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Film / The Night Strangler

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"They're not gonna kill this story. Not this time."

"This is the story behind the most incredible series of murders to ever occur in the city of Seattle, Washington. You never read about them in your local newspapers or heard about them on your local radio or television station. Why? Because the facts were watered down, torn apart, and reassembled... in a word, falsified."
Carl Kolchak, opening narration

The Night Strangler is a 1973 television horror film and a sequel to The Night Stalker, directed by Dan Curtis and written once again by Richard Matheson. Darren McGavin and Simon Oakland reprise their roles as Carl Kolchak and Tony Vincenzo, respectively, and are joined by Jo Ann Pflug, Richard Anderson, John Carradine, Wally Cox, Margaret Hamilton, and Scott Brady.

Some time after the events of the first film, Kolchak is hired by his former boss Tony Vincenzo to work at the Seattle newspaper The Daily Chronicle. Shortly after, a serial killer (Anderson) begins murdering belly dancers by strangling them to death. Sensing a story, Kolchak investigates and find that the killer is apparently immortal, killing women every 21 years. When the authorities refuse to listen, Kolchak enlists the help of belly dancer Louise Harper (Pflug) and shy researcher Titus Berry (Cox) to discover the truth and stop the killer.



  • Aborted Arc: The film ends with Kolchak driving Louise and Vincenzo, both of whom had been run out of town along with him, to New York, where he plans to get his story published. By the time of the series, Kolchak and Vincenzo are now working at INS in Chicago and Louise is nowhere to be seen. Louise’s absence is justified, since by the end she hated Kolchak for ruining her life. It is touched on again in an episode of the series, which reveals Kolchak secretly wants a job at a New York newspaper, and the short story Don't Even Blink mentions that Kolchak’s plan to go to New York was a bust.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Kolchak, Vincenzo, and Crossbinder all burst out laughing when Captain Schubert mistakes the word bifornicate for bicuperate and uses it in the middle of berating Kolchak.
    Schubert: What did I say?
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  • Ascended Extra: Vincenzo gets a lot more focus and depth here than he did in The Night Stalker, where he was just another authority figure giving Kolchak shit who barely appeared.
  • All There in the Manual: The novelization shows that Kolchak did actually manage to get his book published, but he had to go on the run from hitmen hired by the authorities back in Las Vegas to silence him, and he didn’t get any of the profits. The guy he yells at in the film who seems to be a publisher is actually a reporter who called him crazy, pissing him off.
  • Ax-Crazy: Richard Malcolm has clearly gone insane, and is violent and unhinged, and at one point is shown Hearing Voices.
  • Big Bad: Richard Malcolm, an immortal Serial Killer stalking Seattle.
  • Brainless Beauty: Charisma Beauty.
  • Bury Your Gays: Charisma Beauty is pretty blatantly gay, and she winds up murdered by Malcolm.
  • Cat Scare:
    • While exploring the Seattle Underground, Kolchak and Louise find a freshly opened bottle of bourbon, and the two suspect they have stumbled on the killer’s lair. Instead, it belongs to the Tramp, who is currently taking a nap.
    • Subverted later on by Charisma Beauty’s death, which is set up as one, only for it to turn out to actually be the killer.
  • Crazy Homeless People: Downplayed by the Tramp, an old homeless man living in the Seattle Underground, who comes off more as being a slightly senile and hungover idiot than flat out crazy.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Wilma Krankheimer is clearly unhappy that her girlfriend Charisma Beauty is a stripper, and often glares at anyone she believes is a customer coming to watch her show or solicit her for sex.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Kolchak, Vincenzo, and Professor Crabwell.
  • Disposable Vagrant: Kolchak finds the Tramp’s corpse hidden in Malcolm’s lair.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Subverted. Louise hates Kolchak, since him getting her involved in the investigation resulted in her getting run out of Chicago along with him. As she accurately points out, he ruined her life.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Malcolm, who keeps on a polite and civil act when talking with Kolchak, and is clearly ready to snap and murder him at any moment.