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Kolchak: The Night Stalker

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

  1. Radioman970

    Radioman970 Lead Actor

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    I was staying up to watch a Barretta or Columbo or something on the late mystery movie one night and Night Stalker appeared instead on our huge 25" (!!!!) Sylvania ... Curses, no remote! But I broke the sound barriers stuffing off, skiping up 2 flights of split level stairs, and leaping under the covers. Still a mystery to NASA why a space shuttle re-entered just over a suburb in GA and disappeared!!! Boom!! :D



    No binging for me either. Not easy, just yesterday I watched season 3 ST Next Gen, "The Enemy"... was so good I wanted more but didn't. Just one.

    Not too much...
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    In my opinion, Ellery Queen sits atop all of the mystery series of the 1970s and 1980s and that includes Columbo. Intricate mysteries that aren't the least bit predictable or obvious, superb guest stars, fine period production, and two top-billed actors that have marvelous rapport. The fact that it only got one season means they didn't run out of ideas or have to result to a tried-and-true formula for the solutions. This is one show that never dumbed down its mysteries for the audience. Maybe that's why it didn't catch on, but it certainly stands the test of time now.
     
  3. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    The ultimate proof that they didn't run out of ideas is the fact that there were a number of unfilmed EQ scripts that Universal recycled for other shows like the deservedly short-lived "Eddie Capra Mysteries", and then most notably the "Murder She Wrote" episode "Adventure Of The Grand Old Lady" which was one of those "Jessica introduces a story about another detective" tales that in this case took an unused Queen script and changed the names of Ellery, Inspector Queen and Simon Brimmer to new but very similar characters to the point that EQ fans can clearly hear lines meant for the cadences of Hutton, Wayne and Hillerman (even the late 40s setting was retained)

    I think EQ and "Columbo" are the perfect yin and yang to each other in giving us similar template characters but letting one chart its own course in the "how does he find out how he did it?" while the other is the traditional "whodunnit". And its no coincidence that the men behind Columbo were also responsible for EQ.
     
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  4. Darby67

    Darby67 Screenwriter

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  5. Mr. Handley

    Mr. Handley Supporting Actor

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    Great news! Another flipper bites the dust!
     
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  6. Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    I just watched the new KL Blu of The Night Stalker, and it is a brilliant HD transfer! The new bonus features, on camera interviews with director John Llewellyn Moxey and composer Bob Cobert are both of great value, as both of these men retain vivid memories of the production. They're funny also. I sampled the new commentary by Tim Lucas and it seems to be very informative and interesting too. The Dan Curtis interview from the DVD has been ported over, of course. The booklet is a nice extra, although with a noticeable typo leading it off. The Sean Phillips art commissioned for these releases is beautiful. All in all, a wonderful edition from KL! I haven't yet had a chance to watch The Night Strangler, but I'm sure it is equally impressive.
     
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  7. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    I was put off a bit by the commentary on Night Stalker at first. I really think the commentator's obsession with dragging in current events of the day and focusing more on other things went way over the top (it caused him to ignore commenting on the brief appearance of Stanley Adams and his fame in sci-fi circles). I had to finally zip past that and finish it when he got back to the film itself though for the most part it wasn't new information for me since I have read the book by Dawidziak. He at one point refers to Carol Lynley's character as a prostitute but that's never been implied to me in the film (it may have been true in an earlier draft but not in the finished product), and he also gets silly when he reads something into the fact that part of the location filming shows Johnny Carson's name on a marquee and how that must have been groundbreaking just because Carson was NBC and the film was ABC. Uh, no.
     
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  8. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    A MAJOR face-palm gaffe by Tim Lucas in his "Night Strangler" commentary when recapping the career of Richard Anderson. He says Anderson played David Janssen's brother-in-law on "The Fugitive". So far so good but then he goes on to say, "The man ultimately responsible for his plight."

    It's really unfortunate when expert "commentators" make mistakes like this and reveal how film experts generally know very little about TV history. I noticed also in his recap of Wally Cox's career that he overlooks the thing that Cox was noted for at the time which was being a regular on "Hollywood Squares."
     
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  9. borisfw

    borisfw Screenwriter

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    If i remember correctly Kolchak's girlfriend was a prostitute in the book.
     
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  10. John Stell

    John Stell Screenwriter

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    That is correct. There's no doubt about it in the book. She is a prostitute in the movie too, although it's not as obvious. But recall DA Payne's closing line to Kolchak about kicking his girl out of LV. She's an "undesirable element. And we don't want undesirable elements in Las Vegas."
     
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  11. Rick Thompson

    Rick Thompson Screenwriter

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    All of this is why I never bother with commentaries. I just watch the film. And by the way, both Stalker and Strangler look great!
     
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  12. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    Hey is that book still available ?
     
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  13. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Supporting Actor

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    Only for expensive prices, it seems. The cheapest copy on Amazon goes for $99 plus tax and shipping:

    http://www.amazon.com/Night-Stalker-25th-Anniversary-Tribute/dp/0938817442/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1539093478&sr=1-1&keywords=the+night+stalker+companion

    The 25th Anniversary Edition was published in 1997, and is out of print. It's a very good book, but not THAT good. Too bad Mark Dawidziak couldn't re-release it in a cheaper Kindle version (ditto his Columbo book).
     
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  14. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Glad I bought it on first release. Kolchak: The Night Stalker is one of those series that I just couldn't get enough of after I saw it. No, only a few episodes are really first-rate, but I've watched them all countless times, first on Columbia House videotapes and then the DVD release, and that book I've devoured from cover to cover several times. Darren McGavin never fails to tickle me with his antics to get stories and pull the wool over everyone's eyes as he does what he wants.
     
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  15. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Supporting Actor

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    Yes, I'm very glad I got the book when it was still available, too. The two TV movies are far and away better, but love the series also. McGavin is just so good as Kolchak. Sure, the monster effects are often cheesy and many eps are too formulaic, but the tone is spot on and the show remains an always atmospheric and enjoyable watch. Would love to see a blu-ray of the series, but am doubtful it will happen.
     
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  16. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    With all this talk, naturally I pulled out my DVD set last night and watched a couple of episodes from the middle of the season: "Primal Scream" and "The Trevi Collection."
     
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  17. Richard V

    Richard V Cinematographer

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    Agree, both look great, but The Night Stalker looks a little "more better"
     
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  18. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    That's my opinion too.
     
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  19. Mr. Handley

    Mr. Handley Supporting Actor

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    Picked up The Night Stalker over the weekend and The Night Strangler is on its way. Hopefully I'll get some free time to dive in soon!
     
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  20. Nick*Z

    Nick*Z Supporting Actor

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    Both looked quite solid from Kino, but yes, The Night Strangler was just a tad 'less so'. Good stuff, though. If only the TV series that followed it had been even half as good.
     
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