Oldskooler Ramblings

the unlikely child born of the home computer wars

October of Horror #5: The Night Stalker (1972)

Posted by Trixter on October 5, 2018


(For an explanation of what these posts in October are, see the parent post.)

Synopsis

News reporter Carl Kolchak covers a series of murders, and discovers a link between them that suggests the killer is imitating a vampire.  But when he witnesses the killer evading police, he sees things he cannot ignore, and comes to the conclusion that the killer might actually be a real vampire.  How do you convince the police department a real vampire is on the loose — and worse, how do you stop it?

Opinion

Originally a made-for-TV movie, The Night Stalker was something I’d hear about from time to time but never had a motivation for watching it until Dana Gould mentioned it on his podcast.  Based on that recommendation, I finally tracked down a pristine copy and watched it (sans commercials), which put it at a short movie length.

So how does it hold up today?  Very well!  The movie is populated completely with character actors (Darren McGavin, Claude Aikens, even Larry Linville before he was a staple on M.A.S.H.) and they all do a fine job.  The pacing is great; you’re never bored.  As an added bonus, the movie doesn’t shy away from an honest ending.

Recommendation

At only 1h15m, it’s definitely worth your time — and, if you ever have a need for such a thing, it’s appropriate for the family (no swearing, no nudity, and genuine tension without being disturbing).

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