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Kolchak: The Night Stalker

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Robert Saccone, Jul 26, 2005.

  1. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Yep, it would be a day-one purchase for me. I still revisit the DVDs with pleasure, but to lose those flippers and have the shows in high def would be a dream come true.
     
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  2. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    Kino got the rights to the 2 films via their deal with ABC/Disney. The TV series is owned by Universal. Kino doesn't have a deal with Universal. Mill Creek or maybe Shout would be the ones to release the series if it gets an upgrade.
     
  3. Radioman970

    Radioman970 Lead Actor

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    me too. this would be my third time since the first was pirate booty. I shipped it back to them on a dinghy though...
     
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  4. The Obsolete Man

    The Obsolete Man Cinematographer

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    Assuming there are HD masters and Uni was amenable, a Kolchak set on Blu from Mill Creek would probably be dirt cheap since it's only, what, 20 episodes?
     
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  5. Darby67

    Darby67 Screenwriter

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  6. Radioman970

    Radioman970 Lead Actor

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  7. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    The original Night Stalker TV movie is brilliant because of the underlying attempt to evoke some authenticity. That for me is the reason why the concept just didn't work as a series because what was scary and shocking once can become boringly predictable every week.
     
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  8. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Producer

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    I agree. It should have been kept as maybe once a year TV movies. It didn't work as a series and also the other problem was Darren McGavin took over the whole show and Dan Curtis was not involved in the series. There was a script for a third Kolchak movie which unfortunately never came to be.

    Speaking of shows which should have not been series, V would also be in that category. As a mini-series, it worked, especially the first one, which Ken Johnson helmed. Never should have tried to do it on a weekly basis.
     
  9. Darby67

    Darby67 Screenwriter

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    I completely agree, Jack; the monster-of-the-week format did wear thin. A great reference book on the telefilms and the series is Mark Dawidziak's The Night Stalker Companion: A 25th Anniversary Tribute.
     
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  10. Mr. Handley

    Mr. Handley Supporting Actor

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    Wow, you guys are harsh! As an 8-9 year old kid back then, I thought the weekly series was great! Even viewing it thru my eyes today, it still holds up. The by-play between the regular cast members was a lot of fun. Yes, there was a formula, but you could say that about nearly every weekly series made at that time!
     
  11. GMBurns

    GMBurns Second Unit

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    I was 13 at the time of the series and it scared the heck outta me at the time. Now watching it, the "monsters" are a tad cheesy, but Darren McGavin is still so much fun to watch. I have loved revisiting the series, watching late at night, and remembering how it creeped me out back then.
     
  12. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    I admit, my first exposure to it was solely on DVD. Maybe from week to week in real time it would have been different for me but in binge watching as I do with a lot of shows, it just revealed its flaws more. How many times can you keep giving us the same formula of Kolchak being an irritant, having his comedy sparring with Vincenzo and Updyke, always being distrusted by the police, always losing the evidence? I think what the show needed to do was throw the occasional curve like having one week Kolchak discover a hoax because if you mix that in, then the audience won't know what to think necessarily and then when the real monster comes it can be more effective (this is also I might add why I was unimpressed by X-Files the one time I tried to sample that show).
     
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  13. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    I'm pretty sure I remember Johnson telling the story that when the weekly series was tanking, Brandon Tartikoff came back to Johnson and admitted "you were right." Of course, I think Tartikoff was also asking Johnson to come in and save the show, but at least he admitted it.

    Another show I'd add to that list: the original Battlestar Galactica. The original plan was a once-or-twice yearly 6-hour mini-series. ABC got greedy and, the rest is history.
     
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  14. Ron Lee Green

    Ron Lee Green Supporting Actor

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    This show scared me as a kid. I was about 8 when it aired originally. I think it may have been my first exposure to horror. I remember my school teacher being mortified when I told her I watched it. Very atmospheric at the time. Good soundtrack. Good camera work. As an adult, not so much. Maybe I'm jaded. I've watched a lot more horror since then.
     
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  15. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    Which is exactly why I don't binge watch. I find cramming in multiple episodes at once greatly diminishes my enjoyment of nearly any show as it doesn't give you time to think about each episode and digest like watching 1 a day or 1 a week does. Episodic serialized shows are an exception but even with those I would never watch more than 3-4 a day. If its not a serialized show it was intended to be seen once a week. Movie serials are another great example they were intended to be seen 1 chapter a week and they work great that way. I usually add a chapter of a serial a couple cartoons, a short and 2 B movies for a nice Saturday or Sunday afternoon. I couldn't image watching an entire serial at once. Just way too repetitive that way. I'm bored after 2-3 chapters. Just my 2 cents.
     
  16. Mr. Handley

    Mr. Handley Supporting Actor

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    I've never been a binge watcher either. For one, I don't have the time. I like to watch my "regular" shows on a once-a-week basis.
     
  17. Reggie W

    Reggie W Producer

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    Don't recall if I posted this before but there is an ongoing series of podcasts about this series and the films and the 1997 series Night Stalker where they updated the show here:

    http://www.kolchaktapes.com/

    For anybody that is interested.
     
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  18. mattfire64

    mattfire64 Stunt Coordinator

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    For me personally Kolchak is the perfect mix of horror and comedy. Not every episode is perfect, but you can't help but love the back and forth banter between Darren McGavin and Simon Oakland, and the numerous recurring quirks of the series (Carl's run-ins with the police chief of the week, The ineptness of Ron Updyke and Ms. Emily at the desk next to Kolchak's) often help out the episodes as well. Keep in mind however that this is coming from somebody who can get the same amount of enjoyment out of an episode of Lost In Space as an episode of Star Trek. :D

    I find that binge watching any series made before the term was invented (really the last five years or so) is never really a good idea for the reasons that Randy mentioned earlier. On the other hand, I find the pacing of many more recent TV series to be dreadfully slow (I'm looking at you Walking Dead), and these shows almost seem to be written with the concept of watching three episodes at once instead of one. If I have more time for TV watching, then I'll pick out an episode from a different series to watch. I get more enjoyment out of grouping several series to watch together instead of focusing on just one show.
     
  19. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    Once a week on DVD would for me defeat the purpose of why I enjoy having shows on DVD. It's not that I only binge watch, but I like the fact I have the freedom to watch more than one episode at a time and Kolchak came out at a time (2005) when there was comparatively less classic TV on DVD available to watch and as a consequence it was not going to be something I would expose myself to in small doses.

    There was also another reason I had to binge watch when this came out. The series was released on that dual sided format and that was a point in time where it seemed like EVERY Universal double-sided set I was buying would freeze up on me. And that meant I would buy something, see a freeze up, exchange it and then force myself to practically watch EVERY episode again to make sure all was "safe" with this particular set. So that also in a way overexposed me to it at that point but I really feel ultimately had I watched it at a slower pace, I think my main point about how the show was too predictable to be scary would have still been borne out. If I know there's going to be a monster right away instead of being challenged to think "could it really be true?" like the original TV movie posited with understatement and that every episode is going to follow the same pattern, then my capacity to be scared just isn't going to be there.

    To offer another example in another genre, I've been revisiting another one season Universal 70s series "Ellery Queen" of late, and I've been struck by how the show holds up so well not just because of the great presence and interaction of its stars Jim Hutton and David Wayne but because in doing the mysteries, the show made sure to be diverse in its possibilities. Sometimes the killer turned out not to be one of the top billed guest stars but a seemingly insignificant back end of the credits character proving that when Ellery challenges the viewer, the "Maybe it was someone else" could sometimes be true. The show made sure the mysteries themself weren't predictable based on who was a bigger name etc.
     
  20. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    If its a 4 K restoration why not put it on 4K as well
     

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