While I was compiling a list of suggested viewing for myself this month, I hit upon the idea that I was going to throw several made-for-tv movies in there, because they just seem way less intense and stressful than a barrage of feature length films. I did a little research on “best made for tv horror” and Kolchak was something I’d never seen and which seemed to show up again and again, so I considered adding it as a possibility. This list is included below, for reference and possible interest.
Yvan happened to be peeking over my shoulder as I was putting this together and exlaimed in distress, “If you don’t watch Kolchak with Tony, he will be HEARTBROKEN!” Which…okay, now that he mentioned it, my brother-in-law has been offering Kolchak as a feature for every movie night we have at his house, on his big projector screen. Fine, then! Kolchak movie night at Tony’s it is!
This pulpy supernatural crime thriller debuted as a movie of the week on ABC in 1972, following quippy everyman reporter Carl Kolchak as he determinedly stumbles down the vampiric rabbit hole of a string of Las Vegas murders. It’s dated in all the obvious ways and more than bit sexist, but I think I can see why it’s generational horror comfort food. The horror is on the light side, but again, this was the early seventies and it aired on weeknight network television, so that’s to be expected. It was fun, and it entertained me for an evening, and that’s what this month is all about, so I can’t complain. Also, Kolchak was a funny guy! So if you’re looking for a horror comedy that’s easy on the scares and gives a real sense of time and place, this would be a great pick
Interesting tidbit: the script was written by Richard Matheson, who horror fans will recognize as the author of Hell House, I Am Legend, A Stir of Echoes, etc.
What was NOT entertaining or interesting, is how, on the way home from movie night, we had a bit of a real-life horrifying experience. Now that we’ve moved closer to everyone, it’s about a 15-minute drive between our neighborhoods (as opposed to the 2-hour trek we had been previously making for a visit.) About 5 minutes into our homeward journey, on a somewhat quiet road around 10:30 pm, a car screamed past us and then spun out of control RIGHT IN FRONT OF US — and then careened off the road into the darkness and smashed into a tree!
We pulled over, and while I called 911, Yvan raced over to the car to see if they were ok. In an incredible piece of luck, this all happened practically right in front of a fire rescue station. The firetruck and ambulance were there almost before the 911 operator picked up. And impossibly, thankfully, all of the idiots in that car were fine. I was still shaking when we arrived home and got into bed. LORDY BE. Please don’t drive like bozos, people!
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