Trilogy of Terror (1975) Review
“An electrifying experience – you won’t believe your eyes!”
Synopsis: Three bizarre horror stories all of which star Karen Black in four different roles playing tormented women.
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Trilogy of Terror is quite watchable, but generally unremarkable. Each of its three short stories is meant to at the very least titillate, if not terrify, and then finish with a twist. Unfotunately, all of the twists are readily apparent very early on in the stories, making what should be shock endings fairly banal.
The most impressive thing about the trilogy is Karen Black‘s performances. She plays the lead role in each of the three films, displaying an impressive range of acting ability. She’s not only believable in each role, but also manages to switch between personas quite well.
As much as I love the how the creepy hunter fetish in third segment “Amelia” looks, the segment itself is fairly disappointing. The fetish makes weird noises and is generally more funny than scary; Karen Black’s character fails unbelievably at restraining it. Segment two, “Millicent and Therese,” is so obvious going in that it’s hard to sit through at times, waiting as we are for the ending.
The first segment though, “Julie,” manages to captivate even with an obvious twist. Even though the ending isn’t a surprise, I was still wondering halfway through how the filmmakers would pull it off. (Hint: it’s completely due to Karen Black’s acting abilities.) This segment is horrifying in multiple ways, but rarely scary. Still, it worked well for me.
Anthologies aren’t really my thing, but director Dan Curtis pulls off a decent entry here. If you like anthologies, this classic is worth a view.
Calamity Brains’ Rating: B-