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Trilogy of Terror II (1996)

  Tags: 90's, anthology, based on short story, black magic, Blake Heron, cheesy, Dan Curtis, Geoffrey Lewis, Geraint Wyn Davies, greed, He Who Kills, killer doll, killer rats, Lysette Anthony, made for tv, Matt Clark, revenge, Richard Fitzpatrick, sequel, trilogy of terror, underrated, witchcraft, zuni fetish doll

Your rating: None Average: 6.3 (6 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
7

trilogyofterror2.jpg
Rating #: 
7/10
Director: 
Dan Curtis
Runtime: 
90 minutes
Cast: 
Lysette Anthony, Geraint Wyn Davies, Matt Clark, Geoffrey Lewis, Blake Heron, Richard Fitzpatrick


Trilogy of Terror II is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. Having seen it when it first aired on the USA network a day before Halloween back in 1996, and being an impressionable young horror fan at the time, it was an enjoyable night's worth of entertainment that I never forgot. I decided to revisit that night by giving the film another look to see if it holds up from the last time I saw it, and to my surprise, it does.

Original co-writer/director Dan Curtis returns for this sequel, which is definitely a flawed film, but still managed to hold my attention from the start, delivering some predictable, but entertaining stories that in many respects are still more creative than what we get from the genre now-a-days.

Much like they did with the first, having genre vet Karen Black play the lead in all three stories, this sequel gives us Lysette Anthony, whom you kinda feel sorry for after doing all that running from something menacing in each story.

6 -  "The Graveyard Rats"

This is your pretty standard tale of greed -- a young woman marries an old rich man, whom once dead, will give his wealthy inheritance to her. As the norm for these types of tales, she's also having an affair with younger man and the two come up with a scheme to kill the old guy and make it look like an accident.

Their plan seems to go perfectly until they realize that the crafty old devil transferred all his fortune to overseas accounts before his death, with the codes to access them hidden in a piece of microfilm, which they believe to be buried with his corpse...

The story starts off pretty clichéd, but takes an interesting turn once they're forced to dig up the corpse. The weakest of the three stories, but still a decent and nicely-paced effort, and you can't go wrong with flesh-eating killer rats!

7 - "Bobby"

This second segment is based on a Richard Matheson short story and is actually a remake of the very same tale from another Dan Curtis anthology entitled Dead of Night. I haven't seen the original, so I can't compare the two myself. Anyway, we follow a young woman who returns home from work to quickly get started on some sort of dark magic ritual, in hopes of bringing her dead son back to life, whom apparently accidently drowned in the nearby ocean.

As expected, the boy does return, but is clearly not himself. Quick to anger, Bobby forces his "Mommy" to play a game of hide and seek, with seemingly more devious intentions behind the game. It doesn't take long before the truth behind the boy's death comes out and the true nature of Bobby is revealed.

I liked this story, which wasted no time in getting to business. Literally minutes after the lead woman enters the screen she donnes a black robe and starts the ritual process. Predictable, but entertaining, especially the evil-kid aspect, which I'm quite fond of seeing in the genre. My only complaint would be the hilarious acting and dialogue from the boy, whom repeatedly utters "Mommy" after each sentence. I'm not sure if that's how it is in the original story, but it is a bit repetitive.  Still, for the shortest of the stories, it's pretty decent.

7 - "He Who Kills"

My favorite of the three tales and definitely a good reason to watch the film in general. This story is a direct continuation of the events from the first movie, where the police have discovered the corpses of the victims from the original story and the pesky Zuni fetish doll is burnt to a crisp in the oven. A couple detectives bring the doll to a local museum in hopes of possibly finding some sort of connection with the killings.

Along with the doll is an old manuscript stating that if the necklace around the it's neck is removed, the doll and spirit of the ancient Zuni hunter will become one with each other. Naturally the doctor and her assistant examining the figure laugh at the idea of it possibly coming to life as they remove the chain....

Being a fan of killer doll-type flicks I obviously found this to be the most enjoyable tale of the anthology. Now 20 years after the first film, they're able to make the doll seem a little less stiff and a bit more menacing, but also incredibly hilarious. The way he looks and the noises he makes, I couldn't help but laugh each time he made some funny growl or holler, as he lunges after his victims. Sucha cute lil' fella!

Fans of anthologies will probably enjoy this decent made-for-TV effort. The stories are pretty cheesy and predictable, yet highly entertaining (at least for me they were). Worth a check if you're looking for a movie to just sit back and enjoy -- very few braincells required!

Posted on June 12, 2010 - 9:55pm | FrighT MasteR

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