View Full Version : say it aint so kolchak
07-05-2005, 10:22 PM
i just saw an advertisement on tv for an upcomming new tv series. "The night Stalker". They even said it starred carl Kolchak as a reporter trying to figure out the unexplainable. They had to go and butcher one of the few remaining tv shows i enjoyed in my youth. Nothing will ever top the original. You can't replace darrin mcgavin.
I guess it can battle the new "kojack' for the bottem of the ratings list.
07-06-2005, 01:00 AM
Now, if the Hollyweird-ites can find someone to replace hulking Clink Walker in a brand new version of "Kodiak," they'll have a trifecta: Kojack, Kolshak, and Kodiak, "KKK" -- whoops, scratch that.
"The Night Stalker" remains one of the top guilty favorites from my youth. My pick for the best episode is "The Werewolf," which took place on a cruise ship. I never would have come up with the tactic of chasing the sunset with the boat in order to keep nightfall from bringing out the wolfman again.
The first movie remains one of the best made-for-TV efforts ever. PeteLeo.
07-06-2005, 09:08 AM
Not to mention one of Larry "Frank Burns" Linville's few extant dramatic roles! And the great Simon Oakland in one of his patented P.O.'ed boss roles. Not to mention the delectable Carol Lynley! I was a bigtime Kolchak fan. I guess it's sort of "hip" nowadays since the X-Files plundered it for its basic premise. All I can say is, where were the geeks back in the day when McGavin & Co. were getting cancelled for low ratings????
I have "The Night Stalker" and "Night Strangler" Kolchak TV movies on DVD, and they still hold up!
Maybe they can remake "Kodiak" with John Kruk in the title role!
07-06-2005, 09:09 AM
Man, guys: thanks for that.
Wonderful memories of McGavin-he played that role to the hilt, didn't he?
Oakland was perfectly cast as the Bombastic BossMan wasn't he DC?
Carol Lynley; what a fox!
That show used to come on Friday Nights on ABC, and I thought it was the coolest show along with "Barretta" and "Starsky and Hutch".
Where did you pick those DVD's up of the show, BTW?
07-06-2005, 01:14 PM
I found the two movies in a DVD dbl pack recently at a local bookstore chain, so it should be pretty commonly available.
Lynley was a mega-fox. She had that "vulnerability" thing down pat like no one else!
The story was very novel for its time. (Wasn't it from Robert "Psycho" Bloch?) The screenplay of Night Stalker was a little clunky, due to the Movie of the Week format constraints (lots of exposition needed to fit the story into 90 minutes), but mostly it was pretty essential viewing. One of the few really original ideas in 70s TV.
07-06-2005, 03:28 PM
The writer of the original film (and thus the creator of Carl Kolchak) was Jeff Rice, a newspaperman who worked in Vegas and got the idea that -- with its 24/7 lifestyle -- a real vampire could exist in that particular society entirely undetected for as long as he was able to keep his bloodlust under control. I had a copy of the original (unpublished before the movie) novel called THE KOLCHAK PAPERS (or maybe it was THE NIGHTSTALKER PAPERS), but I lost it long ago during a move. Fun movie, fun series. PeteLeo.
07-06-2005, 08:16 PM
great supporting cast, especially vincenzo, who always had a bottle of malox always handy.
mcgavin had the look, hat, clothes, and cheap camera. You would always wind up yelling at the tv for him to get away instead of trying to get that one picture for his story.
I rememebr the one female vampire story. Usually no one sees the vampire except for the victim. But in this story, they had a squad of football players come upon her as she was feeding on one of their teamates.
In night stalker you always got the payoff. no glimpses of the monster in shadows. You always got the full face to face meeting between the monster and Kolchak. and that damn music...
10-06-2005, 01:46 AM
Well, it may have the "Kolchak" title, but it ain't Kolchak, if you know what I mean. Last week they didn't even give us a good view of the monster. Call it "X-Files Without Gillian" (though Gabrielle Union is pretty damned hot in her own right).
I'll give it at least one more viewing, but without the McGavin wit ("No, no, I'm not the one who wrote that about you in the 'papers, that was my cousin Myron Kolchak--") and the cheesy but somehow scary monsters, I can't see myself developing a long-term relationship with this new "incarnation." PeteLeo.
10-12-2005, 06:59 AM
I just watched tape of the series premier. what a joke. they should not have called it night stalker. First of all, the guy playing carl kolchak is about 30. Not near enough experience ,or salt, to even come close to darrin mcgavin. They should have called it "x-files, the early years". second of all, does every show make up for lack of story by introducing a hot chick in tight clothes? They also have a 3rd character who takes all the photos. Kolchaks boss is basicall perry white, not the maalox drinking vincenzo.
In the original, you had the great darrin mcgavin. He didn't need any sidekick or partner. He bribed coroners for photos, he scammed his way into crime scenes,he gave his boss ulcers, He actually did all the research and legwork. As for photos, who could forget that little camera with the magic cubes flash(remember those?!!) and the tape recorder. The music always had your nerves on edge as well as kolchak bumbling and stumbling to get away from the various creatures. The final confrontation always happened face to face. No creatures in shadows, you got to see the whole monster.
Gone is the dingy newsroom, now you have a modern building with big glass windows. Its amazing how when they enlarge things on computer screens, like the tracks in the photo backround, they become clearer instead of more distorted.
one last note, darrin mcgavin does a quick cameo in the new series pilot. He is a reporter standing near a desk which you see for about 1 second. Funny thing is, they either used a ton of makeup of digitally inserted an old image of him because he looks just like he did.
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