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Trilogy of Terror (1975)

Unrated | | Horror, Thriller | TV Movie 4 March 1975
Three bizarre horror stories all of which star Karen Black in four different roles playing tormented women.


Dan Curtis


William F. Nolan (teleplay), Richard Matheson (story) | 4 more credits »
4,055 ( 408)
2 nominations. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Karen Black ... Julie / Millicent / Therese / Amelia
Robert Burton Robert Burton ... Chad Foster
John Karlen ... Thomas Amman (as John Karlin)
George Gaynes ... Dr. Chester Ramsey
Jim Storm ... Eddie Nells (as James Storm)
Kathryn Reynolds Kathryn Reynolds ... Anne Richards
Orin Cannon Orin Cannon ... Motel Clerk
Gregory Harrison ... Arthur Moore
Tracy Curtis ... Tracy
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Three stories interwoven together. The first, about a college student infatuated with his teacher. The second, a paranoid tale of two sisters - one good, the other evil, and the third about a Native American tribal doll that comes to life and terrorizes a woman in her apartment. Written by Humberto Amador

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


An electrifying experience - you won't believe your eyes!


Horror | Thriller


TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The crew trying to make the Zuni doll come to life kept on laughing because sometimes bits fell off, like an arm or it's head. Richard Matheson insisted that he adapted his own short story "Prey" himself because he knew that this had to be the most frightening story in the trilogy. See more »


When Amelia calls her mother at the end, her face and mouth can be seen briefly, and her teeth are clearly normal, unlike just a few minutes later when she shows that her teeth now resemble the Zuni doll's. See more »


Amelia: [Apparently unconcerned over the fact the Zuni doll's chain is off and it's nowhere to be found] Where'd you go?
See more »


Spoofed in Karen Black Like Me (1997) See more »

User Reviews

Karen Black delivers where the film fails to
2 March 2004 | by jeanspillaneSee all my reviews

Trilogy of Terror is a decent (but commonly overrated) anthology horror film directed by Dan Curtis (creator and producer of "Dark Shadows") and starring the great Karen Black. Although I have always enjoyed Karen Black's work, rarely have I seen her as impressive as in this film, which is primarily a showcase for her talents as an actress.

The first story of the film, "Julie", is by far the weakest entry. While well acted and directed, its dull plot of a black-mailed teacher goes no where and there isn't a chill or surprise to be found. Robert Burton gives a solid performance as the black-mailing student, but the unimpressive script gives the actors little to work with. Even Karen Black fails to impress on any level.

We move into much interesting territory in the second story, "Millicent and Therese". Even though I saw the twist coming a mile away, it was a good concept and an amazing set of performances by Karen Black. Watching her tightly move around the screen as Millicent in one scene and then seeing her seductively question George Gaynes as Dr. Ramesy in the next is a true testament to her charisma and skill as an actress. A mediocre tale is made very watch able by her performance.

The third story, "Amelia", is without a doubt the strongest of the three and the only frightening tale. Karen Black firmly places her self in the ranks as one of the strongest scream-queens of the 70s/80s with this role and it's a damn shame there aren't a few slashers in those eras with her playing the lead role. She frantically runs and screams around her apartment after an effective build up. While merely a "killer doll" story, it is a very well done one with a creepy looking (but funny sounding) doll. Despite a small amount of unintentional humor, there are some very solid chills to be found in this section.

While a little bit of a let-down for me, I did enjoy tales of terror and there are far worse ways to spend an evening. The first tale is boring, but the second picks up and the third is an excellent closing piece. Not the best anthology horror film, as some would have you believe, but definitely worth seeing of Karen Black's performance.

** / *****

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

4 March 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tales of Terror See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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