***Top Television Horror Movies of the 1970’s***
Trilogy of Terror (1975)
directed by Dan Curtis
written by Richard Matheson
and William F. Nolan
Dan Curtis and Richard Matheson are together again for another exceptional TV movie, perhaps the best of the lot. Karen Black plays 4 different characters in three separate stories of this horror anthology film. The last segment has pushed this made-for-TV film into legendary cult status. A lonely woman gets a Polynesian Zuni Fetish Doll as a gift. When handling it she knocks off it’s protection necklace and the thing comes to life with a thirst for blood and death. The battle between Karen Black’s character, Amelia, and the evil warrior doll in a small claustrophobic apartment is one of the great conflicts in horror films. That doll still haunts the dark corridors of my nightmares. While everyone talks about the Zuni Fetish doll episode, ‘Amelia‘, the other two stories are quite good also. Karen Black who at the time had not been considered a horror film actress excelled in the lead roles of this film and especially the last segment. If you have not seen this film I recommend that you do it. Hopefully it still stands the test of time and new viewers are as frightened by it as original viewers were in the 1970’s.
During the “Julie” segment, a shy teacher agrees to go to a movie with a student. The movie is supposedly a French vampire film, but what we see on the screen are scenes from The Night Stalker.
Karen Black came up with the idea of grinning and showing fang-like teeth similar to the ‘zuni’ doll in the final scene of ‘Amelia.’
In the Nightmares and Dreamscapes episode, “Battleground” (Stephen King) the hitman has the Zuni fetish doll from “Trilogy of Terror” in a display case.
(TV Guide Ad pic thanks to ‘Joe’s Rec Room’)
I remember this one – another gleaming nugget from my creep childhood!
The 1970’s was a great time for horror on TV! Being too young to go out at nights left a lot of us watching these great horror flicks on television.
I actually watched Trilogy Of Terror 2 just a couple of nights ago, not as good as the first but still OK (it did have the lovely Lysette Anthony in it though, which upped its ‘must watch’ rating for me.)
I don’t think I watched ‘2’ it was made like 20 years later or something, wasn’t it?
Yes indeed, 1996 according to IMDB, it’s actually alright, just not as good as the original, but entertaining.
The story the Zuni Fetish segment is based on is called Prey and is available in most any Matheson collection. But you probably knew that.
Good to mention it. Some may want to read the story.
It’s a tight little story.
This was the first movie I remember having nightmares about. Bad ones.
I don’t blame you, it was nasty scary stuff!
That doll gave me nightmares. I love the film. And Karen Black has always been a favorite of mine. She was so perfect for the part. Looked absolutely diabolical in the end.
It was great to read that putting the teeth like the doll in her mouth was her own idea!
Great idea! Hello mother! Look at her eyes too! She had those slightly askew eyes
Haven’t seen this in ages either. Might have to make a little time for this one too.
I bought the life sized Zuni Replica 10 years ago.I still wont sleep in the same room as it.Creepy…
One of the best made for TV horror films ever.
one of my fave anthology tv films. in my top 10 hands down. nice work, Mike.
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