On advice from her sister, Ellen Cort (Angie Dickinson) seeks out Norliss when her recently-deceased husband shows up in his art studio, takes a blast from a shotgun, and vanishes. Ellen reveals that her husband, sculptor James Raymond Cort, died from Pick's Disease (a brain disorder). Shortly before his death, he became obsessed with the occult and befriended an antiques shop owner who gave him a scarab ring symbolizing the Egyptian god Osiris. With ashen skin and glowing eyes, Cort is definitely dead--but that hasn't stopped him from working on an unusual statue molded from red clay.
|The creepy dead husband.|
The Norliss Tapes also served as a pilot for a TV series, though NBC passed on it. Interestingly, Dan Curtis filmed an earlier pilot, back in 1969, about another investigator who specialized in cases involving the supernatural. Kerwin Matthews starred in In the Dead of the Night, which ABC broadcast as a 60-minute TV movie called Dead of Night: A Darkness in Blaisedon.
Contrary to popular opinion, Dan Curtis was not involved in the original Kolchak TV series. He did serve as an executive producer for the 2005 revival, Night Stalker, starring Stuart Townsend as Kolchak.