Saturday, October 27, 2018

31 Days of Halloween - Day 27 - Movie 2

Carl Kolchak (Darren McGavin), now living in Seattle, finds himself investigating a new string of murders; women found strangled, their throats crushed, blood removed via a syringe, and decaying flesh found on their necks. The killer is described as corpse-like and incredibly strong. Research leads Kolchak to discover that the same kinds of murders, with an identically described murderer have been occurring in Seattle every 21 years since 1898.

The Night Strangler (1973) is a sequel to the successful The Night Stalker (1972), and as a follow-up I think this film works even better than the original. Mathewson, returning as screenwriter, obviously has a better handle on the characters, as does McGavin, and co-star Simon Oakland, their relationship shining even more than before. The mystery is interesting, with a decent payoff, and the setting of old Seattle lying beneath the ground that modern Seattle was built on gives it an otherworldly quality.  This time Carls seems to have developed an even worse relationship to the police in his new city, if that were possible, and this makes Kolchak seem more isolated as he goes it alone to, again, prove what no one is willing to believe.

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