Monday, August 10, 2015

Made for TV Movies: The Night Stalker

Welcome back to Rotten Reelz Reviews and to Day 1 of Made For TV Movie Week.
This time around I chose a TV movie that brought us a fun supernatural mystery series a year later. Our story is based on the novel by Jeff Rice The Kolchak Papers. His agent Rick Ray felt the manuscript would make an excellent movie. This is The Night Stalker.

Think I just stepped in something.

With alongside Jeff Rice, novelist Richard Matheson (I Am Legend, The Twilight Zone, Being, Ride the Nightmare and Duel) working with director John Llewellyn Moxey (Horror Hotel, Sanctuary of Fear, The Mating Season, Killjoy, Magnum, P.I., and Murder, She Wrote) as we follow the story of Carl Kolchak (Darren McGavin of Dr. Kildare, Gunsmoke, The Outsider, The Death of Me Yet, Kolchak: The Night Stalker and A Christmas Story) a brilliant reporter with a very abrasive personality that has surprisingly giving him his walking papers 10 times from large and big-city papers to reducing him to working for a small ragtime paper in Las Vegas. Our flick opens with a shabby hotel room dictating a book into his tape recorder. The book depicts of a gathering of unexplained events in Las Vegas including a cover up of said events by the authorities.

A series of murders seem to effect the Las Vegas Strip, Every victim has been found completely insanguinated (completely drained of blood) which the rags dub it vampire attacks. His boss Tony Vincenzo (Simon Oakland of I Want to Live, Psycho, West Side Story and Bullitt) while sleazy and cantankerous but the story is there. Kolchak is quite worried about his girlfriend Gail Foster (Carol Lynley of The Cardinal, Another World, Bunny Lake Is Missing, The Poseidon Adventure, The Cat and the Canary, Willow B: Women in Prison and Balboa) who works at night as a dancer. While he tries to persuade her to quit her job but of course being a whishy-washy male he does not offer his hand in marriage because that whole tying down seems a bit too much work to combat with his love of the stories.

Ahh Gypsies!!  Run!!

At the behest of his girlfriend, Kolchak begins looking into the lore of vampirism with great skepticism but cannot help seeing the pattern. Unbeknownst to Kolchak but known to the audience a little pow pow the sheriff (Claude Akins of Rio Bravo, Movin' On, Battle of the Planet of the Apes, Murder, She Wrote, The Curse and Pushed Too Far) the D.A. (Kent Smith of Cat People, The Curse of the Cat People, The Spiral Staircase and Peyton Place) and Chief Masterson (Charles McGraw of Adventures of the Falcon, The Defiant Ones, Spartacus, The Birds, Perilous Voyage and The Killer Inside Me) discussing how best to follow up this potential suspect Janos Skorzeny (Barry Atwater of General Hospital, A Time Out of War, Sweet Bird of Youth, The Night Stalker, The Rockford Files and F.I.S.T.) back tracking for years. The cops attempt to stop Janos from raiding a hospital of blood while giving chase and gun blasting away at him.

While still scoffing at the notion of vampires, Kolchak gets the whole vibe that something truly supernatural is on the rise that Janos might actually be a vampire. This being slapped away the police that Kolchak convinces the cops that Janos a real monster.

This film is dark, clever with humorous content. This film gives us a thriller with no gore splattering and caking the walls and no heaping amounts of profanity to speak of at all. A story of good vs evil that all ages can enjoy and I cannot help but praise it.

That fella has a bit of an overbite.