The Night Stalker (1972) – movie review

the night stalker - pic 9

Top Television Horror Movies of the 1970’s

In the 1970’s the major networks began producing their own horror movies brought on by the success of the Dan Curtis’ TV film, Dark Shadows, and it‘s subsequent series. At this time period more than any other, horror flicks flourished on prime-time network television. I am going to review a bunch of these flicks. Each will be posted with my “TV Horror flick logo”

The Night Stalker (1972)top 1970's TV horror - small

kolchak--the-night-stalkerDirected by John Llewllyn Moxey
Starring
Darren McGavin
Simon Oakland
Carol Lynley
Barry Atwater

 

Dan Curtis and Richard Matheson teamed up to produce and adapt the Jeff Rice unpublished novel, The Kolchak Papers. Renamed The Night Stalker. It held the record in ratings for the most watched TV movie up to that time boasting a 54% Market share. Filmed for ABC, it was an entertaining vampire film with an outstanding protagonist in Carl Kolchak played deftly by Darren McGavin. I remember the vampire being highly active and having tremendous strength, different than vampires in films up to the time. It was a huge event to have a horror film on prime time TV and it made for active water cooler and school hall chatter for weeks. The finale where Kolchak enters the vampires lair to drive a stake through the vampire’s heart offers rich suspense and atmosphere as powerful as any major film. This film was followed by another made for TV film, The Night Strangler, and a TV series. Unfortunately, Curtis and Matheson were not part of the series which struggled for two years before being cancelled, but there are some fun episodes in the series nevertheless. The Night Stalker is a great movie and holds up well even to this day.

the night stalker - pic 2

 

related links:

The Night Stalker TV episode review
The Night Strangler review – coming soon

 

13 thoughts on “The Night Stalker (1972) – movie review

  1. Good review.

    I’ve watched both television movies, and agree with everything you wrote about “The Night Stalker.” I have gone through the television series about three times, and I also feel it is a shame that Curtis and Matheson weren’t involved with the series, but as you wrote, there are some fun episodes among the twenty that did air.

  2. Pingback: The Night Strangler (1973) – movie review | parlor of horror

  3. Pingback: Top Television Horror Movies of the 1970’s – Top Honors! | parlor of horror

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