Kolchak - The Made From TV Movies


Have you ever tuned in to your local late-night movie channel and seen two movies called Crackle of Death and The Demon & The Mummy? Wondered what the heck they are?

Each movie is a compilation of two Night Stalker episodes. Crackle of Death is made up of the episodes Firefall and The Energy Eater, while Demon & The Mummy consists of Demon in Lace and Legacy of Terror.

These episodes were removed from the syndication package to be stitched together in to the movies. Because of this, none of these four episodes in their original form were seen either on CBS Late Night or on the Sci-Fi Channel. The movies themselves occasionally show up on late-night TV, or on the Sci-Fi Channel. The individual episodes themselves can be purchased from Columbia House as part of the complete Night Stalker collection. (The compiled movies aren't available through CH).

To cover the transitions between the mixed episodes, Darren McGavin was called in to do new voiceover material. The decision was inexplicably made to intermix the episodes, rather then simply show all of one episode, then all of the second episode.

Because of this, Demon & The Mummy consists of about a half hour of Demon in Lace, then a full hour of Legacy of Terror, then the remaining half hour of Demon. (The movies are two hours long with commercial breaks.)

Crackle of Death fares a little better: about 10 mildly irrelevant minutes of The Energy Eater are used, then Firefall is shown in its entirety, then the rest of The Energy Eater follows. On the other hand, each segment of Crackle is interspersed with frequent voiceovers from McGavin referring to the other episode. Some footage in Firefall is added to the end of Energy Eater to further tie the two together.

To facilitate the extra crossover material, scenes from the original episodes were removed! Thus, very little is seen of Ramon Beiri or Keenan Wynn in Demon... in their roles as Kolchak nemeses-policemen. Several important scenes in ;Legacy make much of what is going on up on screen very hard to understand.

In both cases, reasonably good episodes are rendered almost unviewable by the editing process. Your best bet is to get ahold of the original, uncut episodes from Columbia House.


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