Best Of / Worst Of “Kolchak, The Night Stalker” Character Moments.
Hey gang! As we wait for the next review to be posted, which is kicking off the series review for the Kolchak television episodes, let’s revisit our hero in his first outing.
Our post this moment is about his original vampire movie, “The Night Stalker”.
In our first film, our focus characters are: Carl Kolchak, Tony Vincenzo, Gail Foster, Sheriff Butcher, FBI Agent Bernie Jenks.
Our Characters Are Great!
Carl: Carl Kolchak saves a woman and kills a vampire: KUDO.
Tony: I’ve no kudos to hand over to Tony.
Gail: Ms. Foster is the one who prepares Carl to battle a real vampire by insisting that their killer, whoever he really is, has been following every stereotype of a vampire. It strikes her as logical that he’d follow vampire vulnerabilities as well, whether he’s a real vampire or not… meaning that Carl could find a crucifix helpful, etc. if he’s going to keep hunting down this psycho. And, she’s right. Half-KUDO for the open mind.
[Claude]: Our Sheriff doesn’t earn a kudo.
Bernie: I’m handing Bernie Jenks a KUDO for a last minute save of Carl’s life when the vampire had the reporter dead-to-rights.
I want to give Coroner [Larry] Makurji a Half-KUDO for reporting facts even when his bosses are displeased with them, and for pointing out that their having a man who thinks he’s a vampire is fully consistent with the physical evidence. He stands up for facts in evidence over political expediency or authority-mocking of the conclusions.
I’m handing a Half-KUDO to our Yellow-Dressed Anonymous Victim V, who had the awareness of her surroundings to not only not be snuck up on by her attacker, but to actual travel with an attack dog while the city is in the grip of this fear. She actually is proactive about staying alive! And then, when Carl comes to rescue her and Janos arrives unexpectedly to interrupt, she doesn’t start screaming at Carl for help while he hides, but plays along… being still and quiet to pretend she’s still helpless! I love her!
Our Characters Are Jerks!
Kolchak- I have to give Carl Kolchak a Half-DEMERIT for being a smug, sore winner when the authorities are finally ready to entertain his ridiculous vampire story. He really comes across as an ass and only makes things that much more difficult for himself.
Vincenzo- Vincenzo does earn a Half-DEMERIT for the lengths that he’s willing to go to in order to cooperate with the authorities, but to hiding facts from the public.
Foster- Gail doesn’t earn herself a demerit.
Butcher- County Sheriff Claude Butcher is entirely overly antagonistic to anyone not in the city authority’s pockets and comes across as spineless when things get serious. He receives a DEMERIT, and it feels so very good when the FBI takes jurisdiction of the case from him.
Jenks- Jenks deeply disappoints when he goes along with the cover up of the Skorzeny mess, but one can only think he’s getting direct instruction from on high. Still… I’m handing him a Half-DEMERIT.
I have a DEMERIT to hand to Yellow-Dressed Anonymous Victim V, alas. She only lives through her encounter by happenstance and being very lucky. While our vampire is busy strangling her attack dog to death, she stands in frozen fascination, watching. Her car is right there and she could’ve sped away [sorry, doggie…], but instead she gets herself nabbed and turned into a breathing pantry for our vampire. She is very, very fortunate that Carl intervenes or her fate would’ve been quite different.
I have a DEMERIT for the County DA and the other authorities who are so busy trying to hush up that there is a killer in town in order to cover business interests that they’re putting young women into the killer’s hands. I’ve zero respect for any of them, even aside from their not taking the “vampire or guy who thinks he’s a vampire” theory seriously.
I’m handing a DEMERIT to our vampire, Janos Skorzeny for dimwittedness. It’s already been shown that he’s a traveler, moving from location to location to keep out of authorities way when his killings start becoming too public knowledgey. So, why is the dipshit continuing to stay in Vegas when the jig is up? He has absolutely zero motivation for not getting out of the city, except Kolchak needs to stop him in the end. It’s just clumsy of him.
I have a DEMERIT to hand to the entire Media Establishment of Las Vegas who apparently have zero problems in covering up for serial crimes in their city, as long as it won’t hurt the tourist trade. The amount of people that is required for this conspiracy of silence and misdirection is appallingly frightening. SHAME ON YOU GUYS.
With the presumption of the FBI ordering Jenks to not reveal the truth about the supernatural killer in Las Vegas, I’ve got to hand them a Half-DEMERIT for allowing local authorities to bury the truth.