"Julie": Julie Eldridge (Karen Black) is a college professor teaching English Literature. One of her students, Chad (Robert Burton), has an obsession with her. Chad talks Julie into going to a drive-in film. He then spikes her drink. When she passes out he takes her to a motel, photographs her in compromising positions and has sex with her. Julie thinks she just fell asleep during the film. The next day Chad shows her the pictures and blackmails her into having sex with him whenever he wants. After a few weeks Julie tells Chad that “The Game is over”. She tells Chad that she is bored with him and that she was the one to manipulate the situation. Chad is confused until he realizes that he’s not the only one that can spike a drink and that Julie has a more permanent way to end the relationship.
"Millicent and Therese": Millicent (Karen Black) and Therese (Karen Black) are twins. Millicent is the good girl and Therese is the promiscuous girl. After their father dies Millicent calls Therese’s boyfriend Thomas (John Karlen) to warn him about Therese. She finally makes him understand when she tells him that Therese bragged to her about their sex life and what they did together. She then calls Dr. Ramsey (George Gaynes), the family therapist and tells him that Therese is getting out of hand. When Dr. Ramsey shows up at the house Therese is there and kicks him out telling him to never come back. By now Millicent has had all she can take and decides the only thing she can do it to kill Therese but that will prove to be more disastrous than she anticipated.
"Amelia": Amelia (Karen Black) sublets an apartment to be on her own and get away from her clinging and overbearing mother. About a month ago she started seeing a man named Arthur. In honor of his birthday she bought him an artifact called a Zuni fetish doll. The scroll that comes with the doll says that it contains the spirit of a Zuni hunter and is called “He Who Kills”. A gold chain is around its waist. The scroll warns that should the gold chain be removed the doll will come to life. After her mother hangs up on her Amelia puts the doll on the coffee table but doesn’t notice the chain fall to the table. The doll comes alive. Amelia is being hunted.
“Trilogy of Terror” was released in 1975 and was directed by Dan Curtis. It is an American made for television omnibus anthology comprised of three separate stories. All three stories starred Karen Black.
Other than “Creepshow” 1982 and “Tales from the Darkside” 1990 this is probably one of the best known horror anthologies. The stories were written by Richard Matheson, and he’s a good writer but the stories themselves are not really memorable. What makes the trilogy so memorable is the Zuni fetish doll that wreaks havoc all over Karen Black. So much so that “Trilogy of Terror II” also featured the creepy looking wooden doll.
Black at first turned down the project until her then husband Robert Burton took on the part of Chad Foster in the first story “Julie”. They were divorced by the time the film was released. If you’re a Karen Black fan then you get a lot for your money here. With only about nine other actors in the film it’s pretty much a one woman show. Other than the Zuni doll, story three is all Karen and she does an excellent job considering there isn’t much to work with in any of the stories.
Although “Trilogy of Terror” is not the utmost in anthologies it is known for creating an iconic horror character. It’s proof that dolls are actually creepy and out to get you.