Friday, August 15, 2008

Trilogy of . . . well, not terror

Wow. Trilogy of Terror, last night's CoFH selection, was godawful -- godawful fun! I had seen it once before, maybe 20 years ago, and it was even less frightening and more ridiculous than I'd remembered. Karen Black, whose acting career remains an enduring mystery to me, plays four roles in this three-part film. In the first segment, she plays a mousy college professor who becomes the victim of an amorous student's blackmail scheme... but who's really the victim here? I can't tell you what the second part is about because I slept through almost the whole thing. Ms. Black accepted the challenging task of not one but two roles in this middle third, one a tightly-wound religious nut (I think) and the other a blonde seductress (I think). I woke up in time for the final act (in part, I think, because when the words PART THREE appeared on screen, Norman muttered, "At last"). Part three is the highlight of the entire production, with a bathrobe-clad Black being chased around her apartment by a vengeful Zuni fetish doll bent on killing her. Black emotes mightily, screaming, talking to herself and doing foolish things like trying to grab a knife blade and acting surprised when she gets cut. The fetish doll is a work of art: Often shot against a black background that looks nothing like the environment in which he is supposed to be stalking his prey, he gibbers wildly and waves his little arms and bares his tiny, sharp fangs menacingly. Then he shoots across the floor and bites Karen Black's ankles. It was the funniest thing I've seen in ages!

After we watched this and told him how much we'd enjoyed the fetish doll sequence, Sean suggested we try to find a copy of Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, another supernatural-themed made-for-TV movie from the early 70s. In this one, Kim Darby plays a woman whose house's walls are populated by tiny people who want to take her captive. Or something. Norman, if you're reading this, Eddie Brandt claims they have it on DVD!

1 comment:

Caveman said...

I know a guy who owns a Zuni fetish doll...
I've been trying to buy it off him for ages.