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JohnHopper

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Kolchak has a clothes issue at the I.N.S. office

Carl Kolchak: [grabbing his hat and jacket] “Okay. If clothes make the reporter around here, then Carl Kolchak can play that game too!”
Tony Vincenzo: “Where are you going?”
Carl Kolchak: [storming out the door] “I’m taking the rest of the afternoon off. I am going out and buy myself some new clothes, okay?”
Emily Cowles: [delighted] “Finally!”

 

JohnHopper

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studies dogs again but with dog trainer George M. Schwartz (see the funny scene in which scared Kolchak is guarded by a Doberman)

For the anecdote, Kolchak feels uneasy with dogs: see “The Vampire”, “Firefall”, “The Devil’s Platform”.

 

JohnHopper

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Item: “Next on the desk of my editor… the reviews of the second disc and its side A… starting: November 29, 8 AM… Load your camera, check-out your tape recorder and be ready!”


kolchak_dvd03.jpg
 

JohnHopper

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Episode #9
“The Spanish Moss Murders”
written by Al Friedman and David Chase
story by Al Friedman
directed by Gordon Hessler
no music credits (stock music)
guests: Keenan Wynn, Severn Darden, Randy Boone, Johnny Silver, Ned Glass, Richard Kiel, Virginia Gregg, Brian Avery, Maurice Marsac, Elisabeth Brooks, Don Mantooth

Captain Joe Siska: “Well, the preliminary report said suffocation… due to massive chest contusions.”
Carl Kolchak: “Chest contusions? Come on, now, Siska. I saw that cook there. His chest looked like it had been massaged by a bulldozer.”


Item: It’s a confused yet rather good entry that is a matter of style and heavy atmosphere over story because the director makes it better than it is: the monster never really exists but still kills its victims (clumsy lab assistant Michele Kelly, chef Honoré Piaget but off-screen, hippie street guitarist Bobby Ray Solange, informer Pepe LaRue, patrolman Warren Lunt)—the sudden disappearance of Pepe LaRue while talking to Kolchak adds a layer of mystery and incoherence. Horror expert Gordon Hessler tends to show one eye of the monster in the path of its killings. Hopefully, the climax in the sewer remains one of the finest moments in the series and in which Kolchak is trapped like a wet rat inside because the manhole cover has been set back in place with a truck parked directly on top of it. The green neon lights are particularly sinister (see the outside of the lab, the back of the French restaurant) as well as the metallic set decoration of Dr. Pollack’s lab which looks like a city morgue. Clue-wise, what drives Kolchak hysterical and scared is a piece of Spanish moss unexpectedly found in the top drawer of his desk that he first and ironically describes as a salad after the French restaurant murder.

Carl Kolchak: “Whatever happened to ‘I’m okay, you’re okay?’ ”
Captain Joe Siska: “Well, to tell you the truth, you’re not okay! The people in group therapy didn’t tell me I was ever gonna meet anybody as un-okay as you are.”


Item: Kolchak explores the world of street musicians in the Cajun district and even enters a recording studio to question con man fiddler player Gene. The scene composition as well as the music (tremolo violin) for the murder of Bobby Ray Solange is identical to the one of street hood Keeter Hudson from “They Have Been, They Are, They Will Be…” and, still from that same source episode, Kolchak hides in a police precinct room to steal some infos and even fails to be spotted by the police head. It’s the first of the two Captain Joe ‘Mad Dog’ Siska showcases and one of my favorite guest cops all the way and, oddly enough, what links both Siska and Pollack is behavior, in short, they try hard to be nice. As in “The Vampire”, Kolchak pretends to be someone’s else and, here, poses as an official of the health department by playing and impressing with his press card in front of another common worker and the police head refuses to admit Kolchak’s obvious conclusions and fashions a conventional story about the so-called suspect named Roman Clementi, pastry chef at Chez Voltaire, to the press. For the anecdote, when Kolchak steps into the lab, he witnesses Dr. Pollack grabbing the hand of his female assistant which implies more than a professional relationship. As in “The Devil’s Platform”, Kolchak works alone in the dark room. The end music credits only mentions Theme Gil Mellé but contains some materials by Jerry Fielding (“The Werewolf”, “Firefall”, “The Devil’s Platform” and its tailing dog cue) and Gil Mellé (“The Zombie”, “They Have Been, They Are, They Will Be…”, “The Vampire”).

police head: Captain Joe ‘Mad Dog’ Siska (actor Keenan Wynn).
monster: Peremalfait (a Cajun swamp boogeyman who crushes chest cavity and is created by sleeper guinea pig Paul Langlois suffering from narcolepsy).
Tony’s tidbit: Tony rehearses his official speech and attends a Press Club banquet.
featuring: Dr. Aaron Pollack (actor Severn Darden).
 

JohnHopper

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Hopefully, the climax in the sewer remains one of the finest moments in the series and in which Kolchak is trapped like a wet rat inside because the manhole cover has been set back in place with a truck parked directly on top of it.


 

JohnHopper

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It’s the first of the two Captain Joe ‘Mad Dog’ Siska showcases and one of my favorite guest cops all the way

Carl Kolchak: “Whatever happened to ‘I’m okay, you’re okay?’ ”
Captain Joe Siska: “Well, to tell you the truth, you’re not okay! The people in group therapy didn’t tell me I was ever gonna meet anybody as un-okay as you are.”

 

Matt Hough

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Yes, the sewer climax is nicely and evocatively handled, and Keenan Wynn's police captain is a favorite (in both his episode appearances). Two consecutive appearances for RIchard Kiel though we don't really see him clearly here with the heavy make-up.
 

JohnHopper

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Episode #10
“The Energy Eater”
written by Arthur Rowe and Rudolph Borchert
story by Arthur Rowe
directed by Alex Grasshoff
music score by Luchi de Jesus
guests: William Smith, Elaine Giftos, Tom Drake, Michael Strong, Robert Yuro, Joyce Jillson, John Alvin, Robert Cornthwaite, Michael Fox, Melissa Greene, Dianne Harper, John Mitchum, Barbara Graham, Ellaraino


Receptionist: “Here you are, Mr. Kolchak.”
Carl Kolchak: “Thank you very much. Anybody important here today?”
Receptionist: “No, just a bunch of reporters.”


Item: It’s a laborious, anemic and flat case related to the burial ground of a Bear god disguised as a trivial architectural drama about the weak foundations of a brand new hospital that is only interesting for actor William Smith as native American high steel worker/ladies’ man/medicine man/scholar/polyglot Jim Elkhorn that calls Kolchak ‘Charles’ and ‘Chuck’. Director Alex Grasshoff concludes his body of work with this poor installment. Photography-wise, Kolchak develops X-Ray plates showing the eye of Matchemonedo and borrows two highly expensive Hasselblad cameras. As in “They Have Been, They Are, They Will Be…”, the monster is invisible and mess around with energy (electro-magnetic field) and, here, disrupts and damages the electric system that kills workers (a staff electrician, nurse Janice Eisen) and patients (young Claudia Granov) of the hospital.

Carl Kolchak: “You enjoy your work?”
Nurse Janice Eisen: “Oh, yes. Yes. A well-performed autopsy is a joy forever.”


Item: As in “The Werewolf“ and “Bad Medicine”, Kolchak poses as someone’s else and, here, as an anonymous physician to sneak into the lower level of the hospital along with architectural engineer Don Kibbey, as Dr. Kolchak to attend a meeting with Dr. Ralph Carrie, as a nurse carrying equipment and as a foreman with the hospital workers. As in “The Spanish Moss Murders” covered with dirt and mud, Kolchak finishes his adventure in a hospital’s bed but with freeze burns from extreme cold gas that used to paralyze him. After “Bad Medicine” (also directed by Alex Grasshoff), find the second native American spirit that deals with buildings and the lobby of the hospital is the actual lobby of Universal City’s MCA Black Tower. Despite some electronic tonalities and some nice melodies by Luchi de Jesus—especially during the murder of patient Claudia Granov—, it contains stock music by Jerry Fielding (“The Werewolf”, “Firefall”, “The Devil’s Platform” and its tailing dog cue) and Gil Mellé (“The Zombie”, “They Have Been, They Are, They Will Be...”).

police head: Detective Captain Webster (actor Robert Yuro).
monster: Bear god Matchemonedo (a restless native American spirit).
Tony’s tidbit: Tony is mad about Kolchak using two Hasselblad cameras and buying some expensive films.
featuring: nurse Janice Eisen (actress Elaine Giftos) and high steel worker Jim Elkhorn (actor William Smith).
 
Last edited:

JohnHopper

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Episode #10
“The Energy Eater”
written by Arthur Rowe and Rudolph Borchert
story by Arthur Rowe
directed by Alex Grasshoff
music score by Luchi de Jesus
guests: William Smith, Elaine Giftos, Tom Drake, Michael Strong, Robert Yuro, Joyce Jillson, John Alvin, Robert Cornthwaite, Michael Fox, Melissa Greene, Dianne Harper, John Mitchum, Barbara Graham, Ellaraino


Receptionist: “Here you are, Mr. Kolchak.”
Carl Kolchak: “Thank you very much. Anybody important here today?”
Receptionist: “No, just a bunch of reporters.”


Item: It’s a laborious, anemic and flat case related to the burial ground of a Bear god disguised as a trivial architectural drama about the weak foundations of a brand new hospital that is only interesting for actor William Smith as native American high steel worker/ladies’ man/medicine man/scholar/polyglot Jim Elkhorn that calls Kolchak ‘Charles’ and ‘Chuck’. Director Alex Grasshoff concludes his body of work with this poor installment. Photography-wise, Kolchak develops X-Ray plates showing the eye of Matchemonedo and borrows two highly expensive Hasselblad cameras. As in “They Have Been, They Are, They Will Be…”, the monster is invisible and mess around with energy (electro-magnetic field) and, here, disrupts and damages the electric system that kills workers (a staff electrician, nurse Janice Eisen) and patients (young Claudia Granov) of the hospital.

Carl Kolchak: “You enjoy your work?”
Nurse Janice Eisen: “Oh, yes. Yes. A well-performed autopsy is a joy forever.”


Item: As in “The Werewolf“ and “Bad Medecine”, Kolchak poses as someone’s else and, here, as an anonymous physician to sneak into the lower level of the hospital along with architectural engineer Don Kibbey, as Dr. Kolchak to attend a meeting with Dr. Ralph Carrie, as a nurse carrying equipment and as a foreman with the hospital workers. As in “The Spanish Moss Murders” covered with dirt and mud, Kolchak finishes his adventure in a hospital’s bed but with freeze burns from extreme cold gas that used to paralyze him. After “Bad Medicine” (also directed by Alex Grasshoff), find the second native American spirit that deals with buildings and the lobby of the hospital is the actual lobby of Universal City’s MCA Black Tower. Despite some electronic tonalities and some nice melodies by Luchi de Jesus—especially during the murder of patient Claudia Granov—, it contains stock music by Jerry Fielding (“The Werewolf”, “Firefall”, “The Devil’s Platform” and its tailing dog cue) and Gil Mellé (“The Zombie”, “They Have Been, They Are, They Will Be...”).

police head: Detective Captain Webster (actor Robert Yuro).
monster: Bear god Matchemonedo (a restless native American spirit).
Tony’s tidbit: Tony is mad about Kolchak using two Hasselblad cameras and buying some expensive films.
featuring: nurse Janice Eisen (actress Elaine Giftos) and high steel worker Jim Elkhorn (actor William Smith).


Pictures of high steel worker Jim Elkhorn (actor William Smith).

energy_01.jpg
energy_02.jpg
energy_03.jpg
energy_04.jpg
energy_05.jpg
energy_06.jpg
energy_07.jpg
energy_08.jpg
energy_09.jpg
energy_10.jpg
energy_11.jpg
energy_12.jpg
 
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JohnHopper

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Yep, not one of the better ones but with an invisible enemy, at least the monster doesn't end up being a hyper-disappointing visual ("The Sentry").

Hopefully, the next episode is much better and part of the good ones.
See you on Thursday 2 for another fantastic adventure!
 

JohnHopper

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Episode #11
“Horror in the Heights”
written by Jimmy Sangster
directed by Michael T. Caffey
music score by Greg McRitchie
guests: Phil Silvers, Murray Matheson, Abraham Sofaer, Benny Rubin, Shelly Novack, Barry Gordon, Ned Glass, Jim Goodwin, Eric Server, John Bleifer, Herb Vigran, Naomi Stevens, Robert Karnes

Harry Starman: “What about the rats?”
Carl Kolchak: “Well, we all have rats, sir. You should see the one I work for.”


Item: It’s a solid yet ambiguous episode toying with the confusion of two cultural references (German and Eastern Indian) through the symbol of the swastika and a devious monster that exploits the trust by projecting an image of a honest figure in order to trap its senior victims (see night watchman Buck Fineman, movie buffs Miriam and Sol Goldstein, Harry Starman who believes seeing Kolchak in a back alley) and its young police victims (officers York and Boxman) and, later on, Kolchak faces a shocking dilemma by firing a steel arrow at an innocent old woman that he knows well: the one and only Miss Emily. The views of the Kentucky Maid Packing Corp.’s trash cans filled with meat carcasses eaten by rats are particularly gruesome and morbid. For the anecdote and entering the back room of an Eastern Indian restaurant, Kolchak fails to be shot by the very old owner, armed with a crossbow, who confuses Kolchak with the Rakshasa.

Tony Vincenzo to Carl Kolchak: “The story that starts out with the rodent problems of the lower-income old folks, and then generates into this dribble about some evil spirit… that comes from New Delhi and makes sandwiches out of people? (…) Who also appears to his victims as Carl Kolchak, but actually looks like Bongo the Chimp with fangs.”

Item: In a way, the Rakshasa as a murderer is a mixed bag of the arsonist doppelgänger from “Firefall” (image projection) and The Diablero from “Bad Medicine” (hypnosis). As in the early days of the series (“The Ripper”, “The Zombie”), find another section (Roosevelt Heights: the poor old people neighborhood) of Chicago and Tony going to the precinct to free Kolchak who yells like a nut which scares Tony on his way to the office of the two police heads. As in “The Devil’s Platform” and “The Spanish Moss Murders”, Kolchak works alone in the dark room. Miss Emily-wise, she writes a detective novel and reacts to Tony who makes a derogatory remark about old people as in the previous “The Energy Eater”. Guest actor Murray Matheson plays a society antique dealer and, in the 1972 Universal series Banacek, he plays an elegant antiquarian bookseller. Returning from “The Spanish Moss Murders”, actor Ned Glass plays the same character of superintendent Joe who recognizes Kolchak who used to pretend being a health department official but asserts it used to be his brother. Despite an original and Fieldingian score that includes sitar sounds by Greg McRitchie, it contains stock music by Gil Mellé (“The Vampire”, “The Zombie”) and Jerry Fielding (“Firefall”, “The Devil’s Platform”). As a reminder, Greg McRitchie was the orchestrator of composer Jerry Fielding and the electronic growls of the monster is played by Ian Underwood.

police heads: Policeman York (actor Shelly Novack), Officer Thomas (actor Robert Karnes) and Officer Prodman (actor Paul Sorensen).
monster: Rakshasa (an Eastern Indian flesh eating demon with a power of illusion).
Tony’s tidbit: Tony orders prohibited food over the phone to Manny.
featuring: demon hunter Ali Lakshmi (actor Abraham Sofaer).
 

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