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Kolchak: The Night Stalker

1974 List
100% Tomatometer 5 Reviews 94% Audience Score 100+ Ratings
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Critics Reviews

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Bruce Fretts Entertainment Weekly Darren McGavin's disheveled newspaper reporter Carl Kolchak might not be as hunky as David Duchovny's Agent Fox Mulder, but he shares an equally paranoid obsession with the paranormal. Rated: B Oct 24, 2008 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy Despite lasting only one season, Kolchak: The Night Stalker gained a following over the years. Rated: 3.5/4 Oct 29, 2021 Full Review Charles Pulliam-Moore The Night Stalker presents its hero as a put-upon man wholly out of his depth in terms of the actual threat at hand, but his unfailing ability to use his eyes and piece metaphorical puzzles together gives him a decided leg up among his peers. Aug 13, 2020 Full Review Steve Dread Central Kolchak: The Night Stalker still stands tall as a true piece of Horror Americana, and rightly so. Rated: 4/5 Feb 1, 2006 Full Review Brian Thomas Now Playing Magazine [In Kolchak] the supernatural was taken out of gothic castles to prowl in the shadows of the real world. Rated: A- Oct 5, 2005 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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Trieva P One of my favorite shows as a child. It's very different from other shows of the time. The stories were scary and really interesting. The theme song is very cool and I love his scared look at the end of the intro. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 08/16/23 Full Review Audience Member I've read som very good things about this film and 70's horror is often very good horror so I gave it a go. There is a killer on the loose. Young women are found laying around Las Vegas, drenched for blood and with holes in they're necks. After the fifth murder or so the police finally listen to a journalist that think there's a vampire in town. It turns out he's right. He is tracing the murderer himself, just to get the real story. He get's up in the mix, plenty. An OK approach to the classic vampire thing. It's OK, but nothing more. Never scary, never impressive or really exciting - the killer is known for us way too early. It's on auto pilot and it's bringing nothing more than it needs too, but it does have some suspence at least. There is a follow up to this film, supposed to be almost as good as this one but I'm not sure if I will give it a peep. I liked the fact that this TV-film was short and not dragging, but there is not that much else here for me, sadly. 4.5 out of 10 jars of blood. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/17/23 Full Review Audience Member Ahead of its time in surprising ways, this influential series focuses on a reporter who's often involved in chasing murders of a supernatural nature. Kolchak is not well liked by the police or anyone in authority and most commonly finds himself blacklisted or persecuted. It's easy to spot the influence on the X-Files. Where Kolchak differs from Mulder is that he's only a reporter and has no actual authority to involve himself in crimes. This results in each episode requiring a lot more busywork to get to the plot. It's also fine with unrationalized monsters and doesn't really try to mess with the creatures' established formulae, making the resolution of the mystery less complicated. The government conspiracy is also halfbaked, and I'd argue that's an important element for a show like this to succeed. Isolated police departments apparently agree on a uniform coverup of any supernatural case just because they don't want people to think they're nuts. More than a little lame. Kolchak himself is charming, funny, rather rundown, and more than a little cocky. He's fun to watch and keeps the show grounded during even its largest flights of fancy. Performances are also good; excellent even, given that we're talking about a TV series from the '70s. Quality is much like a proper movie, one of those dark early '70s gritty crime dramas perhaps. With vampires. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/22/23 Full Review hardy c Yes there were episodes that sucked but even those were enjoyable, watching Kolchak battle Vincenzo and the cops along with the selected Monster of the Week. But when it shone, the Night Stalker illuminated the barren TV landscape with wit, imagination and a whimsical take on the typical horror genre. Perhaps, in the end, that's what doomed it; neither fish nor fowl, the dimwit network types couldn't pigeonhole it. Darren McGavin's Kolchak and his irreverent approach to journalism and authority gave the series an anti-hero that wasn't young, hip and good looking. In retrospect, the show never had a chance. But it still holds up well, 43 years later. My fave episodes were Horror in the Heights, Bad Medicine and Legacy of Terror. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member Stellar acting. Great stories with writing unlike anything before or after. Let the special effects be what they are, and you have one of the best TV shows of the 70s. Should have run much longer. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/05/23 Full Review Audience Member Stupid cheesy cheap. But I love it. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/05/23 Full Review Read all reviews
Kolchak: The Night Stalker

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Bernie Kopell