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Kolchak - The Night Stalker: Complete Series [DVD]
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Carl Kolchak (McGavin) is a reporter for Chicago's Independent News Service; a magnet for situations involving the supernatural. Kolchak turned his investigative skills to vampires, werewolves, zombies and all manner of legendary creatures.
The acknowledged inspiration for The X-Files, and the basis for an updated 2005 network version, Kolchak: The Night Stalker was a short-lived 1974 series spun off from a pair of extremely popular made-for-TV movies about the supernatural adventures of dogged newspaper reporter Carl Kolchak (Darren McGavin). Though plagued by low ratings and critical brickbats, the show has cultivated a huge cult following over the past three decades, which has given rise to this three-disc set, which compiles all 20 episodes of the show. Though none of the episodic stories matches the suspense and writing strength of the Night Stalker or Night Strangler movies, TV horror fans will appreciate the parade of interesting and inventive monsters encountered by Kolchak (including a witches' coven in "The Trevi Collection"; an Aztec cult in "Legacy of Terror"; a Hindu Demon in "Horror in the Heights," which was penned by Hammer Films scribe Jimmy Sangster; and a headless biker in "Chopper," an episode deemed in extreme poor taste by Stephen King and co-written by Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, and Sopranos creator David Chase). McGavin is of course topnotch as Kolchak, and he's well-matched by Simon Oakland as his hot-tempered boss; guest stars include Scatman Crothers, James Gregory, Phil Silvers, Eric Braeden, Tom Skerritt, and Richard Kiel as the monster in two back-to-back episodes. Sadly, no extras accompany this fun collection of Kolchak's creepiest cases. --Paul GaitaSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
It's full of comedy, drama, horror well just everything for everyone!
I'm not talking about the recent rehash but the original 1970's classic starring Darren Mcgavin.
For those who don't know this is the show spawned from two of the most successful tv movies ever made- 'The Night Stalker' and 'The Night Strangler' and is noted as the inspiration behind 'The X-Files'.
Only one season was made of this creepy series due to US networks reluctance (at the time) of providing a geniunely scary weekly tv show, favouring the bog standard cop shows of the time.
Each week Carl Kolchak, a reporter of a newspaper investigated supernatural cases involving vampires, werewolves, monsters and the like much to the bewilderment and frustration of his editor and the relationship between these two characters provided some comic relief in a show that once seen is never forgotten.
British tv at the time didn't know how to take it and only a few regions actually screened it. It wasn't until years later that the majority of the UK got to see it and even then it was treated unfairly. Shown by the BBC on 'Mystery Train' - a late night combination of this and horror films in general, presented by Richard O'Brian, the show hacked off half of the opening credits and dropped the closing ones completely for the first 6 or 7 episodes before it finally got the respect it deserved and even now not many people have seen the entire series and probably half the population still don't even know of its existance.
Having recorded 16 of the 20 episodes made and having seen each one countless of times I'm so glad that at last I'll be able to see the missing 4 from my collection and to have them all on DVD.
For those of you in the know I'm sure you are all looking forward to finally getting one of the most influential TV programmes ever made.
Reserve my copy now!!
I was expecting it to be a bit like revisiting somewhere you thought was huge when you were younger but find it's not nearly so big when you're an adult. However, I wasn't disappointed, it's just as good second time around.
Ok, so a few of the stories are a bit daft & pre CGI, the special effects are a sometimes very suspect but the acting is superb. Darren McGavin is brilliant as the scruffy but tenacious reporter Kolchak & the banter between him & Simon Oakland (who plays his editor) is hilarious. The fact that he lies, tricks people into doing things for him & rides roughshod through any rules & regulations just seems to make him more likeable - you know he's in the right & it somehow doesn't matter that he hasn't played totally fair to get to the bottom of each mystery (he is, after all, also protecting the general public)
Haven't seen them all yet - those we have, we watched on wintry Saturday afternoons. Very atmospheric. The clocks haven't even gone forward yet & I'm already waiting for October & the dark so we can watch the rest.
Despite the original TV movie The Night Stalker chalking up record ratings and a followup TV movie, the resulting weekly TV series featuring Darren McGavin's wisecracking old-school reporter now in Chicago and still driving editor Simon Oakland to despair as he invariably finds himself investigating crimes committed by various supernatural creatures - werewolves on ocean liners, zombie numbers runners, vampire call girls, Satanic politicians and devil dogs, spontaneous combustion and doppelgangers, headless bikers, Jack the Ripper, invisible aliens, shapeshifting medicine men, human sacrificing Aztec mummies, giant lizards, Helen of Troy, the odd succubus and other assorted boogey men and women - only lasted a single season before retreating into cult success in TV syndication. Yet for all that, it cast a long shadow: it's hard to imagine The X-Files ever existing if Kolchak hadn't got there first, while echoes of the episode Mr R.I.N.G., with its escaped robot developing consciousness and a strong survival instinct on the run from the `Tyrell Institute' that wants to kill him resurfaced in Blade Runner.
With original producer Dan Curtis and screenwriter Richard Matheson not returning for the series after a third TV movie fell through, there's a very noticeable drop in quality from the TV movies, made all the more apparent by the show kicking off with one of the weakest episodes (The Ripper), though the second, The Zombie, is a huge improvement and one of the series' highpoints.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good creepy episodes. Something I remember watching years ago and enjoyed. Trouble is no-one ever believed him.Published 2 months ago by derek fox
I`m old enough to remember this T.V. series. I am enjoying watching it again.. GREAT.Published 6 months ago by james
I have not started looking at this yet but I remember the series it was great a bit stagey but with humourPublished 7 months ago by Beardy61