I was 11 or 12 when this hit our TV screens. You've all seen it , but maybe aren't aware what a groundbreaker this film was. I had seen vampire movies before, particularly the Universal stuff and some Hammer films, but this gritty vampire movie set in the underbelly of Las Vegas struck a cord. For years it was one of the highest rated TV movies ever... and it scared the heck out of me. In particular the ending wherein Kolchak (Darren McGavin, perfectly cast) goes into the vampire's house (alone! WTF!!!), bumping around, making noise... and then the blood sucker gets home. Is there anything more creepy than Barry Atwater's growling, inhuman vampire? Not on that night there wasn't.
Scary and still exciting after all these years. Back then, my youthful brain was trying to understand what bug was up the truck driver's ass. Dennis Weaver was great as a guy caught up in a deadly cat and mouse game with a monster truck (it was a monster, after all) and he was the mouse. Is it a happy ending when the film's lead goes coocoo, laughing in the desert dust?
I have very little memory at all of the first two stories in this film... but we all remember that crazy ass wooden doll (the Zuni Fetish) running around screaming his gobbledygook, chasing Karen Black with a steak knife. I had a hard time going to sleep after this one, my friends.
After a few of those TV movies that had a twist ending wherein the supernatural death dealer was actually just some crazy human killer, this flick had my young brain on edge. Squinty-eyed, seemingly digestive plagued, David Janssen, ends up being on the track of a real Lawrence Talbot-like werewolf. This film also deals out some anti-readneck angst, so popular in its era.