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Kolchak: The Night Stalker (3DVD)

Darren McGavin , Simon Oakland    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 36.99
Price: CDN$ 31.44 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Kolchak: The Night Stalker (3DVD) + The Night Stalker/The Night Strangler (Midnite Movies Double Feature)
Price For Both: CDN$ 105.42

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Product Description

Amazon.ca

The acknowledged inspiration for The X-Files, and the basis for an updated 2005 network version, Kolchak: The Night Stalker was a short-lived 1974 series spun off from a pair of extremely popular made-for-TV movies about the supernatural adventures of dogged newspaper reporter Carl Kolchak (Darren McGavin). Though plagued by low ratings and critical brickbats, the show has cultivated a huge cult following over the past three decades, which has given rise to this three-disc set, which compiles all 20 episodes of the show. Though none of the episodic stories matches the suspense and writing strength of the Night Stalker or Night Strangler movies, TV horror fans will appreciate the parade of interesting and inventive monsters encountered by Kolchak (including a witches' coven in "The Trevi Collection"; an Aztec cult in "Legacy of Terror"; a Hindu Demon in "Horror in the Heights," which was penned by Hammer Films scribe Jimmy Sangster; and a headless biker in "Chopper," an episode deemed in extreme poor taste by Stephen King and co-written by Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, and Sopranos creator David Chase). McGavin is of course topnotch as Kolchak, and he's well-matched by Simon Oakland as his hot-tempered boss; guest stars include Scatman Crothers, James Gregory, Phil Silvers, Eric Braeden, Tom Skerritt, and Richard Kiel as the monster in two back-to-back episodes. Sadly, no extras accompany this fun collection of Kolchak's creepiest cases. --Paul Gaita

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HAVE I GOT A STORY FOR YOU ! May 29 2006
By The Critic TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This set is well done with nice artwork and individual slim cases for the DVD's, but completely lacking in bonus material. Sadly Mr. McGavin passed away in Feb/2006, so why didn't the studio interview him for the DVD release of this classic show when they had the chance. Any commentary from Darren McGavin or a look back interview from him would have been a welcomed addition to this set. Universal Studios just doesn't get it, including bonus material is another reason to buy these classic shows on DVD.

My only other gripe is that the two Kolchak movies should have been included in the set as well, to complete the entire series. This is the original Night Stalker and it definitely shouldn't be passed up at any price. Rumors about reviving this show have once again emerged, but like all classics they're often imitated and seldom duplicated.

Thanks to Universal Studios, the complete Kolchak "The Night Stalker" television series has finally been released on DVD. The video transfer is really decent and the 2.0 sound is pretty consistent and definitely better than I expected. All 20 episodes of this classic 70's TV series are spread out over 3 double sided discs and that's my only major complaint with this set.

Universal Studios should abandon the double sided discs and go with single sided discs even if it means adding a few more dollars to the price of the set. In a few of the episodes, some of the night scenes are very dark and sometimes it's hard to make out the images. I give this classic show five stars all the way for pure entertainment value. Darren McGavin in my opinion was the perfect choice to play the Kolchak character and he played it to perfection.

DVD Features Include:

Aspect Ratio: 1.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Night stalking Jan. 1 2006
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Expect to see "Night Stalker" return this fall in a new form, produced by the "X-Files'" Frank Spotnitz and starring Stuart Townsend. But in all probability, it won't measure up to the original series of "Kolchak - The Night Stalker," a witty short series that has gained cult appeal. At best, it will have its work cut out for it.
In the mid-1970s, after a pair of hit TV movies called "The Night Stalker" and "The Night Strangler, "Kolchak - The Night Stalker" debuted. It reintroduced us to Carl Kolchak, a threadbare reporter who is working in Chicago. He also has a tendency to bump into ghoulies, ghosties and things that go bump in the night.
In this series, Kolchak encounters a harrowing series of problems: Kolchak battles bizarre aliens and "missing link" primates; a series killer may be Jack the Ripper; a call girl returns from the dead; a malevolent doppelganger is causing people to burn to death; and voodoo zombies, haunted armor, succubi, werewolves, demons, killer robots, ghosts and gods.
The supernatural is everyday on TV now, with several series (past and present) focusing on everything from A (animals) to Z (zombies). But "Kolchak - The Night Stalker" has the advantage of being the grandaddy of them all, with a fresh outlook and plots that owe nothing to anyone.
While the horror parts can be a bit campy, the originality of its plotlines can't be denied. Sure, it mines everything from Aztec gods to voodoo. But it also comes up with plots that no legend could come up with, such as the idea of Helen of Troy still alive and beautiful, and sucking the youth from modern young men. It's brilliant.
It also has what few supernatural series have: a sense of humour.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic and fun!!! May 19 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I haven't seen this series or the two previous films since they ran in the '70s. Mostly I had a memory of enjoying them, but little memory of specifics. I'm so glad I took a chance and ordered this set. It was a wonderful revisit of a very cool show. I might even appreciate it more now then I did as a teenager. To me it seems hardly to have aged even if I can see some dated aspects in it. The series hit a wonderful balance of charm, quirky humour and creeping you out. And it's easy to see how this inspired the creation of The X-files twenty years later---there are a lot of similarities in concept and even some stories. Most of the twenty episodes I rate Good to Excellent. The few disappointments are not not bad, but only not quite as good as the rest.

The only real disappointment is the lack of extras and that the discs are double sided. What really should be done is a proper remastering as well as inclusion of the previous two made-for-TV movies all in one package. That would be the proper way to celebrate this wonderful show.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A trip back in time... still a fun ride :) Feb. 29 2012
Format:DVD
I bought this series a few months ago due to a 'night shift' chat with a colleague where we were trying to stay awake by remembering some of those great old time tv shows which we really enjoyed watching when we were kids. 'Kolchak: The Night Stalker' was one that really got the conversation going. Surprisingly, Amazon.ca had it so I went for it. It was a little pricey for such an old series but I was excited to see an old 'kid' favourite so I went for it.
When I got the package, I found that one of the DVD's came off it's mount and got scratched up but it played okay. This in not the best transfer I've seen and at times I had to replay parts that my player had skipped over but when I played it again it seemed to work fine. Hmmm.
That being said, I had a lot of fun going back in time watching these 1970's episodes which revealed just how far we've come 'culturally' with respect to multi-cultural sensitivity and strength of story. The story lines are simple about werewolves, vampires, aliens, voodoo, etcetera taken from classic horror stories of the past and all were told in a cheesy, tongue in cheek way which made my colleague and I laugh out loud when we saw them again 40 years later. It's kinda like watching the movie Rock Horror Picture Show... if you're looking for a straightforward 'scary' story... this it not it. But, if you want to take a trip back in time where all the current social taboos were not even considered when these episodes were written then you should enjoy it as a 'tv time capsule' item.
Darin McGavin's (Carl Kolchack) and Simon Oakland's (Tony Vincenzo) interactions as a press writer with his editor is fantastic and really keeps the fun alive in between the story lines and the rest of the cast also adds quite a bit to the enjoyment of this series as a whole.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent version. I really missed this show (it was ...
Excellent version. I really missed this show (it was my favourite as a kid).
McGavin is one-of-a-kind and Carl Kolchak is an Everyman's hero.
Published 1 month ago by Gordon Tebbutt
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest tv shows
Kolchak is without doubt one of my favourite tv shows. I used to see it in reruns as a kid and just loved it. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Keith Little
1.0 out of 5 stars Defective!
Unfortunately, the DVDs in this set are defective and would not play on any machine that I tried. I hope that they will be re-released sometime later.
Published 5 months ago by Larry M. Stewart
5.0 out of 5 stars Spooky!
Kolchak investigates all sorts of scary goings-on - from Dracula to zombies. He's always getting in trouble with his editor, it's funny and suspenseful!
Published 6 months ago by Joeen Melchiorre
5.0 out of 5 stars Plain old Fun !!!
Great to see old fashion entertainment rather than reality stuff. Although discs double sided each was packaged separately in protective case so they are well protected for... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Wayne Burnie
4.0 out of 5 stars The Night Stalker
Very good series from the 70's! Its too bad it only lasted one year on TV. Darren McGavin plays his role well!
Published 14 months ago by Anne Bruno
5.0 out of 5 stars The best campy and fun horror story going
This is the stuff of "real" monsters and such. Never mind all that super supernatural find out what a real person would do if they came across these monsters.
Published 18 months ago by Mike Benett
3.0 out of 5 stars Cheap looking copies
So far the picture quality is fine. I was however quite suprised to find unlabeled DVD disks in the case when I opened it up. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Digdug
5.0 out of 5 stars love it
My husband is a big fan. I know its an much older program but when his face lit up when he saw the box. It was well worth the price paid. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Susan Comeau
5.0 out of 5 stars Great period entertainment
Younger viewers might find this product lame , but for people that were there the first time around it is great to see this again. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Big Bill
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