The Good

The Bad

I had never heard of Kolchak: The Night Stalker until I was asked by MovieWeb to review it. I can honestly say that this is one of the best shows I have ever seen. It is about blunt, investigative reporter Carl Kolchak. Instead of covering people, he covers events of the supernatural. Whether he’s dealing with voodoo, zombies, ghosts or werewolves Kolchak is always Kolchak and that is what makes this show so great. If it was on the air today, the reporter would be damaged, or “have a past,” or just be messed up in some way that would explain his proclivity towards the “not normal.” Darren McGavin (the dad from A Christmas Story, yes you read that right) is brilliant as Kolchak. To look at him you’d never think for a minute he’d believe any of this stuff, yet he does and that is was what makes his character so great. He isn’t complex at all. He’s a mix of “Kojak” and Fletch.

Kolchak: The Night Stalker is a great show and I am so happy to have discovered it on DVD. I hear that they are making an updated movie version of this show, I certainly hope that the rumors are true. In this day and age of Constantine, we need somebody who does it right.

We need Carl Kolchak.


No extras came with this DVD box set.


Full Frame - 1.33:1. Hailing from 1974 (one year after I was born) this show is soaked in the time that it is taking place. There is nothing that special about the way Kolchak: The Night Stalker looks, it is just comfortable. The well composed shots, classical coverage and editing all come come together to give us a show that is both interesting and easy to follow. I just loved the way this thing moved. I also like that it didn’t let the “weird” subject matter dominate it’s look. This is a TV show that is very much steeped in the here and now, and Kolchak is definitely a man’s man. I would love to hang out with him, Theo Kojak and Jim Rockford in a bar. And I don’t even drink.


English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono. Subtitled in English and Spanish. Like all the shows from the 1970s (especially ones of the investigative variety), Kolchak: The Night Stalker is filled with striking chords and contemplative music. While I can’t say that I was really that aware of the soundtrack as I was screening this 3 DVD set, I didn’t mind what I heard at all. It was basically ambient sounds, and then the music was used to bolster certain scenes and help create a mood of sorts. I just found Darren McGavin to be hilarious. He was so quick, so surly, so priceless in his delivery that watching his work on this show was a real treat.


They have done everything they can on this front cover to make this show seem weird. Yet, they keep it in the 1970s but having Kolchak in the forefront with light on his face, and a sort of tie-dyed, fiery glow across the front of the box. The back features 5 shots from the show that really don’t do it justice, a description of what Kolchak: The Night Stalker is about and a technical specs list. This vinyl cardboard cover neatly houses all 3 DVDs in slim, plastic cases. On the back of the cases is an index of all 20 episodes and a description as well. Okay, first of all this turns out to be a gem of a show. Then, they even put it in a digipack. I love this box set!!

Final Word

I am amazed at how great this show is. I don’t really know what I was initially expecting but this show completely knocked me out. I guess as I mentioned above I have been so inundated with today’s serious minded shows, that I just thought Kolchak: The Night Stalker would follow along the same lines. It really doesn’t at all and I loved watching Darren McGavin work. He just seemed perfectly suited to play a reporter in this position. He is man you would think wouldn’t believe in anything, yet he is almost forced to believe the most outrageous things because he’s seeing it first hand.

I never thought I would say it but I like TV on DVD more than movies on DVD. I still love movies, do not get me wrong, but if I was going to be stranded on an island for the rest of my life, and I could only take one thing, it would be a season of All In the Family.

For fans of TV on DVD, know that Kolchak: The Night Stalker comes highly recommended.

Kolchak: The Night Stalker was released .