Monday, February 20, 2017

Episode 2: The Night Strangler

Reporter Carl Kolchak's second reported encounter with the supernatural, The Night Strangler, was broadcast on the night of January 16, 1973.

Chris Stachiw and Mike White discuss The Night Stalker and the character of Carl Kolchak (Darren McGavin). Written by (and later adapted for a novel by Kolchak creator Jeff Rice), the made-for-TV movie was directed by Dan Curtis (Dark Shadows).

Special Guest: Amanda Reyes, editor of Are You In The House Alone?: A TV Movie Compendium 1964-1999.

Buy The Night Strangler on DVD
Listen to the Made for TV Mayhem podcast
Visit The Kolchak Tapes Facebook page
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Music by John Walker, Robert Cobert, Gil Milles

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  1. Guys, the last episode (?) of your podcast, just dropped. So, it seems a little late in the day to comment about the second episode, but I’ve been loyally working my way through the whole program, and I’ve enjoyed your insights, infighting, and special guests immensely. Really good work, and there is very little you threw out there which I would not agree with, or at least respect our…divergence of opinions.
    That’s why I find myself still thinking about this particular episode. You were both weirdly hard on “The Night Strangler,” hell, its maybe the second-best Kolchak ever. But, well, to each, however wrong, his own, I guess.
    I take offence with your weirdly churlish offence at the Space Needle elevator scene though. That is one really funny, blessedly non-pc bit of black comedy. You probably don’t know that Alfred Hitchcock used to do this same stunt in elevators, before he became so famous that people would recognize him. He would describe committing a particularly gruesome murder in this claustrophobic little box -- just to make people squirm. I’m sure that Richard Matheson, who worked with Hitch, would have known about this too. I hope that two of them had a good laugh over it. And the bit is as perfect for Kolchak as for Hitchcock. It shows that Carl is, as one of you put it so well, a “loveable, antagonistic dick.” He doesn’t care who he insults or how grotesque he appears. The guy paddles his own canoe, God bless him. The bit where he teases the lesbian couple is the same thing. We might find it offensive, but its called characterization.
    I’m gonna miss you guys. This has been one hell of a program.

    1. Thanks so much for being one of the few folks to comment! We've got two more episodes to go (as of right now). Keep listening! :)