How about THE NIGHT STALKER and THE NIGHT STRANGLER for Blu-ray?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Derek M Germano, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. Derek M Germano

    Derek M Germano Second Unit

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    Just thinking about some horror titles that would be great for Blu-ray this Halloween season- THE NIGHT STALKER and THE NIGHT STRANGLER popped right into my head. Since they were made for TV movies, they might get overlooked for Blu-ray, but since they were filmed in 35mm, THE NIGHT STALKER and THE NIGHT STRANGLER have terrific high definition potential. Hopefully they will appear sometime soon on Blu-ray.
     
  2. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    Another outstanding suggestion. THE NIGHT STALKER (1972) and THE NIGHT STRANGLER (1973) were movies-of-the-week but they were produced and shot like feature films with state-of-the-art lensmanship and photography. Both films look outstanding on the MGM double-feature DVD and a Blu-ray can accentuate their virtues. They look better on DVD than DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW, also a movie-of-the-week, does on Blu-ray. I'll buy it.
    Another movie-of-the-week that was produced and shot like a feature film is Steven Spielberg's and Richard Matheson's DUEL (Universal / ABC 1971). It made history in the ratings and started the director on his illustrious career. The 74-minute version that was originally broadcast is a ferocious masterpiece. The 89-minute expanded version -- expanded with newly shot footage and re-edited -- for European theatrical release isn't as good. It has padding and loses momentum, but it's the only version available on DVD. Ideally the Blu-ray should include both versions.
     
  3. Daniel Bakken

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    I'd love some Night Stalker in HD!
     
  4. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    Was thinking about these the other day. They seem like they would look spectacular on Bd and with the properties fanbase (of which I am one), they are ripe for exploitation on this format.
    Would love to see the series remastered too, from the original elements and not 20 year old video masters- but that's Universal. The only hope there might be for Shout's Scream Factory to swing a deal...which, come to think of it, may not be as much of a pipe dream as it would seem. They already have a working relationship with Universal and this would be a HUGE deal if it became Scream Factory's first TV on Bd release- oh well, I can dream I guess.
    But yes, would love to see any Kolchak on Bd!
     
  5. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer
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    There's talk that Depp might star in a new feature version of The Night Stalker. If he does (or even does not), hopefully MGM will put out a blu of both films. I would also like to see Universal redo the series, perhaps even on blu (it's short enough to make that a possibility). Say what you will for Depp's films, he's great for spurring action on some classic titles.
     
  6. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    The Night Stalker was remade once before, and it failed miserably because it changed everything to the degree that it was no longer The Night Stalker. The character of the eccentric cynical reporter-as-loser, his conflicting relationship with his boss and the police, the juxtaposition of humor with horror, and the narration were all vital to the identity of the piece. There is a certain balance that has to be struck in the attitude and tone for it to be The Night Stalker. The remake kept the title but dispensed with everything that mattered.
    I have zero tolerance for Depp. The Dan Curtis estate (his daughters) made a serious error in judgment when they licensed Dark Shadows and The Night Stalker to him. He doesn't understand either property. He'll turn The Night Stalker into some kind of infantile back-handed lampoon the way he did Dark Shadows. Whether or not he'll go through with it after the failure of his Dark Shadows remake is something else again. He's no Darren McGavin, either.
    But you may be right that MGM will not release the two telefilms on Blu-ray until they have a remake on which to piggyback it. I'm in the camp that believes no remake is necessary to spur interest among consumers. They'll buy the Blu-ray without a remake.
     
  7. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

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    While on the subject of Dan Curtis, I'd like to see his adaptations of DR JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE and DRACULA, both with Jack Palance.
     
  8. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Cinematographer
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    The other problem with the remake was that Darren McGavin pretty much owned the role of Carl Kolchak.


     
  9. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    True. Instead of changing the character completely, as they did in the TV remake, they have to find an actor who can play the same character. The very idea of Depp playing Carl Kolchak is as dumb as playing Barnabas. Let's hope he lets go of the project and that MGM / WB will do better by the original Night Stalker and Night Strangler than they are doing with the original Dark Shadows films.
     
  10. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    Some years ago suggested Nick Nolte for the role, and he's one of the few actors I could see inhabiting the role well.
    It will always be inseparable with McGavin, but if they had to remake it, I could have watched Nolte and not gnash my teeth. He would have had the proper mix of charm and seediness about him 10-15 years ago that would have suited the part.
    Other than that I hope Depp gets cracking ASAP. I don't care a whit about the movie he makes, but that's probably the only thing that will get the license holders to even entertain the idea of these properties for a Bd release.
     
  11. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    One positive thing I can say about the remake series was that the guy (was it Stuart Townsend?) wasn't playing Darren McGavin's Kolchak, he was doing his own thing. I think once someone has created an indelible stamp on a character, the only choice is to make big changes between the two (or just not do a remake at all).
     
  12. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer
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    You are right about the remake. I watched a few minutes of it and turned it off. There was no real reason for them to use the name The Night Stalker. When you change everything about a show, you are not doing a remake. Personally, I think Depp has the talent and ability to do justice to it, but whether he would or not I don't know. I'd like someone to do it simply to encourage the blu releases. Moreover, if he has to do some quirky remake of The Lone Ranger just so I can get the Clayton Moore series on DVD, I'm for that too. However, no one can beat Darren McGavin, and in his roles of Kolchak and A Christmas Story's Old Man, he was at his best. Notafinga!
     
  13. Ejanss

    Ejanss Banned

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    Not to mention, it was made by the next generation that had some vague, abstract nostalgia for Kolchak as a Cool 70's Cult Series, but now only--only--associated the name with "That's the show that inspired X-Files, isn't it?"...
    And so, assumed the show was a 70's version of X-Files, complete with Mulder, Scully, and Skinner.
    Darren McGavin made a career out of playing those 30's "scoop" reporters from old B-movies, and that was the fun of seeing a classic old monster-movie trope transplanted to the Big 70's City.
    This was back in the 70's, when our Nixon-era post-Rosemary/Exorcist bugs were helping us just discover horror again, and while there's that "Horror in the city" trend vibe of its day, putting in Kolchak's character seemed to be pushing those old horror B-movie buttons that made it popcorn fun again.
    I wouldn't blame Dark Shadows COMPLETELY on Depp--Although he's now so permanently got Burton on the Brain, he believes he's some psychic extension of Tim's ideas--And Burton now basically takes whatever studios hand him on name value, and camps it up, in, ahem....more ways than one. :rolleyes:
    Between his obsession with "Sensitive, misunderstood outcasts with pale complexions", his occasionally ugly misogyny (which is pretty startling in Shadows), and his kitsch-giggling tastes for old pop-culture cult items, there's been a few personal.....suspicions about Tim Burton lately.
    The Dan Curtis estate had been wanting to do a reverent big-budget Hammer-like Shadows tribute for twenty years, but when it fell to Warner, Warner as usual thought "Big budget? Let's get Tim! He did Batman! :D ", and Tim set out to do the movie he thought his fans thought he would make--But let's just say it was pretty well expected that Burton would see the project and think "1972?...Disco balls! Karen Carpenter jokes! :P "
    You make the judgments from there. If producers similarly saw Depp's Kolchak, thought "Depp? Monsters?--Oh, so Burton's directing it?" and gave the project to Tim, you KNOW how it would end up. Before a frame would even be shot.
     

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