One of my FAVORITE horror films of the 70s, thanks to the prolific mind of Dan Curtis who’s given us everything from Dark Shadows, Trilogy of Terror to The Night Stalker , again one of my absolute beloved series. And a slew of gripping television films too numerous to mention…
Kolchak is a role that Darren McGavin brought to life and could NEVER be replicated. It’s tragic that we lost him in 2006.
Darren McGavin IS Carl Kolchak The Night Stalker
In this Haunted House story, Marian and Ben Rolf (the electrifying Karen Black
and the highly potent Oliver Reed) accept the job as care takers to the Allardyce estate, with their son Davey (70s omnipresent child actor Lee H. Montgomery) and Aunt Elizabeth, the always captivating Bette Davis.
While not Davis’ most glamorous or memorable role, her presence adds a touch of class to the environment of alienation, and the suffocating imminent ruin that hovers over the family and this ‘dead place’ like a cloud of toxic dust.
Just to add to this already incredible cast, is Eileen Heckart and again, a favorite, the impishly droll Burgess Meredith as Arnold and Roz Allardyce who tell the Rolf’s “The house takes care of itself!”
In fact the ‘house’ does take care of itself, primarily by human sacrifice in order to rejuvenate it’s once appearance of Grandeur. The film works as a ‘Bad House’ story, a supernatural tale as well as a psychological thriller. And there are a few sentient moments that have stayed with me since I saw it’s original theatrical release in the movie theater, in 1976.
Here’s to a truly memorable ‘things that go bump in the night…and day‘ tale of horror from the master of the macabre and clichéd Dan Curtis!
“The perfect summer rental for the last vacation you’ll ever take.”
Happy Trailers! MonsterGirl