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  Night Strangler, The
Year: 1973
Director: Dan Curtis
Stars: Darren McGavin, Simon Oakland, John Carradine, Jo Ann Pflug, Scott Brady, Wally Cox, Richard Anderson, Al Lewis, Margaret Hamilton
Genre: Horror, TV MovieBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: "The Night Strangler" moves Kolchak to Seattle where a chance encounter with former boss Vincenzo bags him a job on the Daily Chronicle. Kolchak's first assignment concerns the murder of a belly dancer; a fatality that, as usual, is accompanied by suppression of forensic details: in this
particular case, official cause of death is strangulation. As the murders continue, Kolchak discovers each victim had her neck not just broken, but crushed, with a residue of rotting flesh - found on each corpse - suggesting the killer is a dead man. Aided by a Chronicle research assistant, Kolchak strives to uncover the identity of an alchemist who claims six victims every twenty one years.

"The Night Strangler" has several ties with its illustrious predecessor: another Matheson script; Dan Curtis again involved (this time in the dual role of producer and director); Simon Oakland returning as Vincenzo and obviously relishing the extended bouts of comedic interplay with McGavin. A detailed comparison may possibly conclude "The Night Stalker" to be the superior offering - at least, in terms of a tighter screenplay - but "Strangler" does boast a rather splendid Bava-esque finale, set in Seattle's underground caverns, that will surely prompt you to raise a glass in appreciation of a real tv treat. Oh, and do look out for John Carradine as Vincenzo's boss - a nice little cameo that is guaranteed to keep you guessing.
Reviewer: Steve Langton

 

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