Movie Diary 12/19/2009

The Night Strangler (Dan Curtis, 1973). Darren McGavin as the supernaturally-minded loudmouth reporter Kolchak, in a classic TV-movie about a long-lived killer in Seattle. Made a big TV-movie splash at the time, still holds up, even if the thing is padded out with too many scenes of people telling Kolchak to stop being so brash.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (Betty Thomas, 2009). Chipmunks at high school, in rock bands, chipmunks doing human behavior. These are strange things, yet everybody accepts them without question. It’s no Country Bears, however. (full review 12/23)

Murder by Contract (Irving Lerner, 1958). Vince Edwards as a killer for hire, taking his time with a job in L.A.; the movie is a truly offbeat independent production, philosophical and talkative. Hadn’t seen this in 25 years, and the new DVD version looks extremely good.