The Starsky & Hutch Hen Party
AKA Rebelcat and Elizabeth Helena

Bay City's Bloodsucking Stereotypes
AKA "Vampire"

Original Air Date: Saturday, Oct. 30, 1976

According to the DVD Episode Guide: When a dancer is murdered, with marks resembling fang bites on her neck and an unusually large quantity of blood missing, Starsky and Hutch investigate what appears to be the work of a vampire.

Now maybe both of us have watched way too much TV, but we believe that this no account Nosferatu sucks the originality right out of this episode.


Tough break, foxy.

In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer... but she’s nowhere to be found in Bay City. Instead, a man is mumbling “I’ll bring you back from death, Maria,” to a Boris Vallejo painting hung over a fireplace festooned with red candles. Wearing a polyester sateen shirt, our mysterious speaker swirls his cape over shoulders, turns to face the camera, and reveals...

Fangs! We’d be terribly impressed except he’s also sporting a George Hamilton quality tan. Thunder and lightening emanate from the few wispy clouds crossing the face of a full moon. Yes, it’s time for the fox in the feather-fringed leather halter top with matching leather trimmed bellbottoms to die. Fashion police play for keeps in Bay City.

Meanwhile, at the Play Pen disco club, Huggy is chatting with Starsky and Hutch. They barely listen as Hug explains that he’s looking after the place for his cousin Louie, who’s hiding from the IRS by tending to his “frog futures” in Venezuala. We suspect that “frog” is 70s lingo for ex-pat French hookers. Starsky and Hutch don’t care. They’re too busy checking out the same two girls, although it takes a while before they realize their identical tastes. With vampires on the loose, it’s reassuring to see that both of the chicks have reflections.

Hutch tells Starsky to wait in the wings while he moves on the girls. “I wouldn’t want you to lose what little dignity you might have left. Watch the master at work.” The master then pretends to forget Starsky’s name, and waves around the complementary popcorn until Starsky knocks it over, making him look like a klutz. Apparently the full moon brings out the evil side of Hutch. Bobette and Jane still think Starsky’s “kinda” foxy, and aren’t offended when Starsky gushes that they could be twins! Before the porno music can start up though, a phone call from Dobey puts the kibosh on a kinky foursome.

As they’re leaving, Starsky runs back to get the girls phone numbers. When Hutch asks where he wrote them down, he responds that they’re “tattooed on his brain”. If you can’t figure out how this sub-plot will end, you haven’t watched enough TV in your life.

18yo Pebbles will do anything for a ticket out of Bedrock.

Dance instructor by day, emo vamp by night. Hutch is not impressed.

What kinda weirdo are we dealing with here?

Back at Dobey’s office, Starsky’s lunch is interrupted by the gruesome details of Honey’s death. Not only was she strangled and her neck mangled, more blood was missing than could be accounted for at the crime scene. The three of them recall that a Carol Carson died in exactly the same way, on the same day, last month down on the South Side. Welcome to Fright Night!

Hutch is not amused by the vampire rumours, and rants at Roger in Records about “blood fetishists” recently released from Bay City’s mental institutions. Starsky, in the fine tradition of Scoobies everywhere, is enthusiastically reading up on Vampire mythology.

Starsky argues that anything’s possible in the mod 70s: “they’re landing cameras on Mars and taking pictures. Girls are trying out for football teams.” Hutch retorts: “But bats do not suckers of human blood make.” Starsky shoots back with, “Yeah, well fools and only greenhorns try to predict the weather!” Wow, they both need to switch to decaf coffee.

Out in the hall, Hutch spots something around Starsky’s neck and tries to grab it. A brief sissy slap fight ensues, before Starsky lets Hutch paw him under his shirt. Hutch laughs when he realizes that his partner is wearing garlic, until Starsky pops a clove into his gaping maw. “Got one for you, too.” Ah, the love is tangible!

Huggy’s now hocking “Complete Vampire Protection Kits,” at the low, low price of seven fifty each. It appears Huggy is Bay City’s Watcher, which means that his Cousin Louie could actually be Cousin Louise-the-Vampire-Slayer. Starsky wants to buy a kit, but Hutch won’t let him. He implies that Starsky’s head is hard enough to hammer in stakes all on its own.

Huggy sends them to Guybo, a palm reader who’s into the occult and devil worship trip. While they’re waiting for Guybo, Hutch scares the hell out of Starsky with a demonic gorilla mask. Starsky’s expression implies that he wants to head butt a stake into Hutch right now.

Little, old and portly Guybo the devil worshipper appears, and EH lodges a formal protest against the depiction of occultists, complaining that there isn’t a single tree-hugger or lesbian in sight. “How dare they stereotype occultists,” she fumes. Guybo tells Starsky and Hutch that the local Satanic leader is a guy named Seeds (ew!), and that his ceremonies involve women standing naked under “a midnight moon” and painting their bodies with human blood.

EH interrupts again. “There are certain people – not anyone I know personally, of course – who have stood naked under a full moon and I’ll have you know that red paint was water-based! It was a very spiritual experience and just because I lost my virginity soon after... uh, I mean, this episode totally misrepresents new religious movements in the 70s.” Rebel just nods sympathetically, always the wisest course, and EH goes back to muttering balefully at the TV.

Starsky has perked up at the idea of naked chicks. He asks Guybo to conjure up an image of the killer, but is only told what was broadcast on the six o’clock news.

Hutch shows Starsky a crystal ball and says, “I see a dark haired moron pretending to be Sherlock Holmes.” Ha, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle never let Sherlock Holmes have any truck with spiritualism. Take that, Blondie! Unfortunately, shouting at the TV screen does no good, and poor Starsky looks completely crushed. Again.

Oh noes! You've only got five minutes to escape!

Sadly, Bay City doesn't rate A-list Super Villains.

Nothing says serious Satanist like pink sheets & a Lite-Brite Baphomet.

Starsky suddenly realizes he's forgotten the Safe Word.

"As God is my witness, I thought vampires could fly!"

Supposin’ we’re as irresistible, swave and debonyay as usual?

Back at the Play Pen, Hutch spots the ersatz twins and strikes his superman pose. Starsky asks, “Where do ya wanna go after this? Your place or mine?” Sadly, Hutch cuts him off, claiming that he and Jane don’t like crowds. No foursomes tonight for Starsky.

While they're chatting up the girls, Huggy appears, trying to foist on the bitten Starsky his sure fire cures for vampirism. “All we have to do is find the burnt out hollow of a tree stump, approach it at midnight, and I’ve got everything we need. I’ve got frog legs, bat wings, lizard tongue...” Oh, yeah! Huggy’s a Watcher!

Before Buffy, blonde chicks like these were nothing but vamp fodder.

Sadly, this was his best scene in the entire episode.

Hutch stares at Starsky's dignity. Fact is, there just too much of it!

Where’ve you been? Off duty!

At the corner’s lab, Dobey introduces Starsky and Hutch to the corpse. The murdered cowgirl is identified as Honey Williams, who worked at Slade’s Cave as a dancer. Slade’s Cave is a charming establishment with dirty beanbag chairs, dirty shag carpets, dirty dancers in fur bikinis, and a big red Satan’s head presiding over all the dirty dealings. Hanging off of Slade’s shoulder is a very stoned Suzanne Sommers... er, we mean Linda Offenbecker. Once it percolates through her drugged out brain that her friend is really and truly dead, Linda reveals that Honey used to take dance lessons.

Outside Rene’s School of Classical Ballet, Starsky challenges Hutch’s French superiority complex. “If you’re so all-fired smart, what a pas de deuce?” “Pas de toi,” corrects Hutch, but the correct term for a two person dance in ballet is pas de deux. We conclude that the only French either of them learned in high school involved kissing. If you’re surprised to learn that the ballet school is run by the killer vampire, you definitely need to watch more TV.

The dancing students put Hutch in mind of Bobette and Jane, and he asks Starsky for their numbers. We’d like to believe that Starsky’s pretending to forget, but he looks too crushed by his failure to recall. The poor dears are forced to focus on this sucky case. They meet Rene Nadasy, a recently widowed dance teacher, whose leg injury cut short a promising ballet career.

Sadly, no one wins the "When Will They Kiss" office pool today.

"You won't let me touch you! Are you ashamed of us? Is that it!?"

"No, seriously man, you will NOT expect the Spanish Inquisition!"

And you thought Huggy Bear and the Turkey was a bad spin-off idea.

"You're getting sleepy. You will obey the master's every command..."

Whoever he turned on, turned on all the way and flipped out.

Rene's stalking another victim! This time it’s a pretty lady with a fringed purse and too many buttons undone. This implied sluttiness means she must die. Bizarrely, the menacing thunder has been replaced with what sounds like either a ticked off tabby cat or a stoned cougar.

Rene very slowly runs the entire length of the parking garage, cape flapping, while she fumbles with her car keys, screams helplessly and makes no attempt to defend herself. Starsky and Hutch arrive to find Rene sucking her corpsified blood under his cape. Hutch chases Rene up onto the roof, where the vampire leaps twenty-five feet to the next building and vanishes. When Starsky appears, all Hutch can say is, “He flew!” We’re disappointed when Starsky takes the high road and doesn’t mock him.

Back at the precinct, Starsky interviews suspects who are into Count Chocula and super hero cosplay. Supergnat, last of the American Super Villains, is played with great verve if poor flying skills by Frank Corsentino. You might remember him from such films as Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (as “Hippie Boy”) or Shellgame (as “Short Man”). Starsky evidently doesn’t, for he sends Gnat out the door with a gentle boot to the ass.

Fortunately, Hutch has learned that the latest victim also had ballet lessons with Rene. Hutch muses that Rene bears a suspicious resemblance to the attacker, except for the cane. Starsky comments that due to his “bum leg”, it’d look pretty stupid if they ran a check on him. Hutch gleefully responds, “That’s why I put it in your name!” We wonder if he’s always like this during the full moon, and if so, why Starsky hasn’t staked him yet.

Dobey radios them with the news that Slimy Slade’s alias is Seeds. Sans warrant, they barge into the apartment above Slade’s Cave. There’s a drugged out chick in a red negligee on the bed, below a picture of Baphomet. Starsky also finds a cape in the closet, and a mason jar of blood on the windowsill. Starsky’s about to taste it, in the time honored investigative tradition, when he spots Slade outside in the parking lot, very slowly getting away.

The takedown of Slade is beautifully choreographed, but it turns out that he’s a bloodsucking capitalist not a vampire. The blood in the jar was goat’s blood, and we wonder if Starsky could have told the difference in a taste test. Back at Slade’s Cave, a much more alert Suzanne Somers answers the phone. Rene tells her that he’s found compromising photos of Honey and Slade, and she better come over right away. Don’t try to pretend you haven’t watched enough TV to realize who’s been selected as lucky victim number four.

Returning to Slade’s apartment, Starsky finds pictures of his rituals. To his great disappointment, instead of naked chicks, it looks like a staging of Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible. However, they discover a photo of Rene’s dead wife Maria that’s coincidentally identical to the painting Rene chats with all the time. They immediately rush off to catch Rene, who is dancing in his fangs and cape, all by himself on the stage of the old Playhouse. We never learn if he was faking his limp, strung out on drugs, or gained supernatural powers from being a goth emo boy.

Our heroes arrive just in time to save Suzanne AKA Linda, and chase Rene up into the stage rigging. He throws sandbags at Hutch and does his slo-mo attack routine with Starsky, complete with deranged kitty noises. Starsky gets bit, and Hutch nearly falls off the catwalk. But in the end, it’s Rene who falls – ever so slowly with his cape flapping – to his death. Finally we can cry out “No capes!”

Which is more blinding? Hutch's trousers or his smile?

If only Huggy hadn't lost those lizard tongues!

Good Questions to Ask Yourself

1. So, what’s with extra-cranky Hutch in this episode? Male PMS? The full moon? Or merely a tragic lack of good nookie?

2. At Slade’s Cave, Starsky comments to Hutch: “Times like this you’re glad your sister didn’t go into show business.” Is he referring to sisters in general, or to Hutch’s almost-canon sister?

3. It appears in this episode that Starsky is the kinkier of the two, wanting to share personal space with his partner and the “twins”. Or are appearances deceiving? Hutch does claim to be “the Master”, after all. Discuss. In NC-17 rated detail.




February 28, 2008