The Norliss Tapes (TV-movie)July 17, 2012
Well, as some horror buffs already figured out, I got the name for my plunderphonics/instrumental project The Norliss Tapes from Dan Curtis‘s failed 1973 tv-pilot. Now Dan is somewhat legendary producer among us nerds as he was the creator of cult classic tv-horror Kolchak The Night Stalker (starring Darren McGavin) that spawned the tv-series Kolchak The Night Strangler. To be honest I actually wanted to use that instead (because between those two it’s my favorite), but it struck me early on that if you’ve got a band with that name people most likely will think it’s a black metal outfit or something.
Anyway, bringing to mind what Chris Carter later created with his X-Files (and he’s admitted in interviews that he got the main concept from Kolchak), the movie stars Roy Thinnes as author David Norliss that mysteriously disappears after working on a new book project where he set out to de-mystify paranormal activities and pretty much prove they’re all fraudulent. His publisher arrives at his house after receiving an odd phonecall from the author and finds a big stack of tapes marked The Norliss Tapes. He pops the first one in his tape recorder (google it kids!) and listens to a story that involves Angie Dickinson‘s deceased husband coming back to life. A brilliant concept I’m still kinda amazed it didn’t take off but I guess time just wasn’t right.
Available on DVD (the Kolchak series are also available in a beautiful box that collects all twenty episodes!) I actually found the complete episode on YouTube, check it out: