It’s the most! Wonderful tiiiiiime! Of the year!
Yes, October is my favorite month for TV watching. In about a month or so I’ll be doing everything I can to hide from schlocky sentiment-laden ABC-Family movies starring Jenny McCarthy as a plucky, streetwise single mom just trying to make the holiday spirit happen for her love child with Santa, with the aid of an elf who bucks the North Pole system and a sentient Christmas hamster. (Maybe I should pitch this; ABC Family people…call me.) Ugggggh, kill me. But now? My DVR is jammed with Ghost-this and Paranormal-that. Except for Paranormal State and Ghost Adventures. I never could get behind those shows; they’re a little too hair gel and Ed Hardy for my taste.
As I’ve been watching and watching and watching my SpookyTV, I’ve come across more than a few shows that feature evil dolls. Now, I believe with all my heart that dolls are inherently creepy, except maybe for Barbie dolls since they’re clearly not anatomically relevant to human beings at all. (Alien-headed Bratz dolls are creepy in an entirely different sort of way, but I digress.) There is, however, no doll quite so creepy as the evil Zuni doll that hunts the one-and-only Karen Black in the 1975 made-for-TV movie that strings together a series of vignettes, Trilogy of Terror.
One could point out that the Zuni people are gentle farmers-turned-herders who carve kachinas and produce quality jewelry and pottery. One could point out that they’re not befanged even in the least. But as our current state of media reminds us daily, no one cares about facts. What’s important, though, is that this is the best of the best of the murderous dolls in all of Hollywoodland with the possible exception of Talky Tina of The Twilight Zone fame (and let’s have a shout-out to Telly Savalas for his work in the Zone as dickish dad Eric; no lollipop, just pure Telly, baby. Brilliant.).
I would put the Zuni warrior up against Chucky any day of the week.
While all of Trilogy of Terror is worth a watch for any horror fan, the final segment (called “Amelia”) is the crazed doll must-see. It is Karen Black’s one-woman-vs.-evil-doll tour-de-force that forever elevated her in my heart to horror goddess (though her performance in Burnt Offerings runs a realllllly close second). If I remember correctly it scared the crap out of my mother when it first aired. I looked for a clip of just that vignette but I couldn’t find one so here is a link to the entire movie in all of its Karen-Blacktastic glory.
“Amelia” starts at about 45:50 if you want to forward right to it and skip the first two stories that are not required Halloween viewing. As for me, I’m going to interrupt my haunted house DVR queue for an hour and twelve minutes, enjoy the whole show, and start planning my Karen Black movie marathon.
Happy Halloweening! As an added horror bonus, I have included a link to Telly Savalas’s version of “I Walk the Line”. If this doesn’t keep you up at night, nothing will.