire was so animalistic, we see a lot of sophisticated or sympathetic ones now that I forgot how straightforward the ones in that Hammer Christopher Lee vein could be. The dark final confrontation is pretty scary especially by the standards of the day, I can see why the movie had an impact.

    Not so sure about Kolchak's young blonde bunny girlfriend...
     
    cooleddie74 likes this.
  9. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Punk Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    On the bus
    My siblings and I loved this show as kids/teens. Thought it was the greatest thing ever. Not sure if 6-14 was the target audience though. :lol:
     
    J.T.B. likes this.
  10. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2001
    Location:
    The Warped Sector of the Demented Quadrant
    It showed the budgetary restraints of its day but it definitely pulled few punches with the Gothic grimness factor. No pretty descriptions of the way victims died or were assaulted and even though network TV in 1974 and 1975 couldn't show much gore and blood they effectively conveyed how vicious the entities and monsters were.
     
  11. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Hey, that's Carol Lynley you're talking about. Take that back. (She also portrayed the girlfriend of the title character in the pilot for the series "The Immortal".)
     
    Starkers and Forbin like this.
  12. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2001
    Location:
    Mr. Adventure
    Carol is fine but seems out of place within The Night Stalker.
     
  13. Foxhot

    Foxhot Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Location:
    foxhot
    Just another undesirable element to be cast aside for more telegenic types like Sheriff Butcher, Bernie and Vincenzo.:cool:
     
    Mr. Adventure likes this.
  14. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2001
    Location:
    The Warped Sector of the Demented Quadrant
    Vincenzo was more interesting, anyways. :)
     
    publiusr likes this.
  15. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Location:
    publiusr
    They should have had Kolchak on an X-Files episode, if only in the background.

    The only actor that could recapture Carl’s fast talking would be Bob Odenkirk. A limited series re-doing the scripts with modern effects and some tweaks.

    I can see Bob in that hat.

    More
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2023
    Mr. Adventure and cooleddie74 like this.
  16. Foxhot

    Foxhot Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Location:
    foxhot
    Certainly in the TV movies. All but one of his STALKER scenes are in the first half.
    My slightly younger best friend loved the show yet never got around to seeing the early epics until I dug out my VHSes of them. He even made it a habit of bellowing ''OUT!'' whenever I brought up terrorist parakeets or other outrageous ideas.

    Mike liked Simon Oakland except for one moment. Halfway through the WEST SIDE STORY ''Tonight'' number he recoiled in his chair when Oakland's cop suddenly appeared, fearing he was about to sing.
     
  17. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2001
    Location:
    The Warped Sector of the Demented Quadrant
    Vincenzo's screams at Kolchak became so famous in pop culture they made it into episodes of MST3K. :)
     
  18. Foxhot

    Foxhot Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Location:
    foxhot
    The first time I saw MST3K one of the regulars shouted ''Help me, Spock!'' like Surak. I never remembered why, or which episode.
     
  19. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2001
    Location:
    The Warped Sector of the Demented Quadrant
    "McCLOUD!!!"
    "HELP ME, SPOCK!!!"
    "KOLCHAK!!!"
     
    Foxhot likes this.
  20. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Location:
    Behind Enemy Lines
    I've been watching the first season of the X-Files again and the Tooms episodes are so reminiscent of the Night Strangler, though apparently that wasn't the basis for Tooms. I don't know, given Carter loved Kolchak so much it seems a heck of a coincidence.