Trilogy of Terror

Year: 1975

Director: Dan Curtis

Written by: William F. Nolan, Richard Matheson

Threat: Psychopath/Psychopath/Doll

Weapon of Choice: Poison/Voodoo Doll/Knife

IMDb page: IMDb link

      Trilogy of Terror

Other movies in this series:
Trilogy of Terror II

Rish Outfield's reviews
This is a made for TV movie from the Seventies. That should tell you something. But it was neither well-made, well-acted, well-paced, or even a good indication of what a TV movie in the 70's was like. It was unoriginal, ineffective, not at all scary, predictable, and boring. Boring is bad, folks. Now, it is true that before MTV people had longer attention spans, but it's also true that watching grass grow was dull a thousand years ago too. Long, rambling, poorly-told tales were boring in Bill Shakespeare's day too, boys and girls. There are a couple of familiar faces in this (particularly "Police Academy"'s George Gaines), but they are wasted. Karen Black isn't terrible (very melodramatic sometimes, yes), but the material is so stifling even Meryl Streep couldn't make it compelling. Some anthologies are pretty good (check out Creepshow or Twilight Zone: The Movie, for instance), but this was remarkable in how bad they all were. Yes, you hear a lot about the Zuni Fetish Doll segment, and while the doll was cool-looking, there have been several creatures that were cooler (the Gremlins, Subspecies, the Small Soldiers, even the Puppet Master characters) and more frightening. Heck, even Tribbles are scarier. Black is unimaginably stupid and ineffectual in this segment, and though I'm not a woman, I felt offended for women everywhere. This was not good stuff and I am forehead-slapping-ly surprised a sequel was made (even if it took twenty years).
Best Scare: I'm thinking . . . maybe the Fetish doll was spooky at times. Maybe.
I'd Recommend It To: Don't waste your time. Watch the grass grow instead.

The tyranist's thoughts
This is a made for TV anthology that has three 'chapters,' all of which suck. My original review for this movie was going to be "Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz," but I decided that you deserved a much more potent warning. The three chapters are all named after the main female character in the chapter (played by Karen Black) and all were originally short stories by Richard Matheson. To his credit the chapter that he actually wrote the teleplay for was the best of the three. However, it is also the last one and to get to it, you will either have to employ the FF button on your remote or endure 50 minutes of the most mind-numbing, catatonia-inducing sludge that I have ever had the distinct displeasure to sit through. Nanook of the North was high action compared to this. These are definitely unscary stories about people who if I met in real life, I would ignore completely. The characters are uninteresting and the action is so limited by the fact that they were making this for TV that much of what could have been at least eye-catching is missing. The first story is all about sexual perversion and do you think we ever even see a bare back. No. We get hints that things happen and bad ones at that. And that is the first boring 25 minutes. Imagine how I felt when I got to the second boring twenty five minutes and had the big plot twist/scare figured out in under a minute. Tedium. When we do finally get to the Zuni Fetish Doll that tantalizingly graces the cover, it is handled so poorly (at least ten minutes of Karen Black having a phone conversation with no one at all) that I wanted Rish to put me out of my misery. He declined as he did not have the energy left. Anyway, see this film only if you are having severe insomnia problems or some kind of Karen Black fetish.

Total Skulls: 22

Sequel setup
Rips off earlier film
Horror film showing on TV/in theater in movie skull
Future celebrity appears
Former celebrity appears
Bad title skull
Bad premise
Bad acting skull
Bad dialogue skull
Bad execution skullskull
MTV Editing
Girl unnecessarily gets naked
Wanton sex
Death associated with sex
Unfulfilled promise of nudity skull
Characters forget about threat
Secluded location
Power is cut skull
Phone lines are cut
Someone investigates a strange noise
Someone runs up stairs instead of going out front door
Camera is the killer skull
Victims cower in front of a window/door
Victim locks self in with killer
Victim running from killer inexplicably falls skullskull
Toilet stall scene skull
Shower scene
Car stalls or won't start
Cat jumps out
Fake scare
Laughable scare skullskull
Stupid discovery of corpse
Dream sequence
No one believes only witness
Crazy, drunk, old man knows the truth
Music detracts from scene
Death in first five minutes
What the hell? skullskull
x years ago . . .
Dark and stormy night
Killer doesn't stay dead skull
Killer wears a mask
Killer is in closet
Killer is in car with victim
Villain is more sympathetic than heroes skull
Unscary villain/monster skull
Blood fountain
Blood hits camera
Poor death effect
Excessive gore
No one dies at all
Virgin survives
Geek/Nerd survives
Little kid lamely survives
Dog/Pet miraculously survives
Unresolved subplots skull
"It was all a dream" ending
Unbelievably happy ending
Unbelievably crappy ending skull