Trilogy of Terror is a 1975 made for TV horror anthology film. Directed by Dan Curtis, it consists of three segments which are based on short stories by Richard Matheson. Karen Black stars in all three segments, playing a different lead role in each.
- "Julie" - A University English teacher is blackmailed into a relationship with her student.
- "Millicent and Therese" - Two sisters hate each other with a passion. The older sister decides to deal with the younger one once and for all.
- "Amelia" - A woman with an overbearing mother accidentally releases a murderous spirit within a Zuni Fetish doll free and must fight for her life. The film's most popular and best remembered segment.
A sequel to the movie was released in 1996, which was also directed by Dan Curtis.
- Downer Ending: All three. Even the one where the female protagonist survives and isn't possessed.
- Feminist Fantasy: Of the horror variety. The entire trilogy is very woman-centric.
- Pilot Movie: The film was intended as the pilot for a new horror anthology tv show, but it failed.
- The X of Y
- Asshole Victim: To say Chad had it coming would be an understatement.
- Blackmail: Chad uses pictures that he took from the unconscious Julie to blackmail her to be with him.
- Character Title: Julie is the traget of Chad's obsessions.
- Hot for Teacher: Chad gets a weird idea about seeing what's under his teacher Julie's clothes. This develops into an unhealthy obsession about her, eventually turning into sexual abuse.
- No-Tell Motel: After drugging her, Chad drags unconscious Julie into one to have his way with her.
- Slipping a Mickey: Chad takes Julie on a date to a Drive-In Theater, and when he goes to get them some drinks, he drugs hers.
- Shout-Out: Chad signs himself and Julie in the motel under the names "Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Harker", who is a character in the novel Dracula.
- Twist Ending: Julie reveals that she's been manipulating Chad from the beginning, playing along with his sex-blackmail scheme For the Evulz, then kills him and destroys his incriminating photos. And he is not the first one.
- Villain Protagonist: Chad, whom we follow exploiting Julie.
"Millicent and Therese"
- Happier Home Movie: The segment opens with Millicent watching an old home movie from her childhood, which has both of her parents alive.
- Hollywood Voodoo: Inspired by a child's doll that Therese broke, Millicent decides to get rid of her with a Voodoo Doll.
- Name and Name
- Parental Incest: According to Millicent, Therese seduced their father when she was 16.
- Twist Ending: Therese is actually same person as Millicent, who is suffering from Split Personality. And by destroying her "sister", she kills herself.
- The Vamp: Therese, who attempts to seduce any man near her.
- Agony of the Feet: The Zuni Fetish doll begins its attack on Amelia by stabbing her feet while she's searching for it.
- Fangs Are Evil: The Zuni Fetish doll has sharp teeth. Amelia sports them after she is possessed by the doll's spirit.
- The Ghost: Amelia's mother is never shown onscreen; all the interactions between her and her daughter are through a phone.
- Kill It with Water: Amelia tries to unsuccessfully drown the Zuni Fetish doll by wrapping it in a towel and submerging it in a bathtub.
- Knife Nut: After awakening, the Zuni Fetish doll grabs one of Amelia's kitchen knives and spends the segment chasing her with it.
- Murder by Cremation: Amelia finally gets rid of the Zuni Fetish doll by locking it in an oven, where it catches on fire.
- My Beloved Smother: Amelia's mother, who demands all of her attention and doesn't let her live her own life.
- Perverse Puppet: After the medallion around it is removed, the Zuni Fetish doll comes to life and starts attacking Amelia.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: The Zuni Fetish doll is small but powerful.
- Protagonist Title
- Twist Ending: Amelia manages to destroy the Zuni Fetish doll, but is possessed by the spirit residing in it, and the segment ends with her waiting to ambush her mother.