414 The Norliss Tapes


We take a single episode of science fiction TV series and over analyze it to within an inch of its life. This is the fusion patrol podcast. Welcome to the discussion. Hello. And welcome to another episode of fusion patrol. I'm eugene. And I'm sorry. And tonight, we are looking at the nineteen seventy three. Three in nineteen seventy three. The Norlisk tapes a Dan Curtis production. David Norlisk is a recognized name author. He's been working on an advance from his publisher to write a new book. Debunking the supernatural. His publisher is distressed Norlisk calls him and says I can't write the book I need to talk to you now. But when Norlisk misses the meeting his publisher starts to worry and worry, he should Norlin has gone missing. The only clues to his disappearance. The cassette tape notes that he's left behind his publisher starts with tape. Number one. It recounts a prologue Norlisk adventures how he started researching and debunking the frauds that prey on the gullible who believe in the supernatural. But then his adventure begins when he's approached by MRs Ellen court. Recent widow of the wealthy and famous artist Jane's court who died of natural causes. She saw. Out New Orleans because their sister is a friend of his and mentioned his research into supernatural recently late at night while living alone and the giant mansion left to her by late husband. The dog goes nuts and leads her to the husband's remote studio on the property there. Asama fide version of her husband tries to kill her. She narrowly escapes the sheriff, although taking the crime seriously doesn't believe the more fantastic elements of the story Norlisk decides to investigate he learns that court was struck with a rare debilitating and fatal brain disease after which he became entangled with Madame. Oh, a proponent of a supernatural and that in exchange for some unknown promise he was given an antique ring the ring of Cyrus, which he never took off. And specifically left instructions in his will that he'd be buried wearing Norlin verifies that courts body and the ring are still in the family crypt. And then the murders. Start the. Court. Zombie kills a young woman and drains, her body of blood, the local sheriff investigates, but tries to keep a lid on the more fantastical elements of the story this being the same sheriff who didn't holy believe MRs court story, either Norlisk interviews Langdon gallery owner who worked with court, and who has shown a marked interest in the ring and also introduced court to Madame juquila legend has it that the ring is addition and is the symbol of immortality. While Langdon reveals nothing useful to New Orleans. Norlisk lets him know he'll never get the ring because it was interred with court soon. Langdon tries to steal the ring from the crypt. But his killed by the FBI Norlin. Visit Madame juquila who is also unhelpful, but warns him and MRs Gort to stay away from the mansion it is the house of Sarg off now returning to the studio because Norlisk convinced that is the key to this mystery. They find a new statue a work in progress with fresh clay nearby. And then they are attacked by court. Once again, they barely escape this time court demonstrates, he's incredible strength by ripping the door of the car off the sheriff investigates, but he dismisses the more fantastic elements of the story. Even after they discover courts buddy is no longer in the crip. Ellen sister returns from a trip and goes to visit her sister unaware that the mansion is now vacant unable to get in. She stops at a nearby hotel for the night soon court breaks in kills her and takes her body. Norlin has been researching and has discovered a series of prohibition era tunnels under the state connecting the studio and the crypt and he had the clan lies and learned that it is forty percent human blood. He also conducts some chemistry experiments on his own. But that's for later. Meanwhile, Madame tequila visits Ellen court and confesses that she had been used by the powers of darkness and that court made a deal after he died. He. Come back to life and make a statue that the demon saga would transform into a new body and then grant court eternal life upon success. If they can just find the body and remove the ring before sunset, it will all end the go to the mansion despite it being almost sunset and without nora's. And discover the tunnel the missing dead bodies and court who kills Madame juquila. But let's Ellen go free Norlisk arrives with plan. Let court finish the statue. He will surround it with a circle of blood and when Sargon comes to life. He will sit the blood on fire, which is an impenetrable barrier for supernatural beings. The plan works in the studio was burned down the charred body of court, but not saga f- is found. There is no answer to the disappearance of David New Orleans on tape one perhaps on tape to is publisher begins to listen. Okay. So the reason that we are looking at the Norlisk tapes and to be fair we should have done. This tween coal check than. Zz Docker and the night stalker. But circumstances prevented us from doing that. Namely, I forgot. But the reason we're doing this is because a little bit of backstory the movie the night stalker came out of January nineteen seventy two was a huge hit and ABC who had the movie wanted to series. Actually they wanted to series of movies. But nobody liked that idea. Dan curtis. Didn't like the idea. Dermot Gavin in like the idea. Nobody apparently liked the idea. But Dan Curtis was well enough into it that he was willing to do a sequel. And you know, how it became a series of different story. But at the same time NBC said, hey, we want a series. But of course, they couldn't have it. So they went to Dan Curtis and said give me a pilot for a series like that. And so this was shot basically at the same time the night strangler was the night strangler was released in January of seventy three. This was released in February of seventy three. And you know, when I say simultaneously, that's kind of a broad that's kind of a broad term because he would only shoot seven to ten days or something like that back back when they were making these movies. So there may have been a longer pre production. But Dan Curtis was involved in both projects at the same time and Dan Curtis directed both the night strangler and the New Orleans takes Robert Colbert did the music for both of them. Which is why it sounds so much the same. You know, the titles look the same because that's Dan Curtis product. I mean, they are they are cut from the same cloth in more than one way these two show. So that's why we brought it out here. Just to look at this. This is the first because coach never had right? It never. It's the first manifestation of someone trying to copy check in in in the films, and it's actually the man himself doing it to that someone else's request. They can and so he he's done cut. His just to get clear is okay. We see idea of being TV series is the series of films. He doesn't like that's what I read that seems a little he didn't feel there was room for eight series in the coal check formula or eight movies in the culture formula. But apparently Norling tapes is sufficiently restructured that he thinks that there is maybe it's because. Norlisk is rich and can go wherever the Heke wants. He's a writer instead of journalist. So he's independently I I don't know. I don't know quite what they were thinking at that time structures light different in the days. More setup was a serial, obviously, there's an intention for each site to be relatively stand alone while this is relatively standalone. So that's what I'm seeming. Yes. Yes. We could talk about that. But I mean, yes, the whole thing with court seems to be a standalone story, the whole mystery of Norlisk disappearance is that even related to this story. Well, we don't know. I I watch this thinking this just a another one off another film like the nights doco the night strangler on blow me if I by the end of it because you mentioned all the parallels. Well, we get another story is all about narration from the tapes. I mean. Childless time. Oh, yeah. I forgot mentally what we what we building is a framing slightly more elaborate framing, which is based around having notice new rate what is going on. And when we do that in contact stories, we deta slightly brief, but nevertheless, an introduction from coach which kind of sets up where we going to be by the end of the story. And that's the kind of wrapping up of the threats. Why coach is sitting in a pot Maden disheveled suit, or whatever it is in whatever particular story is. And so I'm thinking and this one well, we're going to find out. What is that has happened to no less that has led to him becoming despondent vanishing blow me if it turns out, it's not a flipping standalone story. Cancelled series. I'm never getting closure on this. Maybe big finish will pick it up. I actually I actually was sitting and watching this and thinking at the end, you know, why why couldn't I mean, whether or not the relative quality of the program is there to say the setup is it's more coal Chac than the two thousand and five nights Docker. And it does have a few of the problems with the premise, perhaps cleared up. Not not one hundred percent. Sure there. You know, my my complaints. You know, it is very similar to nights Docker night strangler in its format approach and everything might my main complaint about it is and I like, ROY Innis, but cut he's awful in this. He's I think he's just so bland and disinterested in his narration and his and his he's like he's sleepwalking through this thing to me. And you know, you, rob. Publi haven't seen it. But he was a star of TV series called the invaders in the late sixties which went a couple years, and I quite liked him in that. And of course, he was in the X files several times. Well, several times it was once he's the alien that helped moulder and cured cancer man of his cancer. Okay. Okay. Right. So I know he was because we've talked once or twice about pilot episodes that get chucked into the the sequence of show on when you get to that one ever seem slightly old. And if you watch law and order when you get to six suddenly the regular district attorney, Adam Schiff disappears. And this new district attorney Alfred Wentworth appears with no explanation, and he's ROY Innis who they hot to shoot the pilot that by the time they came to series. He got other gig or something and didn't want to do the show. So. So. Another. Okay. Another perfect example those out of order pilots. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. I I liked ROY Innis over the years. I just didn't think he was good in this potential anything. I just think the way he was playing it his character wasn't interested. Perhaps. That's see. I think I think he is good in this. And I like he's performance. So I'm gonna straightway disagree. I do things the way this is written and passed acted does him. No favours in the sense that this whole framing that is is set up, and you know, having seen that is designed a framing the series. Not just the upside I come to I understand that. Why? Now, but they spend almost ten minutes on just the framing before they get into the story proper. And as part of the at all, we really see if this is the kind of this shell of the man who has suffered this terrible chore. Who whatever it is. And he does seem very listless and shaken in that, and it doesn't come trust sufficiently with the performance he gives when he is being the investigate of the writer in the the kind of call it flashbacks. But, you know, the the the story cropper, and that's a pity because I I like the way is compared to sorry Darren mcgavin, but compared to to coach Jack because when he's into beuing court the right right at the start of the story, his style is so much more believable. He I mean, he is quite kind of laid back, but he's eliciting the story from her by by just sort of giving how these it'll tell me. Whereas whereas coach check comes across as what a what a Cup scouts idea of a newspaper coal to might be light. I wanna be I wanna be newspaper man when I grow up, and that's what you get on screen. Well, coal check is both passionate and cynical about what he does. And at varying times one or the other or a bit of both. And he also because he's a smart ass when he does his narration there's a little bit of there's a little bit of wit to it. There's a little bit of sparkle and Norlisk get stuff like the rain was coming down like a curtain from gun metal sky. So, wow, you've been reading too much. Oh, that's thought he's been too much too, many Dashiell Hammett novels perhaps. I it not that. I mean, not something I noted myself because I think it's a partial fix to some of the stuff that's happening to this happened in the in the coach axe to. So I mean down Gavin is right, charismatic, Beasley that comes across in the performance that and he is all the things you said, but I think the bottom line easings character as well. Okay. And that is the opportunity with Norlisk to do something. That's a bit less like that. But the problem is I still really think that the whole narration framing former works. It's an attempt to make it back to because by making the guy into a writer than the rain's coming down from like, a cat and from the gun metal sky is more forgivable than it would be for an employee of the international news or whatever trip check. And I guess working. I guess. These notes aren't weren't originally intended sets the next question where the notes intended for himself or with the notes intended for his publisher. You know, I I don't think that's I think that's been Soltau because they all notes it's not like he setting it down as a book. Whereas if he was setting it down as book, then you could kind of think yet, he's he's giving it all that. Because he's trying to entertain the paying public his stuff will I do this. So when I'm writing stuff down or when I'm taking notes, whether I'm trying to work on a script idea. Whether I'm working, my notes for this or for for whatever it is that I'm that I'm writing I do have a tendency to write very terse note note, note note, and if I have an idea of something that some linguistic thing that I what flourish that I wanna put I will stop and write it in the middle of it. So you can get my notes we'll go for like, he goes seasoning. Then he does this. And then Blida, you know. So it I do find it forgivable that if he is thinking towards the mind of writing a book that as he's taking his notes, he might think. Oh, yes. You know? I that image of the rain in my mind. I should I should definitely flourish that out. So I don't forget it when I get around to write some the bosses nineties. This is this is he's narrating the film that we're watching. That's you know, that's what's that's what's going on here. And. It's it's a kind of slightly irritating conceit within the story that they can use the punishment plan the types as a sort of way of explaining that. But it doesn't and you come back to things like the bits of narrative that we couldn't really know don't really know like when the girl is in the car, and the guy is on B that I bought. Grabs it by the neck. We can we can maybe put that together by the French Canada's after but it, but it's all it's all reconstructions, no eyewitness evidence tab because she hasn't survived. And so what's going on? There is when we're having a story narrated, and we're seeing it come to life before our eyes because that's the kind of dramatic concedes. There is that and it just feels like a. An unnecessary unnecessarily elaborate way, you you could just narrate the thing if you wanted to write the thing the thing, let's not pretend this isn't drama. I forgot to mention a parallel the original night stalker by Jeff rice was not called the night stalker. Remember, it was an unpublished book that got converted to a movie before the book ever got published and by the time, the book got published the book was renamed to the night stalker because the movie was called the night soccer, the original title, or one of the original titles was the coal check tapes, which Dan Curtis would have known going into this. So. The thing. Yeah. So I guess it's just his his narration. I don't like his narration in this because it does for half of the reasons that you didn't like the narrator in the night stalker. Whereas I thought they were okay. Because listening to what he had to say was usually amusing perhaps it appeals to my sense of humor. You know, she should have settled on being alive. It's really it's really cold and acerbic wit at times. And I appreciate that this guy just when he gets into his talking is like driving down the coast, and it was a beautiful see with the sun ocean crashing this thing. And yes, peninsular country really could give the French Riviera a run for its money. But I wasn't thinking about the scenery that dance were you're writing down. And. So bland when when he does that that it adds to the bland performance. But you're absolutely right. When he is interviewing when he's doing real, well, we don't see him to research, but we see the fruits of his research. It does seem to be doing. He's doing it better and more effectively and he's not driven by deadlines. So I guess, you know, he probably has a different research ethic and workflow my really I really liked the premise. I mean, I it's it feels a bit familiar though. I I mean, I know it was Jason ABS the last days of Jack spock's used avai similar kind of story. But I'm sure it's been used in other things before where you've got to write a setting out to debunk the power normal and then bathing to debunk it and. In a way. That's that's the Scully approach. But I'll say in in that makes you have a believer in much the way that culture is a believer in table two that we never get to see we know what do we know we don't, but I'm going to ask questions, whereas New Orleans on the scale in tape to is he still debunk or going in and and trying to debunk and ups up some wrong turns out this was a real one too. I don't think he can be because you come you come Palau in a in a series that was one of the things the X files had difficulty waste because they ended up at various points or swapping roles being believers and non-believers. So I don't think he would have worked carrying on it works within a a standalone story. I guess what bugs me about that that I think you're right. But I think what what would bug me on that in the long run would be that. For every supernatural story. That's real. There. Must be thousands and thousands and thousands of fakes, but they get that. Right. Because he does he does say I mean, obviously doesn't right up because it's boring. But he does say he spends setting amounts of time with mediums and other joust. Choices and a he on mosques everything that they do. So he's he does what he setting out to do. It doesn't ply takes. Terrible notes. Yeah. But maybe it's maybe it's interesting. He thinks is a bit lazy is a bit like shooting fish about. And actually, it's much more interesting when you read something because all of all of his ones are genuine shysters. Whereas if you read about the way, someone like Darren Brown debunk, some of this stuff, it's it's quite interesting learning about the differences between cold reading warm rating, and this kind of thing and unin- some cases, obviously, maybe things mediums you get people who are not the not malicious tricksters that delusional. That there is some potential interest. But obviously this hasn't found that he hasn't found anything worth writing a book about and then and then he seems to stumble across this case which isn't much like any of the ones that he's been looking at. And it's not immediately obvious. Why he thinks it's worth including his book. But I guess the personal connection may be explained that do you think that he believed to quickly. Yes. Because he does seem to take her. Okay. Ano- the use all your husband the cops. Didn't see your husband. She doesn't unless he's just say good not at not tipping his hand. So that he doesn't poison the witness. I say, yes, he does come round himself quite fast, low, I suppose, the evidence does mountaintop. I do like the fact that he doesn't dismiss what she says. Because that reflects what I was saying about, you know, not everyone being not everyone being out to deceive some people just being mistaken all with the best intention join their own conclusions. And that's what he is seems about her. He he says to Marcia something like she's telling the truth as she sees it. And that's what I mean. And unlike the fact, he's not at this point drawing conclusions about what he thinks the truth is, but he's not he's not Matic -ly, assuming that either zombies real or she's ally. Okay. And yeah. And then it was kind of also what I was trying to say as does wanna poison the witness. Bye bye. By just basically, telling her she's nuts. Like, okay, I'm not going to say one way or the other. But but he does to me he feels like, okay. That's that's the guy awfully awfully easily. And and I I just couldn't quite get a read on that from from from the standpoint of a guy who who comes into it saying that he's a crusader, basically, he wants to be on a crusade to debunk this kind of nonsense, and you know, shifts shifts pretty darn fast in, but I don't think crusade would necessarily want to. Yes. I mean as you put it as poisoning, but what he would want to do would be to get as much from Allen court as he could about what she seen in what she's believed debunking, the power normal doesn't mean being aggressive towards or. Imagine the way coach clue. It what it means is humoring her because it's useful. But also, it's not necessarily the right thing to do to to say. Actually, the fact is I perceive them are this that it's. That it's right up. There's basically what I mean by poisoning the witness. So that he's if you just go in and man's plane to her why she's wrong. Yes. She clam up. She's not going to be forthcoming. She's not gonna continue to help. She's gonna treat him as as hostile. And why would you do that? Yeah. You would why would person doing that? But I just can't you know, again, it could be from the narration. It could be the fact that it's done after the fact it's clearly done after the fact what what he narrates done after Sargon has been captured and killed done. It does this doesn't feel like this doesn't feel like the narration that he did day by day where he goes home records a little bit sets it down. Then the next day record again you see. Yeah. This is the problem with the format format yet because it's not actually stuff he's recorded notes. Anyway, it's narration of TV movie. Yeah. So that hasn't been to given to that. And. The fact is that becomes problematic to understanding what he's thinking. I think that is a bit of an issue in other places because I felt when e went untold when he went and interviewed Charles Langdon, and he MU that Langton was after the ring and he knew where the ring was. And he where's he going with this? What he tells him where the ring is. You assume he's doing that for pups? It does feel like that when. Yeah, exactly when you cut straight away to Langdon gang and hoping the crypt you pretty much expect Knowle's to be talked to weigh in Kona ready to to leave houses a hawk got you. But of course, it's not that is just it's a way of advancing the plot. And see what script writer was thinking about setting that scene out. But what was Knowle's thinking was he really just that naive that he drops that information into lines lap completely thoughtlessly it? It did really feel like he was leading him. It really did purposefully. Yeah. Yeah. That that was really the impression I and maybe even if you have to have this narration that would be a wave explaining it. Because he could actually explain in his notes, what is intention was. But he doesn't. Yeah. I mean alternatively he could have been doing it to get Langdon to leave Elena alone. But you're not gonna get it. It was it was I really didn't. I really didn't get. I I didn't either was enough. There wasn't enough in the relationship with Ellen for him to be protective Esa like the fact that he didn't seem to get romantically involved with either. I mean, I enjoyed the both the characters and the way they interacted because when when he I mean, obviously, I say he's not protective. He does suggest that she doesn't stay. House and she then agrees when he's going back to the studio to investigate he else to go with him. And he sets out what he's going to do. It says will you come with me. And I guess he knows it's going to be fairly scary for her. And so does she. But she still does it. And you know, they go together. The intrepid power and I liked that. I just questioned why they headed to it at night. But. Well, I have to do it. And then I don't know why. Yeah. And so I'll I'll bring up something is a nit picky point. But I I it was odd with the writing there are at least three different instances where we're told. It was just after midnight the first attack at the house was just after midnight. There's a there's a mention of it being just after midnight at the hotel. There was a mention of it being just after midnight. I think the night that they the two of them went to the house because he's you know, he said I'll be there in an hour. But and she's wise it so late in traffic in the rain and stuff. And so it was just after midnight. Again, every time every time that the the zombie put in his appearance and saps sunrise sunset. Yes. And we must be just bad additive. I I I really felt like there was this midnight thing and the witching hour that that seems like perfectly reasonable zombie Lor. We're making stuff up that if it isn't it should be and then and then they mess it up with the final sequence. And I I think it must be it must have been a change that was made. And they they didn't catch the other instances where they set out after midnight. Honestly, I be far more likely. It's to me is far more believable in teas, we're believable and quotes here. I would never go hunting vampire five in the afternoon. Maybe be just completely insane. Wouldn't it? Maybe if you were up in Scotland and the dead of summer, maybe five PM is early enough away from sunset that you might. You might think about going to do that. What I would do it. If I thought the deadline was midnight. Okay. If we can just get up there and poke around for an hour or two and then get the heck out. Okay. It's a hundred. Two hundred. Punting vampire, five PM would be Pathak reasonable thing to most reasonable people probably go hunting vampires fight the m five I'm thinking six AM would be my preferred time of the day, but you know. You know? So I'm mostly thinking, not hunting ties fed, but I had to do just a bit crazy. If it was them, are you, I suppose. Remember, there's there's last man on earth, the real one not the that the name of the book in Avella span on earth. Ooh. Yeah. Yeah. Has to be. That's like that's what he does all day. So at least got to do is to go hunt. Vampires you start in the beginning of the day, you make sure your home safe at night, I'm gonna it's perfectly reasonable anyway, who's tally. The you mentioned earlier that there is ten minutes of setting the story up. I gave a brief lurk, but not enough of a look to found a satisfactory answer. I think that in nineteen seventy seventy-two the typical length of a TV episode after you've stripped it of commercials was about fifty minutes if I'm not mistaken. This was very strange in my mind in that you have the the bits where Norlisk calls is publisher. And they talk about how bad it is. Or how I can't do it. You gotta hear these tapes. And now, I gotta talk to you. I gotta talk to you today. So then they have the whole bit where he goes down. And he sits around waiting for lunch and nothing happens. And then he calls, and we Norlisk ignoring and we see then we seem go back, and it's like a week later, the publisher context Norlisk attorney, and he tells the attorney to look into. To it. And so the attorney looks into it, and then the Terni catches up with publisher days later, apparently, you're right to be worried. I found in the whole stuff about writing up and down on the cable car, and and and go into the club. And and and then finally the publisher goes to Norlisk place, and and starts to process now this movie was one hundred seventy two minutes long. So if they could just kill twenty two minutes with the framing stuff, this would effectively be about what one episode of the New Orleans tapes as TV series would be like probably have about the same pacing. You know, what they would have to cut it up under normal normal circumstances, which is another tip off that they're probably going for a pilot that in the big number one in the number two on the tape. But anyway, this one was written issue by William F Nolan. You familiar with him? I don't. I am not Richard Matheson, who did the night stalker was famous TV writer short story, novelist. Concentrated a lot on horror stories he'd written the movie duel, which I think you owe. But yes. Star Trek stories. He's written says, we'll leave if Nolan also a multiple award winning horror SCI fi writer, also Star Trek the twilight zone, he and George Clayton. Johnson did Logan's run. And I mean, the novels on then William Nolan wrote the rest of the novels. He's he's won countless awards. He's won. Are. He's written comedy things. I guess he's got a Sam space series, which is sort of a comedy science fiction detective PI sort of thing. He's done biographies. I know he's gonna buy of Dashiell Hammett out there. So there's there's a connection that popped in my brain. When I was thinking about the the writing. It's like, oh, yeah. He's definitely trying to do the old PI pastiche there with a gun metal sky and all that kind of stuff. I mean, the guy has got a ton of a ton of work behind him. It's not it's not bad. I'm the premise of the story is I grown when they said, oh, the blood's been drained out of the body after admit that that was the one part in the story that that I just really it has to be a blood drain. Traders. Well, it's back tonight. Stocker it's like, it's another blood draining thing, and yes, they had a good reason for it could reason for it from the in universe story kind of which I thought was novel though, I don't need it to survive. I don't need to vibe. It's like I'm have to make this blood body for this demon. I mean, okay. That's that's the kind of weird stuff I can expect. I I appreciate it. It was as ambi- go. It wasn't your standard zombie wasn't your standard vampire it. It had all the marks. I I thought it was a decent premise for this supernatural story. It. 'execution perhaps it was definitely tweet for jump scares Danker. Obviously, did whatever he could to get as many jump scares out of the story as he could up to an including the cat, which was one. There were two that bug me. One was the cat. Well, it was cows. Alright it was okay. But comes back to your your narrator point point this. He goes on and explains how this girl was leaving her hotel or no shoes, leaving her work and going home, and the the twenty minute drive, or whatever it was that she was going to do when she comes out of the place, and it's all dark owners tension. You're like, well, he's narrating, you know, she's dead. You know, she's dead. Here comes court. No, it's a cat. You don't know. She's dead because how the hell does. He know. All the details about the particular journey. She made that evening exactly how does he know the can't jump down. But I know that when the narration starts we start telling us about a character, whose, you know, stay out late, you know, that she's dead. I mean, you know, the culture, so when the cat jumps that like, okay. I can I can I can rationalize in my mind because the cop actually, the the sheriff actually says this later on he says to Norlisk or to whomever. They was a guy in the back of the car. They were driving. She was driving home. He's came out and strangled her and the car smashed into a tree which is exactly what happened. It's what the sheriff was able to put together from the evidence at the scene omitting the blood drain, and that is what Norlisk narrated to us. She was working late. He could have found it easily. How late she was working where she working alone. Yes. She was did. Drive home. You know, how far was it drive home? He could put all that together and make perfect sense out of that. And and he knows it's court because he's narrating after the fact that it's court and so all any can put together but not that jump scare with a cat. He could not have known that. I I agree. But I I still feel like putting putting all that together. After the fact you still a cheat. You could you could actually just had the the sequence from where the sheriff is arriving on the scene base. It base it on his test me. So he turns up at the scene of a car crash. And then there was some interesting things culture. You don't need all this stuff about. Leaving the sharp and getting cardinal estimate. All the bills, John what? Yeah. Other than that. For those kind of Hora moment if you like and start really do for me. I give me Sam Spade. Instead. I don't I'm not a fan of horror films, and I'm not a fan of jump scares. They don't like terrify me at my pants or anything like that. But I mean, it just from a story. I don't like typically that you know, they're coming in. Because if they don't do that, then you haven't built up the tension correctly. And it doesn't make any sense. But I'll give an example where I thought Curtis did a really good job. So for example, we know she's going to die because story purposes, then we get the cat which dispels that a little bit skull cap, but we still know she's going to die. It's just not going to the next shot. She's driving in the car. We're getting a lot of shots. It's dark the headlights aren't working very well. You know, she's on a winding road. I'm absolutely positively certain that she's gonna come around a corner, and he's going to be stare on front of her car and the car's gonna wreck or whatever it is. Beautifully set me up for that. I never expected him to reach your on the back and choke from behind on a shot. I was I was fully expecting the way that shot was done that it had led me into creature standing in the road kind of thing. And if you'll recall from the episode of the night stock with the black Knight we commented on that. Because when the guy's pulling into his driveway, you know, nothing until those lights pass in front of the night who's standing there and then kills him. And it was very effective. And I was I was completely expecting it here and just didn't get it. So I I give kudos to Curtis for achieving. What he was trying to do. I just don't particularly like that type of dull making I appreciate the the the craft. I guess that went into I agree. Let's see I also will comment to Dan Curtis. He does like to get out to different cities and show them off. Yeah. You know, the Monterrey area and San Francisco areas, very nice. I. He was moving to kotex stories around from city to city. So yeah. His another city never the same place twice ever the same place twice, which I guess you could was probably a lot easier to do when you're shooting. Schedule is only a couple of weeks back downstairs run-up to run up to Frisco and shoot this one. Okay. And if he if he wants to do that with this what he's a better premise for it. Because if this is a writer he's going to be able to go right guy. He's got he's got that kind of timescale way. He can go to where story is whereas if if culture is reporter in order to move in from city to city, basically has to run him out of town at the end of every film, which was getting tired by the end of. Well, I was going to say second movie as you probably getting taught by the end of the first movies. Well, you know, the first movie just the nights argument was just not shot. I just don't think it was shot with pilot mind. I think that was that was one done this guy had his one big story. And he got ruined over it. And that's it. He's done. Yeah. Yeah. Fair enough. But an I didn't sitting there watching this. I didn't realize it wasn't shocked. I didn't realize it was shot with pilots in mind. So I do wanna say forgot on the jump scares the one that the part from can I said there was another one the one I didn't like was the hotel room sitting there, and she hears something the window and she slowly creeps over to the curtains lowly, slowly, there's no sound. We don't hear anything she pulls it back, and then the creatures there and jumps through. Why didn't he just break in and kill her? I mean, did he have to wait vertu make eye contact? I hang on a minute step. Even further about that. Why? Why is he that? Why is he? Followed her from a house, maybe didn't like. Remember, there's a scene at the beginning. Where basically she says she and court didn't along why? Yes. So court may have just like, ooh, there's one I want blood. I I don't know because court did let his wife go. He did. I mean, I also have a note asking the question because when we see that initials scene of Allen court going to the studio and being spooked by dogfather being spooked by something. And when she's there she sees her dead husband. We realize it's her husband. Right. So what we see is as on be ops up, and she gives him both bows with a shotgun seems perfectly reasonable. Well. He did just kill a dog to Don Johnson. I and he he slaughters the dog. Her husbands are dead husband. I and she doesn't hesitate. Not my we discover that when when she's being interviewed by Knowle's. But I guess she's someone sent doesn't appear to been to upset about the dog say maybe not the husband either. But. Would you really if if you do recent widow, in fact, and suddenly your loved one appeared again in front of you, even if you happened to be in a slightly jumpy famous mind and carrying double shotgun. Would you would you give him both barrels a very good question? I think I think taken as a whole again. I mean, she's the dog is okay. They need a better dog actor whose tail and wag quite so much. But given that the dog seems to be like really onto something. And then they go into the studio. It's dark. It's a stormy night. She's rightfully scared and whether or not she recognized her husband or not he did leap out at her and go. When you have aging. While yellow eyes and stuff. I know. I I would have thought the reaction would be. Yes, she scared. Yes. She's yes. She's expecting something nasty to happen. But what happens it should be? Oh, James, darling. Thank goodness. Your hair? I'm so scared and you're looking at it purple rather than bam. Bam. I if it weren't her husband and somebody if somebody leapt up rallied at me, and I was carrying a shotgun. And it was late at night. And there was nobody supposed to be on my property. Absolutely. I'd give them both. I would I would do that. I'm with you would okay now. But we have to add one of step the dog leaps on the guy. She doesn't give him both barrels. I she stops. And she watches as the dog leaps on him. And he snaps that dog in two and flings it across the room while still growling like a monster. I don't know at that point. I don't know. I think that would have been enough for me, no matter who it was to go. Yeah. No. I see your point. I do see your point. And if it's not her husband, what she did made absolute perfect sense. If it is or husband, I'm gonna go fifty fifty some people would some people wouldn't she does. More than fifty people would would actually say James, what's he doing something? I mean, I'm not necessarily saying she leaps into his form brace. But I think perhaps opening up some channel of dialogue before opting armed conflict built any. And there's another question was he gonna kill her was her way? She's just gonna blow them away. Well, he does kill the dot. I mean, he he does demonstrates the dog has just left it his throat. Yeah. Yeah. I I. Yeah. It's it's this is tough to evaluate. How you would behave a supernatural situation. If I saw somebody running at me with fangs dripping blood just killed somebody. I would probably try to give them both barrels. No matter who it was. But yeah, it's it's a tough one. The question is if the dog hadn't been there was he trying to scare her away. Would he have tried to communicate with her? He sorta did in the tunnels, right? When when he came across the. Couldn't speak, but he was clearly trying to say something to her. And and and then apparently left her we didn't actually see the result of that. He just left her. When it wasn't. It wasn't brilliantly executed, and it did make me wonder whether what he was trying to say, hey, kills Nick my ring or something which turned out to be the case, but the intention wasn't communicated especially clear between the scene itself. And I will I will say, yes. Your your point stance? He there is there is clearly within the story some residual recognition from James court of of Vallon, and therefore to come back to the question could have been after Marcham particular, well, maybe low why wouldn't he have just gone straight in the motel rather than wait. Wait and killer at the mansion killer at the mansion. Not even wait for someone to ten up matching just go to the motel or any other nearby building containing people with blood and empty one of them out. So that he could carry on with his modeling activities. It would've made more sense if the girl Millie had some connection to him. Yes, right. Killed Langdon connection. Killed Madame Shaquille. Had a connection killed the sister-in-law had a connection in Liker Milly seems to be a random a random target. Yes. But even tequila Langton yet wet looking connection. Right. They were killed because they're so it's not like he's looking for someone to kill at that point. Really only Millie the actually goes up looking to kill and Marsha right? Really needed. He needed the blood to start his clay. So he's got to find a body. And the implication here is at this place is pretty darn remote. Both the mansion and the I think even says a. Couple of times. How far even from the town. The mansion is so heck heck Vlada good money there in art for an artist who's presumably bought the house when he wasn't dead yet. I thought you had to be a dead artist before you got rich from from that stuff. But apparently not. Yeah. So, but yeah. So was he waiting for me to see him for tear or not Millie the sister Masha Moshe, I just Marcia Marcia, Marcia, I have no idea because the whole thing going out going off to have makes no sense. So dot point the question of whether he was why he was waiting outside the window rather, just rushing straight. So at his family Mina point seems to me I just feel kinda like that. Maybe also he would have just worked a little longer and finish the is on the previous night because it was only about what ten seconds worked to finish. The is there. Sunrises the sunrises. Could have been. I was just thinking, you know, the artists not wanting to spoil spoil the kind of resistance because there. Yeah. I do have to conduct the ceremony to with me grunting at him and bras delaying and whatnot. So. Anyway. All right. Let's see have. I got anything specific. We've got we've got to touch on given how much time we spent to about coal chats relationship with the police, except I'm it's not it's not polices. Share? Digit. It's the local on fourth enforce with the roses. That the way that Knowle's and him just seems to me so much better. And it's the same guy to you from a culture, it's the same share. I mean, it's not the same character actor. Oh, it didn't register that we had. So we had so many of them the original in the in the night stalker was clawed ache. And he's a longtime when Dan Curtis likes to come back to the same actress. In fact, I think the publisher was also in the night stalker. Possibly as one of the city officials. But I so he has he has a rep company like absolutely, basically. Absolutely. But lo lo he got quite heated Norris. Didn't there was nothing. There was nothing him to gain by rising to it. And so he didn't he was just completely cool about it. And in the seems where they were they was they was they still had strongly opposing viewpoints. But after after Norlisk is actu-. Really witnessed court himself. And he's in the sheriff sheriff's office, and the sheriff isn't isn't ready to believe him. But they are having a dialogue, and he doesn't completely dismiss him. And then when when he he describes what happened to Ellen so forth. The sheriff is he did that and says, yeah, he he did that. And the sheriff's right? All right. Let's go even though he later on says, okay? This is a wild goose chase. We're giving up on it. There is there is more mileage for Norlin. I mean, he gets more benefit from the way. He handles him then contract because he wouldn't have gotten that far coach, Jack he would just have insulted him the first opportunity and been dismissed all scatter. Okay. So a couple of rations I think that the sheriff there is there is unfortunately, this cast of the oath. This is fantastic. Weaned a clamp down on this which I don't like I mean, maybe it's a it's a holdover from a different era where you don't wanna panic the public or something. But how many times have we seem jaws and everything, but this is the crime that was she was crushed. Her blood was taken you don't hide that. Unless you think it'll help you catch the killer. But again, I think that is reasonably handled in the sense that it's explored through the discussion that takes place between the sheriff and the. Because the because the EMMY is saying exactly what you're saying. He's putting that point of view sheriffs having to defend his position he saying. Okay. I'm not asking you to fabricate Tennessee, and yet he says, well, see what I can do what did that? Ultimately mean what did what did he do? Did he write his report? And then like us really small fun to sit in the body was drained of all its quite understand. What what the result of that was except I kind of came out of that feeling. I was going to do something a little shady, but not super shaney to help the sheriff. Yeah. Yeah. But the default position of the sheriff that I don't like it same thing from from the original nights. Well, the original might starker kinda makes sense because in Las Vegas everyone's the mob. Yeah. In the whole city is based on that. So I kinda get it there. I don't get it from this guy. Just like, you know, something those are the conditions. The guys were blood was gone. We don't know what it means don't have evidence when we're the other not saying, it's goule vampire monster anything like that. It's just those are the those are the facts in the case. And yes, this Scherf does a better job of investigating when somebody shows him look rip the card or he may not believe it's the dead body of court. But something happened. Yes. We will go. We will go investigate. We'll send the troops. We'll go. I mean, I completely appreciate the sheriff a lot more in this except for that. We're going to hide this. And at least I can forgive him for saying. Okay. Well, let's not work on the assumption that it's the dead man's body. Reanimated walking around town. I mean, so and yes handles him much better. But in defensive culture hard to but indefens- of culture and its exchange. Don't give. If the police are wrong, and again, it really does come back to that fundamental principle of the first movie bright police, and even there the police aren't wrong, they know it's vampire, they're just covering it up. So it's, but if the police are following the wrong avenue of more people will die, and whereas maybe we can argue that they're not Warner should be reject objective and not worry about that. And just report on people being dead as a human being he should feel some he should feel some concern when the police are clearly doing the wrong thing. And I think that's where coal check gets up. And his will you'll be dumbed them when he into the cops might criticism of coach is in. What way does? Oh, you big dumb dumb actually change the cost making it does make coach feel better. Guess I got it doesn't it doesn't make the police to to job. And it certainly doesn't mean that culture is doing it. But I don't know that this made the police to a better job either. Well, I think if you don't push the issue if you just let it go on pretend it serves Knowle's a lot better because he because he actually maintains access to his to to the investigation or the official investigations. So he's dialogue going on within the law and order, folks. And because he can gather more information key is in a better position to stood. So so when he gets them when the car door gets ripped off Necas to go back that couldn't have done that if he hadn't kept on civil speaking terms with the sheriff, and yes, he he just he wouldn't he wouldn't have had the information that he had. So he wouldn't have known whether or not he was missing anything useful and more than likely. He would have been missing useful information. Even if the a role, even if they are acting. Through self interest, or whatever it doesn't necessarily mean. Cool dum-dum he did act a bit smug during his first interview with the sheriff, but forgive ably. So the sheriff was very much in his face. Yes. And the police interaction very different very different style. Again, you could make the argument that this is William Nolan and Dan Curtis looking at what was successful about coal. Check looking about what might not work long term. And somebody else wants to pay me to make that this is you could you could make this as version two of of the process, and I gathered since Dan Curtis and Darren mcgavin didn't get along well on the night strangler. That was probably why well part from fact that was fulfilling something for different network. But I mean it. There have been anything he could have channel that into culture movies. But but didn't. I I would have liked to have seen this to go series. I would've liked to see maybe ROY Innis, be a little more interesting. But. I take your point, you know, by laying low and being being very mellow, and passive he key gathers more information that he's moved more successful of getting in with people said of being a the squeaky wheel, and it's not necessarily as wearing some of some of the shout t police scenes in coach which is like fingers on a blackboard. This is more enjoyable performance to watch even if maybe it's laid back a bit too much times. So our couple of random questions then about the show. The first question is the wife is saying that she's planning on selling the mansion. Okay. Fair enough. It's great big huge gigantic creepy house. And you inherited it. Okay. That's fine. It's yours. Nobody's making money selling. What happens when a family crypt get sold with a house like that high wanted that? It's never Kirby because typically you don't have mansions in the United States that actually have a family gripped like, so this is this is the court family crypt. It's here on the property. I guess you inherited you purchase a crypt. When he by the house. Do you start putting your own people in it and rename it? Onset of the court crip, you kind of scratch over it Glover and then start putting your own family funereal educates. And we're there other courts in the in their if the house was only built in the prohibition era, which California house Bill tunnels added. Well, he was looking at the architectural diagrams if you were if you were making prohibition tunnels been. File paperwork. Come to think of it. My my secret tunnels checkout and city hall, if you need to know. The county planning office. I would have to be in that case. So that was an court did have quite the prominent position. They're in the middle of it. So I I again, I don't know what you do with crypt. When I received a crypt is like an vampire film where you get a crypt. And you've got people in the wall. And then maybe one person has the position of honor. If that's the right word in the middle sitting there, and I've never have figured out is that like the guy who built the crypt and everyone else is like an adjunct family member. Or is that the most recent dead person that sits there until the next one comes along, and they put them into walls. I I really don't know what happens with crafts. It's not a thing thing we do much anymore. But yeah, that was my thought so what do you do with the crypt? I'm going to sell. His house comes with gripped is that like a bonus on the Zillow listing. Also, where did get the human blood? And I assume it had to be human blood. He didn't actually say human blood. He said of blood circle. But oh, oh, yeah. He's flammable, blood, right? Yes. Yeah. How does that work? Was that what he's Sam St. experiment was was he finding making lead flammable. But I mean, I can think of wet making flammable, if he was dissolving in petrol, whatever that was surely the trick thinking lighter fluid. Yeah. But yeah. Yeah. Maybe kind of kind of thing I bought this. This is supposed to be some sort of many law or something, isn't it? Yes. So where did they get their flammable blood from? That's why I want to know. Well, you know, part of the reason that the medieval times are known as the dark ages is they couldn't actually banish the spirits because they didn't have the technology to make flaming blood. That died with the Romans the Romans, they do the flammable blood. But when they you know, when that fell that was that was the end of it. I. I don't know. The medieval period thought, it was flaming blood, and this isn't a gyp Shen more. Bring scoured. Yeah. So that one was a little. And I was trying to figure out what he was doing when it was in the when he was in the lab, but yeah, he had the flasks in a lot and the tubes and stuff, and he was measuring going it's supposed to be blood in. There is that red liquid blood or is he reconstituting blood because he was like a red powder to in one of them. And I just look into screen. What the heck is he doing it just didn't make any sense? And then he comes on look why will blunt on fire now, I'm not gonna I'm not gonna I'm not gonna do a blood leading to test out. And see if blood is flammable. But my thought is it's not thinking, it's not it's not maybe it's flammable in the presence of supernatural beings. You could test treat. Yeah. That could be what it is. Next question. Random stray thing. So this is in his corvette. And he's Zing it up the hill trying to get there before sunset, and there's that car that's in front of him. What was up with that car? Just just being. Being hosted it was he being obstinate. Okay. Now that was my questions like the way this is shot that guy is definitely blocking Norlisk from going around him. You must be some reason for it. Could it be the demons trying spirit world trying to stop him from getting there? I don't know. I sing it could guy could be drunk could be anything. We never really find out other than the New Orleans. Finally just goes around him and just killed a little time built a little tension. But built a little tension. That's all and and I do want to point on. I think I mentioned Robert Colbert the music. He's the guy who also did the music for night stalker night strangler. He did all the music for dark shadows. Dan Curtis once again, part of his entourage that that comes in there. I don't know if you noticed it. But there was an awful lot of that little piano thing. Kind of tinkling thing during some of the tents moments. I has to be lifted straight out of the night strangler soundtrack, it just feel so not the good music from the night stalker or the nights strangle. It was a little bit more jazzy at times. But the kind of dull the dull music from the nights Docker and last parallel again, we can put this down to Dan Curtis show ins titles begin to roll the rest of the cast names come up, and then the innocuous seen that the titles run over. And and suddenly we start getting all the clips of zombie attacking people you get three or four or five of those. And then finally the last one freeze frame full on face. And Nick Dimitri as Jim's court, and that's exactly what they did with night stalker. Exactly what they did with the night strangler both of those that appears to be how. Gang Curtis likes to credit his monsters at the end didn't know if you noticed that or you remember that from the original I hadn't hadn't been notes in this. But I haven't remembered it seems it seems like when they finished on the night stalker. And they freeze framed and said, Barry atwater as vampire, it seems like they either pull pushed in on his eyes or they brighten them or darkened the surrounding to the final frame going out with more the is. But it was the same. It was the same kind of just end on that. And then finished, so okay. I don't have anything else. Neither do I. I'll I'll send a copy this. When we air it over the guys at big finish. And see if they want to pick this one up and and run run with his show. They could recast it. Or not right. This is still around think has been doing just waiting to the coal to come back and play notice. I was when I was looking through that. And I was thinking about ROY Innis, and where he'd come out of the invaders, and I don't know why I I knew ROY Innis was the guy who was in the invaders I used to watch the invaders all the time, and I knew he was the guy in the X files, and I thought well invaders, you know, they're just hiring somebody who's been in show about space aliens. And then I got to thinking about it. And it's the whole premise of the invaders is that this guy ROY thinnest character was also named David David Vincent sees euphoria landing one night and finds out that these aliens are coming to earth to invade and they can take over people's bodies and impersonate them, and he spends the rest of his series travelling from town to trying to prove that they exist because they're so good at covering up. And that it's actually kind of funny that they picked him to be the alien in the X files. And it's like, I I think I missed that joke. The first time around, you know. When they had Darren mcgavin, come in as the the guy who created the X files. I got that one right away. It's like well there you go. Obvious. But. I didn't I didn't get the invaders reference in that way. Okay. That's nothing to do with this story. We have no more coal check spinoffs that I am aware of anywhere. So this we are this is this is it we're done. We're off to other stuff so Simon. Thank you for joining me for this. Journey through the night stalker and the nights Docker and the Norlisk tapes and. It's been it's been fun. It's been interesting looking at the show's all of them from with a with a different point of view. And I appreciate your time. And your thoughts on all of these shows pleasure. Let's there's I hope you'll join us all again next time on fusion patrol. You've been listening to fusion patrol a listener supported podcast find out how you can be sponsor and get early access to all episodes and more at patriot dot com slash fusion patrol. Come join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter. All episodes are available at fusion patrol dot com. Our music is fight the future by amber wolf. This has been a lone locus production. They're a zone bef-. I'd version of her husband tries to kill her. But she narrowly escapes the police, although taking the crime seriously, I'm going to read that because it's not the police. It's the sheriff and. Sheriffs. Please knee and says actually it's the sheriff's office in the shirts. It's not not police action police they well they're law enforcement, but they're not please it's like highway patrol or not police, but they're they're highway patrol. It's it's a subtle. It's a subtle distinction cities. Have police counties have sheriffs and the state has highway patrol. So there different levels of. Start that. Wow. Mind blown.

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