©2019 by Classic Horrors. Proudly created with Wix.com

  • Classic Horrors Club

TV Terror Guide: Kolchak the Night Stalker (Demon in Lace)


Air Date: Feb. 7, 1975

Written by: Stephen Lord & Michael Kazoli and David Chase

Directed by: Don Weis

.

Monster of the Week: Succubus

.

Kolchak suspects the supernatural when he learns that the women victims in a string of couples’ murders had already died earlier.

.

Kolchak’s theory is that a succubus inhabits the bodies of young, pretty women so she can seduce young, pretty men and scare them to death.

.

He stops the threat by destroying the tablet that raised her.

.

Quotes:

Look, Kolchak – I gotta tell you something. Some people dream about retiring. I dream about breaking your face. (Cpt. Joe “Mad Dog” Siska)
You don’t have a syncopated bone in your body. (Kolchak to Vincenzo when Vincenzo says he used to play the drums)
Should you ever meet a young woman who seems too lovely to be really of this world, well just remember there’s a very good chance that she isn’t.

Postscript:

.

The police press charges against Kolchak, but Professor Spate says the tablet was broken accidentally. And, of course, there was no evidence to file a story.

Comments:

.

Better than usual makeup and special effects really enhance an episode that’s pretty strong already. In fact, I think the series is hitting a new stride, even though star Darren McGavin was growing unhappy with it. Demon in Lace is more full of funny lines and regular cast interactions than episodes from earlier in the run.

.

Contributing to this feeling may be the return of Keenan Wynn as Captain Joe “Mad Dog” Siska. I’ve often thought Chicago might be running out of enough police chiefs to have a different one in each episode, so it’s nice to see a repeat. For those that remember him in The Spanish Moss Murders, his extra-harsh feelings about Kolchak were previously explained.

.

The rest of the guest cast, as in many Kolchak episodes, have fun and interesting connections… Jackie Vernon (the voice of Frosty the Snowman) plays a college football coach. Carolyn Jones (Morticia Addams) plays “The Registrar.” Andrew Prine (Simon, King of the Witches; Crypt of the Living Dead; Grizzly) plays the character responsible for the mayhem, Professor C. Evan spate.

.

An interesting twist to the formula, if you don’t consider “twist” too strong a word, is that Kolchak stumbles upon the episode’s mystery only because his car runs out of gas near a crime scene. It’s coincidental he gets involved with it at all. I suppose the unlikelihood of that could have been played larger, but I’m not complaining.

.

Back to the makeup and special effects. In her natural state, the succubus doesn’t look much different than a good, old-fashioned witch, But we see her only once, during the first murder, and then once more at the end. Not showing her during the middle murders works well since we have just enough to stimulate our imagination.

.

Four-time director Don Weis also fires up the biggest storm we’ve experienced yet in the series. Booming thunder and blinding lightning fill the archeology lab as gale-force winds blow upon the doors. Kolchak chips away at the magical tablet with the succubus hanging off his back. I can’t think of another effect that could make it more terrifying or suspenseful.

Click here to see consolidated, real-time listings

for classic horror movies and television shows airing this week.