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bmasters9

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Basically, when watching a '70s TV (or film) production, I don't personally like to think I'm watching a current Hollywood production.

Do you mean by that that you would prefer to see The Streets of San Francisco in its original, raw, unremastered form, for one thing?
 

HenryDuBrow

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No, we were lucky with the SoSF remastering it wasn't messed with in terms of grading, as it often happens with in particularly older movie productions these days, guess they figured it's not a 'cool' cult title like Kolchak. If something has a cult reputation like, say an older Tarantino movie like Jackie Brown, it'll be messed with to please current fads. I feel that's basically a similar case here, I see no other reason for it to look so different now. Universal certainly didn't care about such stuff back then, this is a new trend. So just to clarify, this gripe is not about cleaning up old reels and removing dirt for new prints, I have no issues at all with bettering an image that way.
 

bmasters9

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No, we were lucky with the SoSF remastering it wasn't messed with in terms of grading, as it often happens with in particularly older movie productions these days, guess they figured it's not a 'cool' cult title like Kolchak. If something has a cult reputation like, say an older Tarantino movie like Jackie Brown, it'll be messed with to please current fads. I feel that's basically a similar case here, I see no other reason for it to look so different now. Universal certainly didn't care about such stuff back then, this is a new trend. So just to clarify, this gripe is not about cleaning up old reels and removing dirt for new prints, I have no issues at all with bettering an image that way.

That explains it-- when you asked the question originally, I wasn't sure what you meant, so that's why I sought clarification the way I did. Thanks!
 

JohnHopper

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Episode #3
“They Have Been, They Are, They Will Be...”
written by Rudolph Borchert
story by Dennis Clark
directed by Allen Baron
cinematography by Eduardo Ricci
music by Gil Mellé
guests: James Gregory, Mary Wickes, Maureen Arthur, Dick Van Patten, Carol Ann Susi, John Fiedler, Rudy Challenger, Phil Leeds, Len Lesser, Fritz Feld, Tony Rizzo, Dennis McCarthy


Carl Kolchak: “Uptight, you give me those tickets, or I will pick up where Snuffy Patechenko left off.”
Ron Updyke: “I was only joking. Of course I have your ticket… And you call me uptight.”


Item: It’s an unconvincing UFO mystery/alien contact entry that works with atmosphere thanks to Allen Baron’s solid Film Noir film-making and Gil Mellé’s weird music concrète score: to illustrate the appearance of the alien, Mellé combines a violin (tremolo) and a scraped cymbal, amongst other things. The main drawbacks are that the audience doesn’t see the invisible enemy and the leaning of the storytelling doesn’t help to sustain the excitement because it is very laborious like a commonplace detective story intrigue and we learn the back of the events piece by piece, in short, the alien delinquent kills for food and steals items (electronic parts, lead ingots) to repair its vehicle. The episode opens and ends with a night shot on the poorly lit and deserted INS office in which Kolchak works on his typewriter in a solemn way which is a beacon to the dark government/Military-Industrial Complex backdrop: see the arrival of four men in suit after the lead ingots robbery and at the office of Tony that Kolchak calls “the boys in the Sedan”. The writer also ridicules the UFO believers when Kolchak pays a visit to a private organization that consists of old society housewives listening to a silly female eyewitness telling them her travel aboard a saucer.

Carl Kolchak to Monique: “Monique? Monique? You gave away my pictures! You come out of there, or I’m gonna suck the marrow out of your bones!”

Item: At first, frustrated Kolchak is merely obsessed by the baseball game and listens to his police band radio while driving his Mustang and, by accident, gets a show called Moze Kazan Hour that takes the call of a man complaining about his lawn dirtied by an asphalt leftover that he calls a “black gooey mess” and that first clue links the presence of the alien murderer that rejects its stinking vomit: see its victims (the cheetah, cheap street hood Keeter Hudson, eccentric television repairman Leon Van Heusen). As the city of Chicago, the alien’s identity is related to a windy force. Kolchak uses his camera flashlight (here, the high-pitch sound of the battery recharger) as a weapon to repel the creature and avoids a certain death: see the inspired planetarium scene and the wilderness scene nearby the cheap flying saucer. First episode in which Kolchak secretly isolates himself in a dark room of the police precinct to consult an official document and the film editor uses the freeze frame in order not to show the savageness of the monster—see the scared cheetah at the Lincoln Park Zoo—like at the end of the main titles sequence. Moreover, the film editor also cuts the surreal lead ingots robbery scene in slow motion with cops jumping and flying into the air. As in “The Ripper”, Kolchak uses the services of a young assistant (here, Monique who eventually betrays him) in the dark room and the opening cast and crew credits are displayed in front of a high angle shot with lens’ vignetting of the city but with the addition of a pan shot from the view of the Lake Michigan to the heart of the city that includes the Chicago River. As in “The Zombie” with the Russo Brothers killings, Kolchak drives straight to the scene of the crime filled with an impressive army of cops. Find a brief INS mail man (uncredited). First episode produced by Cy Chermak but that still looks like a Paul Playdon story. This is the first episode in which Kolchak is exfiltrated from the scene of the crime by common men in blue that is the trade mark of producer Cy Chermak.

police head: Captain Quill (actor James Gregory), ordered by Raydyne Industries.
monster: an invisible alien being murderer eating bone marrow.
Tony’s tidbit: Tony is a true blue gourmet and enjoys a first-class diner in his office, paid by the editor of the Times and spoiled by Kolchak’s gruesome descriptions of the alien's digestive function.
featuring: zoo veterinarian Dr. Bess Winestock (actress Mary Wickes), Gordy the Ghoul, Monique.
 
Last edited:

JohnHopper

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The chapters menu from “They Have Been, They Are, They Will Be...”.

3_they_.jpg
 

JohnHopper

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Kolchak still listens to the baseball game and stops at the scene of a crime at Raydyne Electronics.

 

JohnHopper

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Kolchak stops his car at Mariposa Way and comes out of it like a common teenager to meet the first witness.

 

JohnHopper

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Kolchak drives fast to meet again zoo veterinarian Dr. Bess Winestock.

 

JohnHopper

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Recycled footage from “The Ripper” used here to depict again Kolchak resuming to the I.N.S. office.

 

JohnHopper

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Episode #4
“The Vampire”
written by David Chase
story by Bill Stratton
directed by Don Weis
music by Gil Mellé
guests: William Daniels, Suzanne Charny, John Doucette, Jan Murray, Larry Storch, Kathleen Nolan, Milt Kamen, Anne Whitfield, Army Archerd, Selma Archerd, Noel De Souza, Bill Baldwin, Alyscia Maxwell, Alice Backes


Carl Kolchak [voice-over]: “Hollywood. (…) Well, what can you expect from a city that erects a building that looks like a stack of flapjacks… and where some of the men dust their eyebrows with glitter. Compared to Tinseltown, Chicago was beginning to look like the Garden of Eden”.
[Kolchak makes a veiled reference to the Capitol Records building]


Item: It’s a very good episode and a departure from the series format with a great score by the leaving Gil Mellé, in other words, Kolchak doesn’t investigate in Chicago but flies to Los Angeles in order to officially interview Eastern Indian teenager guru Amerta Mera and supervises the dull writing of his article executed by a divorced real estate agent and doesn’t drive his yellow Mustang but a mere red car. The amusing side of the given assignment is that Kolchak pretends not to be interested in and wins and, as usual, he feuds with whipping boy Updyke who interrupts his discussion with The Swede and exclaims: “Yeah, well, you are being nosy, Uptight. Now, fade, will ya?”. From the start, Kolchak can’t stand the scent of the City of Angels (the cheap hotel, the doorman, the people, the cops like Deputy Sample with his dog in Barstow and Lt. Matteo who believes the murders are done by a satanist member from the Dark Star Coven) and even misses his official working appointment in a villa. First episode in which Kolchak pretends to be someone’s else and, here, he states he works for Manchester Guardian to Lt. Matteo, poses as a police inspector and plays and impresses with his I.N.S. press card to grill the janitor and, later, uses the nickname Tony (Cf. Vincenzo) to get a date over the phone and the irony is that Faye Kruger twice confuses him with someone’s else: a termite inspector and an I.R.S. official. As in the previous episode, Kolchak is exfiltrated from the scene of the crime by a common man in blue. The first night scene with airline stewardess Elena Munoz that introduces the vampire whose crippled hands coming out of the ground is iconic but the cherry on top of the cake is the flaming tall cross outcome.

Carl Kolchak [voiceover]: “May 8, 8:10 PM. Ichabod Grace, businessman, entrepreneur, was about to make an investment. More of a takeover than a merger. Ichabod’s terms were fair, his pitch persuasive. Ichabod thought he had added another filly to his stable of trotters. In Ichabod’s parlance, his new acquisition was called a fox. He had no way of knowing she was actually more closely related to the bat.”

Item: As in “The Ripper”, Kolchak explores the underworld of women selling their services but through a front agency called Grace’s Catering run by pimp Ichabod Grace and organizes a kill date with the suspect that fails and then goes chasing the monster at night in its abandoned lair and sets a fire trap. This one makes references to the first telefilm The Night Stalker through the theme of vampirism—former Las Vegas showgirl and hooker Catherine Rawlins kills her customers and is the sociological flip side of Janos Skorzeny because he used to target his kind or she’s surely one of his victims—and Las Vegas because of reporter The Swede. For the anecdote, Kolchak listens to the radio music on a television set in his hotel room and the last tune he picked is from “The Zombie” when Mama Lois puts a spell on Kolchak and he travels with a portable police band radio set. First episode shot by the regular cinematographer Ronald W. Browne.

police head: L.A.P.D. Lieutenant Jack Matteo (actor William Daniels).
monster: a vampire prostitute.
Tony’s tidbit: Tony harasses Kolchak over the phone who plays with his electric razor.
featuring: anchorman James Bright alias Jim “The Swede” Brytowski (actor Larry Storch) and real estate agent Faye Kruger (actress Kathleen Nolan).
 
Last edited:

JohnHopper

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Episode #4
“The Vampire”
written by David Chase
story by Bill Stratton
directed by Don Weis
music by Gil Mellé
guests: William Daniels, Suzanne Charny, John Doucette, Jan Murray, Larry Storch, Kathleen Nolan, Milt Kamen, Anne Whitfield, Army Archerd, Selma Archerd, Noel De Souza, Bill Baldwin, Alyscia Maxwell, Alice Backes


Carl Kolchak [voice-over]: “Hollywood. (…) Well, what can you expect from a city that erects a building that looks like a stack of flapjacks… and where some of the men dust their eyebrows with glitter. Compared to Tinseltown, Chicago was beginning to look like the Garden of Eden”.
[Kolchak makes a veiled reference to the Capitol Records building]


Item: It’s a very good episode and a departure from the series format with a great score by the leaving Gil Mellé, in other words, Kolchak doesn’t investigate in Chicago but flies to Los Angeles in order to officially interview Eastern Indian teenager guru Amerta Mera and supervises the dull writing of his article executed by a divorced real estate agent and doesn’t drive his yellow Mustang but a mere red car. The amusing side of the given assignment is that Kolchak pretends not to be interested in and wins and, as usual, he feuds with whipping boy Updyke who interrupts his discussion with The Swede and exclaims: “Yeah, well, you are being nosy, Uptight. Now, fade, will ya?”. From the start, Kolchak can’t stand the scent of the City of Angels (the cheap hotel, the doorman, the people, the cops like Deputy Sample with his dog in Barstow and Lt. Matteo who believes the murders are done by a satanist member from the Dark Star Coven) and even misses his official working appointment in a villa. First episode in which Kolchak pretends to be someone’s else and, here, he states he works for Manchester Guardian to Lt. Matteo, poses as a police inspector and plays and impresses with his I.N.S. press card to grill the janitor and, later, uses the nickname Tony (Cf. Vincenzo) to get a date over the phone and the irony is that Faye Kruger twice confuses him with someone’s else: a termite inspector and an I.R.S. official. As in the previous episode, Kolchak is exfiltrated from the scene of the crime by a common man in blue. The first night scene with airline stewardess Elena Munoz that introduces the vampire whose crippled hands coming out of the ground is iconic but the cherry on top of the cake is the flaming tall cross outcome.

Carl Kolchak [voiceover]: “May 8, 8:10 PM. Ichabod Grace, businessman, entrepreneur, was about to make an investment. More of a takeover than a merger. Ichabod’s terms were fair, his pitch persuasive. Ichabod thought he had added another filly to his stable of trotters. In Ichabod’s parlance, his new acquisition was called a fox. He had no way of knowing she was actually more closely related to the bat.”

Item: As in “The Ripper”, Kolchak explores the underworld of women selling their services but through a front agency called Grace’s Catering run by pimp Ichabod Grace and organizes a kill date with the suspect that fails and then goes chasing the monster at night in its abandoned lair and sets a fire trap. This one makes references to the first telefilm The Night Stalker through the theme of vampirism—former Las Vegas showgirl and hooker Catherine Rawlins kills her customers and is the sociological flip side Janos Skorzeny because he used to target his kind or she’s surely one of his victims—and Las Vegas because of reporter The Swede. For the anecdote, Kolchak listens to the radio music on a television set in his hotel room and the last tune he picked is from “The Zombie” when Mama Lois puts a spell on Kolchak and he travels with a portable police band radio set. First episode shot by the regular cinematographer Ronald W. Browne.

police head: L.A.P.D. Lieutenant Jack Matteo (actor William Daniels).
monster: a vampire prostitute.
Tony’s tidbit: Tony harasses Kolchak over the phone who plays with his electric razor.
featuring: anchorman James Bright alias Jim “The Swede” Brytowski (actor Larry Storch) and real estate agent Faye Kruger (actress Kathleen Nolan).


Pictures of real estate agent Faye Kruger (actress Kathleen Nolan).

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JohnHopper

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Carl Kolchak [voice-over]: “Well, what can you expect from a city that erects a building that looks like a stack of flapjacks… and where some of the men dust their eyebrows with glitter. Compared to Tinseltown, Chicago was beginning to look like the Garden of Eden”.
[Kolchak makes a veiled reference to the Capitol Records building]

 

Matt Hough

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I like that in doing another vampire story, they switched sexes. Watching it for the first time way back then, I was caught off guard by the switch. The show did well to set the story in another venue, and the series might not have been quite as formulaic if they had taken Carl out of Chicago more often (as Murder, She Wrote found a decade later; they took Jessica around the world even though it was all filmed at Universal).
 

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