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

Updated: Jul 26, 2021


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

FILM AND REALITY


''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 measures against the Huks and the Philippine Communist Party aimed at quashing them. Furthermore,

disparaging rumours against the Huks were spread in villages in order to erode their support and credits amongst peasants. The worst thing was that Japanese militarists were allowed to assault the Huks unmolested. This is the grand context of the political use of Filipino folk tale, superstition of local vampire ''Asuang'' against the Huks.


Asuang is an Asian vampire but it differs from the Western legend, it sucks human blood with its proboscis-like tongue, and it does not hide in tombs or coffins, it hides in deep forests or infiltrates human community in the shape of a beautiful woman. It's believed to raid villages, thus peasants are victims of the terror.


Before the use of the vampire tale Asuang against the Huks, US restored to power and positions of local Japanese occupational collaborators as part of the Cold War anti-communist, anti-Soviet campaign, like Japan's still ongoing Reverse Course in which US restored ex-A Class war criminals to the power and position in the establishment after 1947. The similar phenomenon was confirmed in The Philippines at that time. Such as Filipino landlords, large estate owners, police constables, and other officials were used against the Huks by US.


US conducted the anti ''communist Huk rebellion'' campaign, however the centrepiece of the political program of the Huk was land reform and it's part of bourgeois revolution not the communist one. Also industrialisation had been halted for 50 years of US occupation of The Philippines in order to provide US companies with a veritable playground in the Philippines. In fact, American occupiers were clear about the main impetus of the Huks which was not from communist doctrines but it's from actual peasant grievances. Despite GIs who were vociferous protestors of continued operation in the Philippines, US soldiers were kept in the islands.


The national election was held in April 1946. The Huks did not trust both the Filipino government and US authorities enough to surrender their arms to them like FARC. They tested the good faith of the government by taking part of the election to form democratic alliance of liberal and socialist peasant political groups. Thus a socialist challenge in a capitalist parliament election was not first appeared in Chile.


The result was pretty predictable under such circumstances, the Huks, alliance members and reformers who won the election to congress were simply banned from taking their seats under the transparent fiction and influential coercion against voters. Some of them was just allowed to discuss a ceasefire with the government. Later, pseudo-independence was given by the US after pushed through congress the controversial Bell Trade Act which yields to US bountiful privileges and concessions in the economy, including equal rights, in the development of the natural resources and the operation of its public utilities. Moreover it was gradually exceeded to every sector of the Philippine economy.


Their independence had no significant change as long as US restored its old relationships in the almost everything except in name. The Filipinos were deceived, US did not grant them any social and political advantages in return under the pseudo-independence. A 1947 agreement which was supposed to last 99 years provided sites for 23 US military bases in the Philippines, and judicial immunity of US soldiers outside of the US bases (they are only tried by US military tribunals inside the bases) like USFJ, the terms of a companion military assistance pact prohibited any arms imports from any other countries except US and its allowed arms source. It inevitably involved training, maintenance, spare parts purchase from US along with the arms purchase. This made the Filipino armed forces totally dependent on US arms control. In 1950, The Joint US Military Advisory Group reorganised the Philippine intelligence capabilities to experiment ''counter insurgency warfare'' which was thought as unconventional type of combat.


FILE PHOTO: Major General Edward Lansdale, 1963. ©Public Domain
FILE PHOTO: Major General Edward Lansdale, 1963. ©Public Domain

Unconventional type of warfare against the Muks started after inauguration of Lt. Col. Edward G. Lansdale (1908-87) in September 1950. Ostensively Lansdale was a military advisor attached to The Joint US Military Advisory Group yet his real identity was the head of CIA's clandestine paramilitary operations in The Philippines. ''Psychological warfare'' in CIA parlance includes the use of marketing research, motivation techniques, media and deception etc. All fall under the heading. And Lansdale was an expert of it as a former advertisement man. He led major CIA anti-communist clandestine operations in the Philippines, Vietnam and anti-Castro campaign. Only the Filipino project was successful.


A vampire tale used against the Huks By CIA


CIA Lansdale instructed his men to conduct a careful study of superstitions of the Filipino peasants living in the Huks controlled areas. Their superstitious lore, taboos, and myths were broadly examined by the CIA team in order to get clues to appropriately localised appeals that hopefully wean them from backing the Huks. Its main concept was obviously instigating disinformation op. in peasants by instilling in them fear for curse after they providing the Huks with necessary foods and shelters.


The Nation's Army Against the Japanese (a.k.a. the Huks; 1942-1954) was relentlessly targeted by infamous psychological war, disinformation op. which based on dreadful superstitions among peasants. The legend of horrible vampire Asuang was used against the Huks by CIA psychological warfare squad. The team's aim was to get the Huks out of their fortress hill where the government force was quite anxious to get them out. For this military purpose, his men planted rumours that the dreadful vampire Asuang is living in their neighbouring hill where the Huks based. Then the psychological warfare squad laid an ambush in the hill by making some already frightened Huk sympathisers way up the hill two nights later. They snatched the last man and punctured his neck with two marks of ''vampire assault'', and held his body by heels till the all blood drained out of his body. Then, they put the corpse back on the trail they ambushed. The result was successful that the superstitious Huks fled from the entire region. (2)


This is the true function of vampire tale in real world politics. From religious superstition (feudalist legacy), novelisation (as a commodity) to the psychological warfare (militarisation of the fiction for intimidating class opponents), the vampire tale itself shows this dialectic movement between the two poles, fiction and reality in the general historical-capitalist context. Not only filmmakers but also film consumers must have the holistic view point like this in order to avoid falling into mass hysteria, moral crisis which instigated by ruling class for their personal interests in reality. Vampire tales in class society are used as a commodity or a psychological warfare for the class interests of capitalists politically, economically and militarily.


NARRATIVE STRUCTURE


"Vampire Killer In Las Vegas" from The Kolchak Papers


''This is the story behind one of

the greatest man-hunts in history

Maybe you read about it, or rather,

what they let you read about it...

...probably as some minor item,

buried somewhere in a back page.

However, what happened in that city,

between May 16th and May 28th of this year...

...was so incredible...

...that to this day, the facts have

been suppressed in a massive effort...

...to save certain political

careers from disaster...

...and law enforcement

officials from embarrassment.''


- Carl Kolchak (3)


ACT1


FILE PHOTO: Inciting Incident at ACT1 in The Night Stalker (1972).  ©ABC
FILE PHOTO: Inciting Incident at ACT1 in The Night Stalker (1972). ©ABC

Exposition:


The entire TV movie is a flashback of Kolchak which starts from a sleazy business hotel room outside of Las Vegas. Carl Kolchak (played by Darren McGavin) the protagonist of this film replays and listens to his own tape record of detections which about the vampire killer in the Las Vegas Strip and subsequent coverups by the authorities of the city.


The first murder happens.

Sunday, May 16th: Cheryl Hughes, a swing shift change girl at the Gold Dust Saloon, Las Vegas is suddenly struggled and thrown away to the pile of garbage at dark back street at night by monstrous maniac. Soon her corpse is found in a trash can at the near place by a garbage collector.


A senior newspaper editor, boss Anthony Albert Vincenzo (Simon Oakland) assigns Kolchak to investigate the killing. (setup)


Kolchak asks his spy at morgue, Dr. John O'Brien (Jordan Rhodes) to provide information on the murder. Jordan Rhodes tells him, the victim's drained out of blood yet the official narrative implicates someone in the authorities covering the massive loss of blood of the victim. Kolchak's investigation continues.


Why does it say "Officially

Undetermined" under Cause of Death? (4)


Inciting Incident:


After Dr. John O'Brien, Kolchak inquires his own girlfriend Gail Foster (Carol Lynley)...

one of Cheryl Hughes' fellow workers. She has no clue.


The killer commits the second murder.

A corpse of Bonnie Reynolds a cocktail waitress at the Harem Room Casino found on sand at construction site. Again, Kolchak finds the victim's also killed in the same pattern with Cheryl Hughes.


If it happened, it's possible.

Cheryl Hughes lost a lot of blood, too.


The third murder at that night instils in him a growing suspicion of unusualness of the incident and possible pressure from authorities on this report.


Carol Hanichek, a swing shift cocktail waitress in the Bird of Paradise Show Lounge gets murdered by the mysterious murderer silently and swiftly at her apartment room.

Something of a pattern

had started to form...

...and it was ugly. It was then that people stopped talking. (5)


Kolchak continues his investigation.


End of ACT1:


Kolchak meets his FBI contact Bernie Jenks at his lunch sitting beside the hotel pool in order to get his support on the news report.

Well you could make some

unofficial inquiries for me?

Like?

Well like... you could check around

the country and check all the hospitals,

...and see if any of them had

corpses recently, like ours, you know?

All with a big loss of blood.

You could check all the insane asylums

across the country. The Bug Houses...

See if they've released, recently,

a nut who thinks he's Count Dracula...

...even if he's done nothing to prove it.

Do you believe in vampires, little boy?

That's funny. That's very funny.


Say, if you want to hear that special report,

meet me at the Sheriff's office. It starts at 6:30. (6)


Although Kolchack still doesn't believe the killer is a real vampire, he expects the special report can solve some mystery around the serial murders. He decides to attend the press conference at the sheriff's office.


His strong desire for clues drives him to the next action. Kolchak did everything he could do to get clues solely on his efforts and network at the town without any experts at this phase. The incident is beyond his ordinary capabilities, this incident is something special, at least he realised this now. The entire ACT1 sets up questions on the killing and the invitation to the special report is a temporary solution to the ACT1. It can consolidate or confirm some of his speculations. Kolchak even sees possibility of cooperation with authorities on this at this time. Simultaneously this plot psychologically synchronises desire for answers between the protagonist and audience. This is what suspense meant to be yet suspense itself is a creation of decision making and actions of the protagonist. Suspense itself is not a structure.


At the press conference,


Warren Butcher (Claude Akins) of the Sheriff's Office, Thomas Paine (Kent Smith) of the District Attorney's Office, Captain Edward Masterson (Charles McGraw) of the Las Vegas Police Department, ...and old buddy, Bernie Jenks.


One of the attendees, Dr. Robert Makurji (Larry Linville) testifies:

A rather interesting point is that we found another substance

mixed in with the traces of blood in the throat wounds.

...namely, saliva.

What do you mean, "saliva"?

I mean saliva, Sheriff Butcher.

HUMAN saliva... (7)


Dr. Robert Makurji's testimony is provocative for the timid authorities however it's supportive of Kolchak's theory.


Now the oppressive district attorney Thomas Paine threatens journalists, then he soon after the conference personally threatens Kolchak to prevent the vampire gossip from spreading. Thomas Paine is the real and ultimate antagonist like the Mayer in JAWS (1975).


Now this, uh "vampire stuff"...

is to STAY right in this room.

Until we have the assailant in custody,

we say nothing about these, uh...

...women being drained of blood.

There'll be no rumours,

no reports in the paper...

The official opinion at this time is

that the cause of death is "undetermined".

We don't want to cause a panic.

It's bad for police operations.

It's bad for the people.

And it's bad for business... (8)


Kolchak's friend Bernie Jenks warns Kolchak,


Will you watch what you're

saying? You know these guys...

...you could find yourself out

of a job and 86'd all over town.

Does that go for you too, Jenks?

Oh boy. Who can talk to

you when you get like this. (9)


This press conference established all the major contradictions and introduced all main characters thus this scene is part of ACT1 in terms of dramatic function.


ACT2

FILE PHOTO: The Vampire Janos Skorzeny (Barry Atwater) at ACT2 in The Night Stalker (1972).  ©ABC
FILE PHOTO: The Vampire Janos Skorzeny (Barry Atwater) at ACT2 in The Night Stalker (1972). ©ABC

Complication:


Someone calls Kolchak at night to inform him the forth murder.


The killer's done it again... (this is a beat in the hotel conversation scene following the previous press conference scene at the end of ACT1; it changed the dramatic tone, tension and atmosphere, even it drives the protagonist to take the next action)

Oh no.

Only this time...

...he was seen.

Victim number four:

Mary Brandon, show girl. (10)


This time Kolchak gets two clues that one is his facial information; the other is his car information.


Kolchak bribes Helen O'Brien (Peggy Rea) to intercept police communication to track police investigation on the suspect's car.


She's the switchboard operator at the County Courthouse

The DMV is checking on the suspect's car. Now,

you couldn't help me in that area-could you? (11)


Bernie Jenks finds Kolchak to publish drawing of the face of the suspect on their Daily News. The killer commits assaults, a woman Shelly Forbes at parking lot of Casino. And she is missing.


Sherman Duffy of the Chicago Globe

once described a reporter as follows:

Socially, he fits in somewhere

between a hooker and a bartender.

Spiritually, he stands beside Galileo,

because he knows the world is round.

...not that it does much good, of

course, when his editor knows it's flat. (12)


Kolchak confronts disbelief of Tony Vincenzo who duly holds the shocking news in order to avoid mass panic as he told.


The Police. The D.A.

The Coroner's Office.

Every reporter on every paper in

Las Vegas knows what's going on.

...the only people who

don't know are the PEOPLE.


At last you got the point, Kolchak.

The people in Las Vegas don't know.

Because the people of Las Vegas'd

come unglued if they did know.

Even more than they're coming

unglued already. Capeesh? (13)


The killer's car is identified soon after the heated argument between two of them.


Tuesday, May 25th, 7:30PM.

Helen O'Brien had told me that the

DMV'd come up with 16 possibles...


...the car owner's name: Martin Luben.

Address on Spring Mountain road.

Name and address both phoney.

Name of salesman who sold car:

Fred Hurley. (14)


At this point, Kolchak gets both clues (facial info. and car info.). The first half of ACT2 ends here. The first half of ACT2 established questions ''two clues'' and solved them.


Midpoint:


FILE PHOTO: The Midpoint at ACT2 in The Night Stalker (1972).  ©ABC
FILE PHOTO: The Midpoint at ACT2 in The Night Stalker (1972). ©ABC

Kolchak finds solutions to end the vampire killer due to suggestion from his girlfriend Gail Foster.


All my life I've waited for a

story like this. All my life!

And when it finally comes,

I can't get it printed.


Aw c'mon, honey. I'm serious.

That weirdo's hit 5 girls,

and they were all night workers.

Well he's done everything that's in this book...

You're GOING to read it!

Yes, yes... alright. I'll read it...

Oh c'mon now. You're

a big, tough reporter.

You can take it. You might even get

a good feature article out of it.

Since the beginning

of man's existence...

...there have been

creatures of the night.

Crazed monsters that track the bloody prints

through the pages of fact and fiction...

...of them all, the vampire seems to have

accumulated the largest body of documentation.

...by night, the vampire is virtually

indestructible, fearing only the sign of the cross...

...before daybreak, he must return to his coffin, otherwise

he will be destroyed by the purifying rays of the sun...

...it is then, while he lies

dormant, he can be destroyed...

...by hammering a wooden

stake through his heart...

According to the legend,

...the victim of the vampire will

ultimately rise again as the living dead.

...and must be destroyed

in a similar manner.

From any source available,

the vampire must have blood. (15)


A protagonist finds solution to end the entire conflict at midpoint. On the other hand, it is also a moment of truth that the vampire killer's finally identified in detail. The vampire stole blood bottles from the blood bank at hospital, and Kolchak closely witnessed the overwhelming power of the killer shown against police encirclement in front of the hospital. Even Kolchak instantly took some photos of the scene this time. It enhances his position in the argument with the authorities.


Bernie Jenks publishes the real identification of the suspect at the 2nd. press conference,


...A wild brawl

at the Old Town Hospital.

Thursday, May 27th, 8:20am...

and things were rolling. (16)


The maniac had been identified.


Janos Skorzeny (played by Barry Atwater)

Born in Criesti, Romania, 1899.

Now wait just a minute.

You tryin' to tell me that

this guy's over 70 years old?

Come on, Bernie. Your boys

have come up with the wrong man.

Like hell we have!

These facts have been

triple checked and confirmed!


Skorzeny's father died in 1923.

He left somewhere between

75 and 100 million dollars.

At this time he began to travel,

...and he became known throughout Eastern

Europe as a big lover of nightlife.

And we don't have a lot more

on him from before World War II.

However, Scotland Yard reports that he showed

up in England just in time for the German Blitz.


While in England, he passed

himself off as Dr. Paul Belasco.

A specialist in Haematology Research,

...his work involved freshly killed air raid

victims from various London Emergency Rooms.


As a matter of fact, at his

residence at Chaftle Court,

...he installed several kinds of sumps, tubs

and an extremely large commercial meat freezer.

By 1948, he turned up in

Canada... still as Dr. Belasco...

...and further checking, he made his

presence known in almost every place...

...along the US-Canadian Border where rioting and

violence and a number of dead bodies were found.

We believe he left Canada

for Vegas on April 19th,

...under the name of

Detective-Constable Allen Hensley.

Now because of his British citizenship,

he is an international fugitive.


The one constant that has shown

up in all of our reports is...

That Skorzeny's travels have always been

accompanied by a number of unexplained killings.

Many of which have one thing in common:

...a massive loss of blood.


So-if Skorzeny is not the vampire

of Mr. Kolchak's theories...

...he is certainly the suspect of multiple

homicides extending back some 30 years. (17)


This evidence also persuades Koclchak to believe Skorzeny is a real vampire.


So far he has killed

4, probably 5 women.

Now the coroner said that

those bite marks on the throat

...were made by human teeth.

He practically confirmed the fact

that he actually drank their blood.

Now, now, now... now wait...

Whatever this Skorzeny may be,

He seemed to be functioning

as if he were a vampire.

Now you can go on operating

as if he were an ordinary man.

That's up to you.

But I know that the only way

you're going to get him...

...is if you proceed under the

assumption that he's a real, live vampire. (18)


This is definitely the midpoint because the protagonist reached the thorough resolution to end the entire contradiction of the film. Now the real antagonists oppose him. This is the core of the dramatic contradiction between the protagonist and the antagonists. Skorzeny is just a second important antagonist in comparison with District Attorney Tom Paine, Sheriff Warren A. Butcher and Police Chief Ed Masterson.


Boy, I really can't believe that you

guys are so afraid of appearing stupid,

...that you'll ignore the only

possible way of nailing him!


I don't care what's been

printed in the newspapers.

This man is still classified

as an ORDINARY maniac...

...and he'll be settled by

standard police procedures.

Oh boy.

And you'd better start cooperating

with that fact, Kolchak,

...or you're gonna get your

pushy-tushy kicked right outta town!

You dig?

Yes. I dig. (19)


The dramatic situation further complicated while their direct conflicts and frictions are heated up regarding the vampire stuff. Meanwhile all major characters and conflicts are fully connected and unified into one firmly. There are only one major contradiction between Kolchak and authorities, and one sub contradiction between citizens and the vampire. Which contradiction is the dominant factor? Both dramatic contradictions are in fact interchangeable and at some point, the vampire one is dominant, especially at ACT1. At this point, audience realise that those corrupted authorities are more threatening the protagonist than the vampire itself.


End of ACT2:


Kolchak asks his old fellow Mickey Crawford to locate Skorzeny's house.


Show every real estate agent in town

the picture of this guy's puss...

...and ask them if they sold a

house to anybody that looks like him!


After Skorzeny successfully steals blood bottles again from hospital despite of massive police raid, another attempt to capture Skorzeny with overwhelming police forces suddenly starts when patrolling police identifies him,


Two ladies, downtown on Casino drive...

Code 1033! Code 1033!

All units! All units!

Janos Skorzeny spotted in 1969

green, unpanelled station wagon.

Intersection Ocane and Husselt.

I.D. CONFIRMED!

Positive visual contact made. (20)


The attempt is failed. The authorities don't know what should they do now. No proper method is seemed to be effective for arresting the extraordinarily powerful suspect. The negotiation between Kolchak and the authorities begins.


At the hospital and a third was harbouring on the edge...

Reports on them were still coming in as the greatest

manhunt in the history of Las Vegas continued in vain.

Oh. Thanks, Bernie. Yeah.

Well?

What're we gonna do?

NOW are you willing to

listen to my insane ideas?

Kolchak! Get outta here!

Now Warren, hold it, hold it...


Captain:

...either he was shot,

...or your entire police

department is BLIND.

ED! Let's admit it. We had the man-had

him cornered, and we couldn't hold him!

Let Kolchak have his say...

Oh, uh... before I do...

...is it agreed that

in return for my help,

...you will grant me the exclusive

rights to the entire story?

Well, let's say it's agreeable if...

...we decide to follow your

suggestions regarding the suspect.


Okay, Kolchak. You've

got yourself a deal.

- Conditional

- What's that?

Butcher here will issue the

crosses, the mallets, the stakes,

...but one thing he won't do is depart

from established police procedures.

If feasible, Skorzeny is to be

taken alive and held for trial.

TRIAL?!

That's right. Trial.

TRIAL.

Alright. In return for what?

- You'll get the exclusive rights to the story.

- Good.

Ahhh... WHEN the blackout is lifted.

Uh-Huh. Yeah. Any other conditions?

- One more...

- Whassat?


If it turns out you're wrong,

you're to be out of town in 12 hours.

...take it or leave it.

Alright I'll take it!

...because I know I'm right.

And uh... you know I'm right.

RIGHT. (21)


This is the bottom point of the drama and the most dangerous moment for the protagonist because he makes a critical decision that most likely risks himself simultaneously when he gets what he wanted from them. The promise for granting the exclusive rights to report the truth. Getting rid of Skorzeny is not their final goal at all. For authorities, their ultimate aim is to get Kolchak out of the town. This deal is not physically risky for Kolchak but it's socially risky for him.


Kolchak!

It's me, Crawford!

What're ya doin' drivin'

off with me in the back seat?

What're ya doin' in my back seat?

I wanted to talk to ya...

I saw your car parked here, so

I got in to wait for

ya, and I got sleepy!

You got sleepy...

Hey!

I think I've found the house. (22)


The Skorzeny's safe house is detected thus it will be the main stage for ACT3.


ACT3


FILE PHOTO: The Solution at ACT3 in The Night Stalker (1972).  ©ABC
FILE PHOTO: The Solution at ACT3 in The Night Stalker (1972). ©ABC

Final Confrontation:


Kolchak arrives at Skorzeny's safe house before dawn.


I'd told Crawford to give me 30 minutes

before telling Jenks where I was.

That way, I could get to see

the house alone for a while,

...and also keep the police

from arriving before dawn. (23)


Kolchak trespasses on Skorzeny's property and takes snapshots of Skorzeny's clothes, disguise kit, refrigerator in which stolen blood bottles are stored, and also Skorzeny's coffin. Then, he finds Shelly Forbes, a missing person suspected as a Skorzeny's victim.


Shelly Forbes?

Shhhh! I heard a sound.

His own private blood bank. (24)


Skorzeny returned with his car.


Solution:


Kolchak quickly hides and seeks a chance to get Skorzeny yet the vampire suddenly breaks the door and finds him at a room where Shelly Forbes's tied to the bed. Kolchak struggles to escape from the vampire but Skorzeny soon overpowers Kolchak. Then Bernie Jenks suddenly joins the battle when Kolchak is almost killed by Skorzeny on the first floor. Kolchak realises the dawn has broken, and he opens the shielded window to light up the vampire. Then weakened Skorzeny has no place to hide. Finally Kolchak stakes the vampire on the sun-drenched staircase while Bernie Jenks holding the cruc