Review The Night Strangler (1973)

Doctor Omega

Staff member
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The Night Strangler

Jo Ann Pflug and Darren McGavin in The Night Strangler
Genre Crime
Written by Richard Matheson
Directed by Dan Curtis
Starring Darren McGavin
Simon Oakland
Jo Ann Pflug
Richard Anderson
Music by Bob Cobert
Country of origin United States
Dan Curtis
Robert Singer (associate producer)
Cinematography Robert B. Hauser
Editor(s) Folmar Blangsted
Running time 74 minutes (TV Premiere)
90 minutes (DVD)
Production company(s) ABC Circle Films
Original network
Original release January 16, 1973
Preceded by
The Night Stalker
Followed by Kolchak: The Night Stalker
The Night Strangler
is a television film which first aired on ABC on January 16, 1973, as a sequel to The Night Stalker.[1]

The Night Strangler proved almost as popular as its predecessor garnering strong ratings and eventually prompting ABC to order a TV series (neither writer Richard Matheson nor producer/director Dan Curtis was involved in the TV series). In the United States, the TV movie ran (without commercials) approximately 74 minutes. ABC planned to release the film overseas as a theatrical release and had additional footage shot rounding out the movie to 90 minutes.

Novelization of TV Film

In the novelization of The Night Strangler, it is strongly hinted that the immortal villain, Dr. Richard Malcolm, is actually the Count of St. Germain.

When asked directly, Malcolm laughs ironically but does not deny it.

Third TV film sequel

A third film was planned which was based on a story by Richard Matheson but completed by science fiction and horror novelist William F. Nolan (the two share credit on the unproduced script). The third film was set aside when ABC elected to order the TV series and have it produced by Universal (none of the original participants aside from actors Darren McGavin and Simon Oakland appeared in the TV series).

Entitled The Night Killers and set in Honolulu, Hawaii, the script had Tony Vincenzo hiring Kolchak to work for him. Once again, Kolchak discovers a cover-up—this time involving a mysterious UFO, a nuclear power plant and important people being murdered and replaced by androids. Kolchak ties all of this together believing that the aliens on the UFO landed on Earth intending to set up a colony and replacing key government figures with these androids to assist them in their secret colony.[3][4]


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