Monday, October 30, 2006

This is a NEWSpaper, Vincenzo! We print NEWS!!!!

Ah, yes. Carl Kolchak, iconoclast supreme.
I first met him on ABC-TV, on January 11, 1972. The Night Stalker was an ABC Movie of the Week, which were shown every Tuesday night. These were the original made-for-TV movies.
Doubtless after a week of heavy promotion, The Night Stalker aired. I wasn't the only adolescent who wanted to watch a movie about vampires on TV: after the ratings came in, The Night Stalker had posted as the Number One rated TV-movie of all time.
I next met ol' Kolchak through TAB, the Teen Age Book club, a month or so later. I saw that title in the catalog, and knew I had to have it. I also ordered the second "official" Kolkchak book, The Night Strangler, which promptly showed up as an ABC Movie of the Week about a year afer the first one.
The Night Strangler's January 16, 1973 showing was just as cool as the original's, with the added character roles played by Wally Cox (aka Underdog) and John Carradine (Dracula in House of Frankenstein, and loads of other horror roles) making it more fun.
As you can guess, these are the front and back covers of those paperbacks. You sure can't entice an adolescent male any better than with the salacious blurb on the back cover of Strangler: "A Belly Dance of Death." Hmmm.
Check back tomorrow, kiddies, on Halloween itself, where a piece of fictional prose will attempt to depict for you the magic of Trick-or-Treats and fun, safe, American Halloween in the 60s. 1960s that is.

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