Trilogy of Terror Review

Retro Review: Trilogy Of Terror (1975)

A fun, campy TV movie oddity.

20
views

"Trilogy of Terror" is a made-for-TV anthology horror film that originally aired on ABC in 1975. While TV movies are not typically known for their quality, this particular film is enjoyably silly and even has a few mildly spooky moments. The three stories featured in the film are all based on short stories by acclaimed sci-fi/horror/fantasy writer Richard Matheson, which is a large part of why the film succeeds. Matheson wrote several episodes of "The Twilight Zone" during its original run, and the three stories in "Trilogy of Terror" all bear a strong similarity in tone and structure to that show.

The three stories, "Julie", "Millicent and Therese", and "Amelia", all feature actress Karen Black in the leading role. She is by far the strongest part of the first two segments. In "Julie", she portrays the titular character, a college professor who is being blackmailed by one of her students. Bad news for the student, because the tables quickly turn and it becomes apparent she is not merely a meek academic type. The content of this shot is dicey (there is a heavy implication of date rape), but the last five minutes shine. Black transforms from mousy teacher to vamping femme fatale. For fans of high camp acting, this film should not be missed.

The second short is the weakest by far, due to its obviously telegraphed "Twilight Zone"-esque twist. Still, Black remains the high point in her duel role as antagonistic sisters. Millicent, who looks like a schoolmarm version of the Goblin Queen from "Troll 2", believes her sister Therese is responsible for various misfortunes throughout her life. Or is there even an evil sister at all? (Three guesses what the twist is.) Black gets another opportunity to cut loose as the evil sister Therese, a comically tawdry character that embodies every "bad girl" trope imaginable, and it is truly a sight to behold.

The third short actually has the weakest of Black's performances, but overall remains the strongest of the bunch. It centers on Amelia, a woman who is terrorized by a tiny Zuni fetish doll that she bought for her anthropologist boyfriend. The doll wears a gold chain that prevents the evil spirit trapped within it from escaping, and of course Amelia accidentally lets the chain fall off. Soon the pint-sized figurine is up and running, chasing Black around her apartment whole wielding a paring knife. This short is relatively small-scale, focusing on Amelia and the doll in a singular setting, which keeps things suitably terse and suspenseful. Unfortunately, Black does not get an opportunity to ratchet her performance into over-the-top overdrive, but the freaky little doll more than makes up for that. It skitters around, chattering like the Tasmanian Devil from the Looney Tunes. The ending for this one is also the best of the three, as it is not nearly as predictable as the preceding shorts.

Sadly, there is no wraparound story in "Trilogy of Terror", no through line to connect the stories in any way. This is likely due to the time constraints of the TV movie format, but I do wish there had been some connection to tie all three stories together other than the loose theme of "Karen Black gets repeatedly terrorized". The movie sets out with a modest goal, to string together three vaguely "Twilight Zone"-ish stories into an ABC Movie of the Week. In that regard, it accomplishes its goal. Karen Black is an incredibly fun actress and it is a treat to watch what is often a one-woman show. It may not be a horror masterwork, but it is certainly a decent way to spend 75 minutes.

Rating: 6/10

Popular Right Now

14 Stages Of Buying Jonas Brothers Concert Tickets As A 20-Something In 2019

"Alexa, play "Burnin' Up" by the Jonas Brothers."

13772
views

In case you missed it, the Jonas Brothers are back together and, let me tell you, they're giving us some major jams. For those of us who were there when it all began back in 2007 with their first album, It's About Time, this has been one of the most important events of the year. But nothing, and I mean nothing can rival the excitement every twenty-something felt as the Jonas Brothers announced their Happiness Begins tour. I, for one, put my name in for ticket presale, have been following every single social media site related to the tour/group, and, of course, listening to the Jonas Brothers on repeat. And if you did manage to snag tickets, then you know that this is how your brain has been ever since they announced the tour.

1. Finding out that they're going on tour

2. Hopefully entering your name into the lottery to get presale tickets

3. Finding out that you actually get to buy presale tickets

4. Impatiently waiting for your presale tickets by listening to their songs on repeat

5. And remembering how obsessed you used to be (definitely still are) with them

6. Trying to coordinate the squad to go to the concert with you

7. Waiting in the Ticketmaster waiting room...

8. ...And feeling super frantic/frustrated because there are about 2000 people in line in front of you

9. Actually getting into the site to buy the tickets

10. Frantically trying to find seats you can actually pay for because, let's be real, you're twenty-something and poor

11. Managing to actually get the seats you want

12. Joyfully letting your squad know that you've done it

13. Crying a little because all of the dreams you've had since 2007 are coming true

14. Listening to every single Jonas Brothers song on repeat (again)

If you, like me, have finally fulfilled one of your dreams since childhood, then congrats, my friend! We've made it! Honestly, of all the things I've done in my adult life, this might be the one that child me is the most proud of.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Severus Snape Is The Worst, And Here's Why

Albus Severus, sweetie, I'm so sorry...

215
views

I grew up being absolutely obsessed with the Harry Potter franchise. I read the books for the first time in second and third grade, then again in middle school, and for the third time in my last year of high school. Recently, I had a somewhat heated argument with a fellow fan of the books about Severus Snape. As I've reread the Harry Potter books, I've noticed that, although J.K. Rowling tried to give him a redemption arc, he only got worse because of it. Here's why I still think Severus Snape is the absolute worst.

His love for Lily Potter was actually really creepy. When I was younger and reading the books, I always found the fact that he held fast in his love for Lily to be very endearing, even noble. However, rereading it after going through a couple of relationships myself, I've come to realize that the way he pined over her was super creepy. It was understandable during his time at Hogwarts; he was bullied, and she was the only one who "understood" him. However, she showed zero interest, and if that didn't clue him into realizing that he should back off, her involvement with James Potter should have. She was married. He was pining after a married, happy woman. If he truly loved her, he would have realized how happy she was and backed off. Instead, he took it out on her orphan son and wallowed in bitterness and self-pity, which is creepy and extremely uncool. When a girl is kind to a boy during high school (or in this case, wizard school), it's not an open invitation for him to pine for her for the literal rest of his life and romanticizes the absolute @#$% out of her. It's just her being a decent person. Move on, Severus.

He verbally abused teenagers. One of the most shocking examples of this is in The Prisoner of Azkaban when Snape literally told Neville Longbottom that he would kill his beloved toad, Trevor if he got his Shrinking Potion wrong, and then punished him when he managed to make the potion correctly. Furthermore, poor Neville's boggart was literally Snape. The amount of emotional torture Neville must have been enduring from Snape to create this type of debilitating fear must have been almost unbearable, and even if Snape was simply trying to be a "tough" professor, there is no excuse for creating an atmosphere of hostility and fear like he did in his potions class for vulnerable students like Neville. In addition, he ruthlessly tormented Harry (the last living piece of Lily Potter, his supposed "true love," btw), and made fun of Hermione Granger's appearance. Sure, he might have had a terrible life. However, it's simply a mark of poor character to take it out on others, especially when the people you take it out on are your vulnerable students who have no power to stand up to you. Grow up.

He willingly joined a terrorist group and helped them perform genocide and reign over the wizarding world with terror tactics for a couple of decades. No explanation needed as to why this is terrible.

Despite the constant romanticization of his character, I will always see the core of Severus Snape, and that core is a bitter, slimy, genocidal, manipulative trash being. J.K. Rowling's attempt to redeem him only threw obsessive and controlling traits into the mix. Snape is the absolute worst, and romanticizing him only removes criticism of an insane man who just so happened to be capable of love (just like the vast majority of the rest of us). Thank you, next.

Related Content

Facebook Comments