Night Stalker

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Does anyone remember the old TV show back in the '70's called "Kolchak: The Night Stalker" starring Darren McGavin?  It only aired for one season, but it sure made an impression on me.

The show was about a reporter named Carl Kolchak, and he would investigate these stories where weird and strange things would happen.  One episode was about people dying of instant old age when they were in their 20's, another about victims being found with their blood drained.  Vampires, obviously.  This show, with its conspiracies, monsters, and generally scary things, was an inspiration for the X-Files.

I was 9 years old when the show started, and I remember watching it on TV and being scared absolutely to death.  I had nightmares at night after each episode.  One show, about a Hindu daemon that would assume the form of a trusted friend before eating a person, stayed impressed upon my mind over 30 years after I saw it.  It was that scary.

So for some reason, when I found that this series was available on DVD, I decided to buy it.  I've had it for a while here at the house, but had to work up the nerve to actually watch it.

One night, Catalina and I decided to sit down and watch the show.  She loves horror movies, and was curious.  I told her about how scary they were, and she was excited to see them.  So we watched the first episode, called "The Ripper". 

Things sure have changed since I was 9. 

The show was good, but scary?  I don't really think so...   Cat thought the show was okay, but she was expecting something scarier, and I was a bit disappointed as the show didn't live up to my imagination.   It just wasn't that spooky.  Not surprising I guess, I hope I don't scare now as easily as a 9 years old.  That would be scary...or sad.

And about the special effects.  Well... the was obviously from the '70's and as such, they were a bit cheesy.  Obviously guys in costumes.  Take the headless motorcycle rider episode.  It was apparent that the rider had the jacket up over his head and something sticking out the top to represent the spine.  The body proportions were all wrong, and it was easy to see.  Good effects perhaps for the time period, but after all these years of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, the Matrix type effects, they just don't compare. 

Obviously, I'm not the same as I was when I was 9, and times do change.  Cat and I have now watched most of the episodes, including the formerly ultra-scary Hindu daemon episode, and we did enjoy the shows.  However, they were a bit more comical than scary. 

Funny how memories work....

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