Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

A Creepy, Gory Thriller Starring the Zuni Doll

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

A Creepy, Gory Thriller Starring the Zuni Doll

Article excerpt

OF ALL the Halloween tricks and treats the networks have lined up for us, it's unlikely anybody's going to top the special event dredged up by cable's USA network: the long-awaited return of the Zuni Doll in "Trilogy of Terror II."

Whenever the cognoscenti of the creepy chiller genre get around to talking about TV's most frightening moments, invariably they'll agree on at least one - that hysteria-inducing moment on the evening of March 4, 1975, when the Zuni Doll came to life in the final moments of an ABC movie-of-the-week called "Trilogy of Terror."

"Trilogy of Terror" was produced and directed by Dan Curtis, the man who brought us "Dark Shadows" and a host of other celebrated made-for-TV horrors, including "Dracula" with Jack Palance, "Frankenstein" with Robert Foxworth, and "The Night Stalker" and "The Night Strangler," both with Darren McGavin. Karen Black played four roles in three horror stories in the original "Trilogy of Terror," but the one that sticks in the memory of anyone who saw it was the role of a mother-dominated young woman named Amelia who bought a fetish doll in a desperate attempt to impress a young man she had attracted. Adapted from the story "Prey" by legendary sci-fi writer Richard Matheson ("The Shrinking Man," "I Am Legend"), the vignette called "Amelia" was a masterpiece of classic horror. Millions of viewers simultaneously lifted their feet off floors all over the country the moment the cursed Zuni Doll came to life and started to stalk Amelia and her mother through their darkened apartment. The idea of a tiny doll chasing grown people around an apartment may not sound very frightening, but armed with a razor-sharp blade, it produced instant terror as it scampered from one dark corner to another, waiting for the right moment to kill. For the sequel, producer-director Curtis once again has adapted three stories with a female star, British actress Lysette Anthony ("Krull," "Dracula: Dead and Loving It"), playing all three leading roles. Again, the best is saved for last: "He Who Kills," featuring the return of the Zuni Doll. The story takes up the same night the original ended. …

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