Trilogy of Terror
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Trilogy of Terror was a series of two TV movies made up of 3 smaller movies each made solely to pimp out up-and-coming actress Karen Black, as a tool to launch a fabulous career as an actress starting with the planned series The Karen Black Variety Hour. Sadly, the film did bad, making it the least profitable venture for ABC in history, in 1975.
The three tales were each tedious, poorly written pieces of drivel that had absolutely nothing in common except all of them had girls in them played by Karen Black.
Before the start of each story a title card would read over the action telling the name of the chick Karen Black would be playing in the upcoming story in case you didn't notice her already as the main girl.
The first two tales were mediocre chillers said to have had writing and direction pretty much worthy of an average apisode of Tales from the Dark Side. The third and concensual favorite was said to have the writing and direction of a below average episode of Tales from the Dark Side.
Karen Black plays a hardassed middle school teacher who gives her students too much homework, prompting one to take action against her, drugging her and taking her out to the woods where he forces her into the greatest perversion his 11-year old mind can think of... taking a shit in the woods, only to discover that shortly afterwards she dies from going without her heart pills.
Chad attempts to cover up for the murder, only to discover that JULIE GRIFFIN IS STILL ALIVE, and kills the kid, revealing that this was her plan all along giving him too much homework.
edit Millicent and Therese
Karen Black unsuccessfully attempts to play 2 characters at once (sisters, in case you didn't see the family resemblance), only to find she must kill one off to stop with the upstaging body-double shots.
Amelia (Karen Black) must choose between a long, boring phone conversation with her mother (voice of Karen Black) and a dull, nonromantic evening with her boyfriend (voice of Karen Black). In the end she finds herself forced to choose "pursued by a living African Death Doll" (puppetry by Karen Black).
edit Critical reaction
Critics did not react to Trilogy of Terror... at all since it was shown on ABC only once late at night before they sold it to USA Networks for the stunning price of 5 dollars (a move, which despite the fact that Trilogy was the highest-quality program on USA aside from Tremors, devastated the network for years to come).
People were generally shocked and dismayed that something as chilling and risque as Trilogy of Terror would ever be shown on basic cable and boycotted ABC for one week.
25 something years later, Trilogy of Terror is widely known as "The best TV movie in history", beating out such contenders as Raptor Universe, and I 'love' my father. Like most horror films of the 70s and 80s it now has an incredibly small but loud cult of blindly loyal fans who each possess a copy of "that doll from the last tale".
A young Charles Band, watching Trilogy of Terror was reported as waking his entire apartment complex with a startling EUREEEKAAAAA!!! during the third segment.
edit Karen Black
The film did not end up launching Karen Black's career as planned, but did jettison her into slew after slew of more TV horror movies, direct-to-video gems, and indie B-flicks. Her role in "trilogy" made her demigoddess to the "doll from that last tale" worshippers.
She can now be found living unsatisfied among other missc. scream-queens in a row of cushy homes on Hollywood Boulevard
edit SequelIt took 21 years for anyone to make a sequel to the film when one man suggested an idea for a cheaply made TV movie split into three tales, all starring the same person. He was later informed by the company that they had already done that very same idea. Since Julian Marks had eerily similar ideas to the original (including a tale of blackmail, a tale of wicked family, and a tale of a doll that comes to life to randomly kill), they called it Trilogy of Terror II. In this film, the actress Lysette Anthony is pimped out. Karen Black only plays herself, a boy named Tommy, and some graveyard rats.
edit Graveyard rats
A woman played by Lysette Anthony kills her husband to elope with her cousin and get some money, unfortunately there are rats in the graveyard where her hunsband is buried and so on and so forth.
Lysette Anthony plays a weird mother who summons Ouroboros to bring her son back from the grave. Both Ouroboros and her son however are tired of being disturbed and instead send a pissy dwarf to constantly play Hide and Seek with the freaky bitch
edit He who kills
Playing off the unfortunate fame of Trilogy of Terror, this one continues directly from the old one's third tale. It is 21 years later and the police finally discover Amelia and her decrepit mother (played by Lysette Anthony) dead in the former's home and find the famous doll in the oven, which they decide to take back to study for trivial reasons. While studying the thing, the head forensic analist (Also Lysette Anthony) is shocked to discover that Karen Black is still alive and wants
more screen time the doll back!
Trilogy of Terror 2 had an even lower budget than the original, and was much less well accepted leading ABC to give the program again to USA Networks to accompany Buried Alive and Tremors in their movie schedule. ABC will probably do it again in a few more years.
Lysette Anthony is expected to have the same glorious career as what's her name had from the first Trilogy of Terror.