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With: Karen Black, Robert Burton, John Karlen, George Gaynes, Jim Storm, Gregory Harrison, Kathryn Reynolds, Tracy Curtis, Orin Cannon
Written by: William F. Nolan, Richard Matheson, based on stories by Richard Matheson
Directed by: Dan Curtis
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 72
Date: 03/04/1975

Trilogy of Terror (1975)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Shades of Black

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

In this above-average made-for-TV horror anthology movie, Karen Black stars in three different segments, each based on a classic Richard Matheson story. In the first, she plays a buttoned-up college professor who is seduced, and blackmailed, by one of her students. In the second, she plays twin sisters that are forever at each other's throats, one prissy and religious and the other a sexy, carefree flirt. In the third, and the one segment adapted by Matheson himself, she plays a woman who purchases a Zuni warrior doll for her husband, and after a revealing phone conversation with her overbearing mother, she is attacked by the now come-to-life doll, with its razor-sharp spear and mouth full of spiky shark's teeth. Featuring Black onscreen all by herself, this last episode is the best, and scariest, but overall Trilogy of Terror is a solid, cleanly-made film.

Kino Lorber released Trilogy of Terror on a deluxe Blu-ray in 2018, featuring two commentary tracks: one by film historian Richard Harland Smith, and one by Ms. Black and writer William F. Nolan. There are featurettes on composer Bob Cobert, writer Matheson, and Black. A liner notes essay is by critic Simon Abrams. The cardboard slip cover features new art by Jacob Phillips. Video quality is excellent, considering it was always meant to be seen on an old, pixilated picture tube, and sound is fine.

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