DVD Review: The Night Strangler

By Kathryn L Ramage

Murder in Pioneer Square area

Both this movie and The Night Stalker are on the same DVD. I was originally planning to do both as one review, then cut it into two pieces at the last minute.

After the enormous success of The Night Stalker, a sequel was inevitable. This second movie aired on ABC in 1973, about a year after the first. The plot follows the same general outline as its predecessor: newshound Carl Kolchak investigates the bizarre murders of a number of women and discovers that the killer is a man with supernatural powers, but Carl has trouble getting the truth published due to the efforts of the city’s officials and his own newspaper’s management. But there are several differences that make me prefer this sequel to the original. First, the city where this second series of murders occurs is Seattle instead of Las Vegas, and the story makes use of an interesting historical attraction. And while I like movies about vampires and werewolves, I like it more when the monster is something a little more out of the usual.

In addition, the tone of this sequel is lighter, less cynical and more comical, and the story sets up tropes that will be part of the television series that eventually followed.

Like The Night Stalker, this movie begins with Carl Kolchak’s pithy narration describing the late-night murder of a young woman who worked as an exotic dancer (not a stripper; she and the other girls who work at place called Omar’s Tent wear outfits like Barbara Eden’s from I Dream of Jeannie) under the stage name of Merissa. As Merissa walks through the darkened streets of the Pioneer Square area, the oldest part of Seattle, a cadaverous-looking man leaps out of the shadows to throttle her. Police will find her with her neck broken …read more

Source:: The Northlands

      

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