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Zombie memories -- The Night Stalker

Zombie Mondays

One of my favorite shows as I was growing up was 'Kolchak: The Night Stalker' -- a show from the 70's that was based off the highly successful television movie 'The Night Stalker.'

The show featured Darren McGavin as a sleazy news reporter working for what I presume to be a fictitious wire service in Chicago. The hero, Carl Kolchak, would investigate different crimes that invariably had a supernatural bent (there was no real explanation for how he stumbled on these things every week). The villains ranged from vampires to aliens and there was usually a topical (for the time) twist to it.

One of the scarier episodes was simply titled 'Zombie' and it pitted out hero against an old Haitian woman that was using Voodoo to avenge the death of her son following friction between the Mafia and black numbers runners in the South Side. It featured character actors such as Scatman Crothers, Antonio Fargas and Charles Aidman who seemed to be everywhere during the 70s'.

During the episode, Kolchak determines that he can despose of the zombie in one of two traditional ways -- by filling it's mouth full of salt and sewing the lips shut or suspending its body in the air over a circle of candles. The climax sent me diving behind the couch when I was a kid.

Try checking the show out for its slightly satirical take on traditional and more modern monsters. It is a sort of a proto-'X Files' and worth your time.


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