TRILOGY OF TERROR
Directed by Dan Curtis
Written by Richard Matheson & William F. Nolan
Produced by Dan Curtis & Robert Singer
Cinematography by Paul Lohmann
Music by Bob Cobert
Cast: Karen Black & Robert Burton
1975/72 mins/Color/2.0 Dolby Digital Mono
1.33:1 Full Frame/English/US/NTSC Region 0
Review from the Anchor Bay Entertainment DVD
Just prior to directing the God-awful and immensely boring BURNT OFFERINGS, director Dan Curtis made this direct to TV movie for ABC entitled TRILOGY OF TERROR. Not realizing this fact prior to checking out this title, I was a little worried I had wasted another ninety minutes with another dreadful turd or a film, but felt lucky that its runtime was a short 72-minutes. The up side to TRILOGY OF TERROR was that if it was in fact atrocious like its successor, then I could watch it in three installments since it is an anthology Horror film split into three stories – JULIE, MILLICENT AND THERESE, and AMELIA.
Karen Black (BURNT OFFERINGS) stars in these three shorts playing a total of four roles. The first story titled JULIE revolves around schoolteacher Julie Eldridge (Black) who is being blackmailed by one of her students, Chad Foster (Singer), into performing what we believe to be private sex acts for him. This goes on for a while but when the tables somehow turn, Chad may not be getting what he bargained for, and may wind up dead. JULIE, while not superb, is the second best of this anthology compilation, with an unexpected but cool finale.
Next up is the second short MILLICENT AND THERESE, where Black plays two twin sisters (their names being the title of the story). One day Millicent meets her sister’s boyfriend and scares him away with stories of Therese’s witchcraft, and perverse personality. Now Millicent fears for her life, and she must take it upon herself to end this problem before Therese does something about it herself. What comes next is a tangled web of sisterly witchcraft, which ends flat with an entirely predictable resolution.
Lastly the trademark short of this anthology is titled AMELIA. Once again black plays Amelia, a 32-year-old woman who's every action is controlled by her mother. No decisions are made without prior consent from her. As a birthday gift for her new boyfriend, Amelia purchases a Zuni warrior doll (the poster boy for TRILOGY OF TERROR), and as legend states the protective chain around its body, if removes will unleash an evil Zuni warrior spirit. Of course the chain falls off, and little does Amelia know, but she's in for a goofy jabbering voodoo-like doll with a thirst for carving flesh with its cute little spear. This short is what initially sparked my interest in this series of shorts, and as expected since shot for ABC, isn't as gory or cool as it could be. Plenty of wounds are made, foot slashing and the like, but the doll just comes off more funny than scary. Wait till you hear the noises this little guy makes!
All in all, this isn't a terrible anthology series. It actually spawned a sequel, TRILOGY OF TERROR II which I would be interested in seeing. Any interested parties will no doubt be on the lookout for the third short AMELIA, which is the best of the bunch. The doll does look cool, but when the director just throws it at Black, it just looks ridiculous. Fans of cheese will no doubt be pleased.
ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT releases this barebones edition on DVD with its original 1.33:1 full frame aspect ratio. Overall for 1975 TV, the film looks great, with very minor film blemishes and scratches. Nice saturation of color and deep blacks with no blandness to be found. The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, and for this film works just fine. Not much use of directional sound obviously, but the audio is crisp and clear with no muffling whatsoever. There are absolutely no extras here, but the disc does contain an insert with a ‘Chapter Selection’ (containing 14), and on the flip side an interview with Karen Black conducted back in 1998 with Scott Michael Bosco. Not a very interesting interview but a highlight was Black reveal of her aversion to the horror genre. It's no wonder though -- she did star in BURT OFFERINGS.
There is no extras on the DVD so no point were allowed.
This Film Features:
Review by Chris Mayo. All Right Reserved. 2005. ©