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January 11, 2017

Introducing: The Kolchak Tapes

Kicking off a new podcast series, The Kolchak Tapes, Kulture Shock's Chris Stachiw and The Projection Booth's Mike White discuss The Night Stalker and the character of Carl Kolchak (Darren McGavin).

Reporter Carl Kolchak's first reported encounter with the supernatural, The Night Stalker, was broadcast on January 11, 1972 to jaw-dropping ratings.

Based on a book by Jeff Rice and adapted by (I Am Legend), the made-for-TV movie was produced by Dan Curtis (Dark Shadows) and directed by John Llewellyn Moxey.

Special Guest: Professor Mark Dawidziak, author of The Night Stalker: A 25th Anniversary Tribute.

Listen/Download Now:

Buy The Kolchak Papers by Jeff Rice
Buy The Night Stalker / The Night Strangler on DVD
Visit Mark Dawidziak's blog
Buy Mark Dawidziak's Everything I Need to Know I Learned in the Twilight Zone: A Fifth-Dimension Guide to Life
Visit The Kolchak Tapes Facebook page
Subscribe to The Kolchak Tapes on iTunes

Music by John Walker, Robert Cobert, Gil Milles



  1. Wow, it’s been a great couple of weeks on “The Projection Booth”! First you did a great job on “The Thing”. I played it when I was head projectionist at a 2 screen movie theatre. It is a great movie and one of my top 10 of all time. I absolutely hated playing it to an almost empty theatre. Besides the unjustified negative reviews, I really didn’t think Universal did a good job of marketing it. Then again, everyone knew months in advance that E. T. would be the big summer movie. In my opinion, I believe Universal didn’t care that much about a horror movie in the summer when they knew they had the blockbuster of 1982. My theatre played E. T. as well and for 2 weeks both films played next to each other. I would have loved to get the T-Shirt and the Snow cone maker!!!! See the link below. Oh you are correct, Horror movies set in the snow should come out in the winter. Ghost Story is a great example of that.


    The Night Stalker was my favorite TV show hands down when I was growing up. I saw both movies and the TV show during their original run. I can’t overemphasize enough how much Universal Television ruled the seventies. Beside everything that had Glen A. Larson’s name on it, they made the best shows on TV at that time. Other great ones were, Ellery Queen (a criminally overlooked detective series that I think you would like), Columbo (one of your favorites) , and The Night Gallery (my second favorite show).

    As far as the VHS thing you were wondering about. I could only find the original Night Stalker movie at my local video stores. It wasn’t until the early 90s that you could get the TV show episodes on VHS and only through Columbia House as far as I could tell. Towards the end of the 90s you could finally get the second movie The Night Strangler of VHS. The DVD for the TV episodes is horrible with really bad transfers. This series should definitely be on Blu-Ray by now.

    I have “Night Stalking: A 20th Century Anniversary Kolchak Companion”. It’s the basis for the 25th Anniversary Tribute book. Its one of the few books I have read cover to cover. I look forward to your next episode “The Night Strangler”. It’s my absolute favorite of both movies and TV shows. It was also the one that they played the least when they would run repeats. Love your show!

    Jef Leppard

  2. Thought on Kolchak and the 1970s. These were the years of Woodward and Bernstein,crusading journalists. The TV movie, and Rice's book both tap into that image. Tho, the book predates it somewhat. Had the series played that angle up a little, subbing monsters for corruption, like the first movie did, it'd have had more teeth and more drama to hook an audience on.

  3. I am lucky enough to report that -- I saw this the night it premiered. Nothing scared me on television (at that point) as much as The Night Stalker did. (Well-- possibly Rod Serling's Night Gallery ). Needless to say, it was the "talk of the school" the next day !