Thursday, October 04, 2018

favorite movie #63 - halloween edition: trilogy of terror

Favorite movies that have had an impact on me - #63 - Trilogy of Terror (1975) - Now a camp and cult classic, Trilogy of Terror was originally.a made-for-TV movie of the week. Karen Black stars in all three segments, in stories written by Richard Matheson. The film was directed by Dan Curtis of Dark Shadows fame.

In "Julie" Black plays a college professor who is roofied by an obsessed student (Robert Burton, her then-husband). He takes compromising photos of her and then blackmails her into getting 'involved." So, so creepy, but all is not as it seems ...

In "Millicent and Therese" Black plays both roles, Millicent, an outwardly repressed-looking spinster and Therese, her outgoing, glamorous sister, who loathe one another.

The first two installments are your typical Twilight Zone sort of fare, but the final story, "Amelia," is why the film has become so famous over the years. Amelia brings home a little statue of a Zuni Warrior, which is labeled "He Who Kills," as a birthday gift for her boyfriend. Maybe not the best idea? Black is the only actor in the piece, if you don't count the little statue. Amelia has an unpleasant, neurotic relationship with her mother, as evidenced by a phone call she makes as soon as she gets home. But Amelia's mother issues are the least of her problems. As she is preparing for her date, the Zuni warrior comes to life ...

Karen Black throws herself whole hog into this last segment, and is a wonder to behold. She was so great, in fact, that she felt the rest of her career suffered from this part, as she was constantly and consistently offered B-movie horror parts. It may have been a career-defining role for her, to her detriment, but to the audience's delight.
Amelia: [on the phone] Operator, get me the police! I DON'T KNOW where I'm located, just get me the police, there's a... there's a... just get me the police, PLEASE?


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