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.)


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?


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.


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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