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Rate Kolchak Episode 20: The Sentry
10 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
9 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
8 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
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6 33%  33%  [ 1 ]
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3 33%  33%  [ 1 ]
2 33%  33%  [ 1 ]
1 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 3
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 Post subject: Kolchak: The Sentry
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:20 pm 
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Episode 20: The Sentry

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Original Air Date: March 28, 1975
Writers: L. Ford Neale and John Huff
Director: Seymour Robbie

Guest Stars:
Kathie Browne ....... Lt. Irene Lamont
Tom Bosley .......... Jack Flaherty
Craig R. Baxley ..... The Creature
Frank Campanella .... Ted Chapman
John Hoyt ........... Dr. Beckwirth
Albert Paulsen ...... Dr. James Verhyden
Frank Marth ......... Colonel Brody

In an underground archival facility, strange geologic nodules are found. This discovery coincides with the deaths of several employees of the facility who appeared to have been killed by a wild animal. Kolchak discovers they are the work of a lizard creature protecting its young.



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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:14 pm 
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sucked!

3!


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 Post subject: Re: Kolchak: The Sentry
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 11:57 am 
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C'mon DrM! You need to show this one some love!

You've got all kinds of wild lizard action here! Oh sure, it's ridiculous. The lizard beast has shiny eyes, an immovable jaw and might as well be the fill-in mascot for the Florida Gators. But when it comes bashing through the wall, flips over a table in the lab, then goes toe-to-toe with five gun-toting troops, it's hilarious. I was laughing out loud. In fact, I went and got my 14-year old to watch it with me and he was rolling on the floor, too. The lizard starts smacking guys around...hell, it even slaps a little karate on their asses. There's as much action in that 30 seconds as there is in any entire episode of the rest of the series.

Was it good? No, not really, but I loved the campiness of it. I also really enjoyed the different police officers that Kolchak dealt with in the final few episodes. This time, it's a lady, Lt. Irene Lamont, and she's got all the men by their noses (or possibly something else). Kolchak isn't fooled though. Unfortunately the tension between them early is wasted by the end.

My Rating: 6 - Good

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 Post subject: Re: Kolchak: The Sentry
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:12 pm 
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This episode ranks near the bottom, but I wouldn't go as far as saying "it sucks". The monster sucked. The biggest mistake they made in this series was revealing too much when it wasn't necessary to do so. The werewolf and the ape-man were lame looking creatures, but the lizard-thing in the Sentry takes the prize for worst monster of the entire series. Why did they bother?

If you look at this episode's strong points leading up to the fatal reveal, it's a rather cool story. I like the fact that Carl is in a claustrophobic, subterranean setting. It is a nice change of pace. And speaking of pace, this episode moves along well. The co-stars shine. The director handles the creature scenes well with his use of shadows and lighting. The ending is properly set up. There is actually some suspense....and then...they blow it. Just like previous times in this great series, they made the decision to show an inadequate monster, thus killing the already strained credibility that they spent 45 minutes building.

See Curse of the Demon (1957) for an example of a reveal that ruins a tremendously suspenseful buildup. Great movie, poor demon reveal. The Sentry is a "good" episode with a very poor monster reveal.

Having said all this, Kolchak: The Night Stalker is *so* much more than just a horror show. If it weren't, it wouldn't have reached cult classic status.

The Sentry is bottom five and it's that laughable lizard-thingy that pulls it down to its place near the bottom.


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 Post subject: Re: Kolchak: The Sentry
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:46 pm 
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ledcollector wrote:
See Curse of the Demon (1957) for an example of a reveal that ruins a tremendously suspenseful buildup. Great movie, poor demon reveal. The Sentry is a "good" episode with a very poor monster reveal.


Again, nice write up, Led.

Completely agree with the comparison to the "Curse of the Demon" reveal - a discussion thread is also on available here at PtE. To add insult to injury, they have also started showing the demon on the vhs and dvd covers.

To show some love and comment more on this episode, here is my thoughts on both the monster and the plot.

The episode is very lack-luster primarily because it reuses the El Segundo Federal Reserve Building - see "The Energy Eater" - since it was still under construction and empty. Our script is again penned by L. Ford Neale and John Huff. Not that they are bad writers, they are character driven rather than plot writers for the most part. Case in point, Kolchak's dialog with Lieutenant Lamont - his real life wife, Kathie Brown. Matter of fact, his dialog with Campanella, Bosley, and Hoyt are all very entertaining. The plot - however - seems to me just to be a variant of Star Trek's "The Devil in the Dark" where the miners disturb the Horta's young and the killing begins.

The Monster or Creature - I agree whole heartedly - bad reveal. While it lingers in the shadows, it is great. The shambling stalking lizard shape works but then they show it to us. Why? We already know it's some sort of lizard-esque creature. This is the same mistake made in The Outer Limits "Tourist Attraction" - come to think of it, it may even be the same costume. Let the viewers have their imagination and the creature is all the more frightening. Touching back on "The Energy Eater" for a moment, that episode worked because we never saw the actual creature other than fog and electrical current. Less is more.


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 Post subject: Re: Kolchak: The Sentry
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:01 am 
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I think you were probably just kidding but you got me thinking...I don't think its the same costume as the one in TOL's "Tourist Attraction". But it does resemble it slightly.

I explained in my comments a couple of years ago here why I liked this and my thoughts haven't changed. For sheer craziness, the only thing that I can think of that surpasses the crazy lizard attack is the Zanti attack in TOL's "The Zanti Misfits".

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