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Right after THE NIGHT STALKER and THE NIGHT STRANGLER, I would have to rate TRILOGY OF TERROR as the best scare fest to originate on the boob tube. TRILOGY OF TERROR first appeared on ABC TV in 1975 and this horror anthology is based upon the works of Richard Matheson, who also wrote the screenplay for story three- Amelia. Actress Karen Black is featured in each of the movie's three separate tales, in which she plays four individual roles. Without question, Black's performances in TRILOGY OF TERROR constitute some of her best work as an actress.

The first two stories in TRILOGY OF TERROR provide horror of the psychological variety; however, the final entry is a genuine supernatural thriller. First up is Julie, the story a repressed teacher who is forced into having an affair with a student who is blackmailing her. As you might have guessed, the student ends up being taught a lesson that he will never forget. In the second tale, Millicent and Therese, Black plays two sisters that are complete opposites. Millicent is a plain spinster who is convinced that her sister Therese is literally an evil witch. After Millicent scares off Therese's latest boyfriend, she begins to fear for her life and decides to use her sister's own black magic against her. The final and best-known entry in TRILOGY OF TERROR is Amelia, which tells the story of a young woman named Amelia who purchases a Zuni hunter doll for her boyfriend as a birthday present. Legend has it that the doll contains the spirit of a real hunter and if the gold chain is removed from the its waist; the angry spirit of the hunter will bring the doll to life. Needless to say, the chain accidentally falls off and Amelia finds herself fending off the lethal and nearly unstoppable doll. Director Dan Curtis does a great job with Amelia, staging the doll attacks for maximum scare value. In addition to Karen Black, the cast of TRILOGY OF TERROR also includes Robert Burton, John Karlen, George Gaynes and Gregory Harrison.

Anchor Bay Entertainment has done a good job transcribing TRILOGY OF TERROR to DVD. Since the movie was made for television, TRILOGY OF TERROR is presented in the full screen, 1.33:1 ratio. Occasionally, the film element used for the transfer displays a bit of white speckling, but for the most part it looks great. The transfer itself is sharp and provides good detail, even within the darkly shaded areas of the image. Color reproduction is usually good, but there are a few shots that are a bit pale. Solid authoring disguised all traces of compression artifacts.

The Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack is pretty clean sounding, although when Karen Black starts screaming in the third story, you'll want to cover your ears. The basic interactive menus provide access to the standard scene selection feature. A written interview with Karen Black is included inside the DVD packaging.




DVD reviews are Copyright 1999 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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