Film Review: The Night Stalker (TV Movie 1972) Ecce Homo: Carl Kolchak the true journalist!

Updated: Jul 26

FILE PHOTO: Kolchak: the night stalker franchise (1972-1975) ©ABC/Universal Television
FILE PHOTO: Kolchak: The Night Stalker Franchise (1972-1975) ©ABC/Universal Television


''This nut THINKS he's a vampire!

He has killed four, maybe five women.

He has drained every drop of

blood from every one of them.

Now that is NEWS, Vincenzo,

NEWS. And we are NEWS paper!

We are supposed to print

news, not suppress it!''

- Carl Kolchak (1)

We can hardly find a ''true journalist'' like this fictional character Carl Kolchak (masterfully played by the brilliant American actor Darren McGavin; 1922-2006) in our real life under monopoly of mainstream FAKE NEWS media of today, US tech giants and crony capitalist bureaucrats. Certainly, it's almost impossible that an investigative journalist - Jiken-kisya in Japanese - like Kolchak can exist in the establishment because corporate media must sell either image advertisement or article advertisement for ad buyers in business sector. It's typical in Japanese news industry where run by national advertisement giants, Dentsu and Hakuhodo, as the result, the most of news articles in Japan are dominated and distorted to be ''stealth marketing'' advertisements of ''pro-establishment'' celebrities (e.g. TV, film, sports, pro-wrestling, model, newscasters, politicians etc.) who backed by each commercial mainstream media. This creepy gossip culture of ''professional'' journalism is obviously the death of genuine journalism in Japan and for others.

Nowadays, genuine news can only be seen in weather forecast or daily transportation news or the date of news only. Real investigative journalism is seemed to be extinct under neoliberalism thus Carl Kolchak is the visualised ideal of investigative journalism in a fictional tale and expressed by his decision making and actions. This is the function of fiction and art in the real world abstractly in terms of the use value of dramatic art production under capitalism.

At film schools, horror genre is unwelcome for timid and overcautious teachers who are basically just ''self-proclaimed film scholars'' critics without no film-TV industrial background or even lack of working experience itself outside of their comfortable educational field. They think horror genre is just a kind of pornography of violence, and it's about childish fetichism on fictional monsters. On the contrary, horror genre is like any other genres of film, all about human beings. Professional filmmakers at film schools (in general, professionals teach students in MFA filmmaking program not in PhD film studies. There is no authoritative figure in film studies globally) will teach students like this because it's common sense in the industry.

 FILE PHOTO:  “The Vampire”, lithograph by R. de Moraine (1864).  ©Public Domain
FILE PHOTO: “The Vampire”, lithograph by R. de Moraine (1864). ©Public Domain

On vampire, we should not be dragged into the swamp of fictional world to mistakenly seek a true vampire or its similar one in the real world. It does not exist at all from the beginning. We should not engage in searching vampire legends and folklores instead, we just only need to know that so called vampire is a fictional creature which feeds itself with human blood for living typical in European folklores of the 19th.century (A.D.1801-1900). The most important novels are Sheridan Le Fanu (1814-1873)'s Carmilla (1872) and Bram Stoker (1847-1912)'s Dracula (1897).

Film as fiction, its main function is that it depicts how the ruling class thinks the world looks like to them and how should the people act and react in the situation. From the capitalist point of view, film content must be acceptable to the ruling class under capitalism in order to produce any commercial film in the establishment. Thus, film is neither a textbook nor theoretical work. It cannot be any replacement of any theoretical learning, understanding and analysis as taught by Dir. Akira Kurosawa (1910-98).

In reality, film commodities are meant to be just socially abstract exchange values like any other kinds of commodities at market economy, namely film is not superior than any other industries in terms of surplus value accumulation process. It is simply just one of them.

Vampire Legend in Real World Politics

 FILE PHOTO: Execution of three witches on 4 November 1585 in Baden (Switzerland), illustration from the Wickiana. ©Public Domain
FILE PHOTO: Execution of three witches on 4 November 1585 in Baden (Switzerland). ©Public Domain

From the view point of political economy, vampire is like witchcraft, used in real politics as ''official narrative'' for religious or other kind of oppression against targeted minorities in the past. For instance, witch hunt (a.k.a. witch plague) was a typical mass hysteria, a moral panic in Western societies during 1450-1750, ended up in false flagged mass executions. So called vampire is the same phenomenon in its nature. This is the true and real aspect of the vampire in the real world. In real human history, both ''witch hunt'' and ''vampire'' were used metaphorically as official narrative for covert counter insurgence operations against dissidents with real purpose of intimidating political opponents. This is the reality of vampire in the context of history. On the contrary, any abstract forma of vampire is purely fictional and meaningless in terms of reality. It is also why indulging in fictional characters and its fictional world of vampirism is totally a waste of time.

The Philippines provides us the best example of modern day use of ''vampire'' in real politics.

The Philippines was the America's longest-lasting and most conspicuous colony ever existed in history. US bought it with twenty million dollars after defeated Spain with the Filipinos in 1898 and transformed it into a colony for imperialism while the Filipinos already declared their own independent republic. Imperialist exploiters are real ''vampires.''

The similar tragedy repeated on their soil during the Japanese occupation of The Philippines during the World War 2 in 1945. A resistance army, the Huks (abbreviation for Hukbalahap - ''People's Army Against Japan'' in Tagalog) and the Philippine Communist Party engaged in the major efforts against the Japanese invaders while the American military like KMT in China, they took many