This is the twenty-eighth film I have watched in "My Letterboxd Season Challenge 2021-22", "A 33 week long challenge where the goal each week is to watch a previously unseen feature length film from a specified category." This is the 7th annual challenge, and my third time participating (my first year can be found at "My Letterboxd Season Challenge 2019-20", and last year's at "My Letterboxd Season Challenge 2020-21"). Week 28 is called "Anthology Film Week":
Wanna feel like you're getting your money's worth? Just watch an anthology movie! You're usually guaranteed at least three stories within one running time, though it's up to you to decide if it's better than the sum of its parts.
This week's challenge is to watch a previously unseen anthology film.
The choices suggested in the above list stretched the concept of "anthology" a bit. Among the choices were D.W. Griffith's Intolerance, which tells four interlocking stories simultaneously, and Godard's Vivre sa vie, which has episodes but it not what I would call an anthology.
Trilogy of Terror was a TV movie that aired on the ABC Movie of the Week. That series had a few memorable showings ... Spielberg's first feature, Duel, was a Movie of the Week, as was Brian's Song, with James Caan and Billy Dee Williams. Trilogy of Terror came near the end of the Movie of the Week run. It teamed Dan Curtis, who created Dark Shadows, writer Richard Matheson (I Am Legend), who wrote the three stories adapted for the movie, and Karen Black, nominated for an Oscar for Five Easy Pieces, who was a busy actor in 1975, also appearing in The Day of the Locust and Nashville.
A lot of anthology movies are remembered for one episode in particular. Spirits of the Dead, a late-60s anthology of Poe stories directed by Fellini, Malle, and Vadim, is a standout primarily for Fellini's segment, Toby Dammit, starring Terence Stamp. Trilogy of Terror is no different in this regard ... the first two episodes are completely forgettable, but the third has become a cult classic. In it, Black (who stars in all three segments) plays a woman, Amelia, who buys a Zuni fetish doll as a present for her boyfriend. The doll comes to life and terrorizes Amelia. It's a combination of the claustrophobic setting in Amelia's apartment, concise editing, and Black's appropriate over-acting that makes it so memorable. I'm pretty sure I didn't see it at the time, but that little doll seemed to be everywhere, meaning I thought I'd seen it even though I'd likely only seen commercials for the film.
The plot of the Amelia chapter is ludicrous, but that rarely matters in horror, does it? It's reputation is exaggerated, but it's worth seeing, and it is so much better than the other two segments that it would be nice if you could just watch that final third.