Trilogy of Terror II (1996)
Directed By: Dan Curtis
Starring: Lysette Anthony, Geraint Wyn Davies, Matt Clark, Geoffrey Lewis, Blake Heron
That's not to suggest this is a bad thing, in fact I think its what helps make this segment the true stand out of the three stories. And dare I say is actually kind of chilling at times. Sadly, the finale is goofy and undercuts any scariness it might have conjured. The final segment co-written by the legendary William Nolan and Dan Curtis is the films homage to the infamous Zuni fetish doll segment from the original. I talked to Nolan and he mentioned he regretted not writing something as memorable in the original and that he wanted to do his own take on the killer doll. Titled He Who Kills the film takes place presumably right after the events of the first Zuni segment. The doll is found burnt in the oven and is taken away to be studied. Mayhem of course ensues. As much as I wanted to love this one, it has BIG murderie doll shoes to fill and despite being written by two amazing scribes it seems to fall flat. Honestly its missing that camp value coupled with Karen Black's insane and deliriously manic performance. Dont get me wrong, Lysette does a fine job and indeed does an excellent job in all three-segments however Black just had something special that cant be copied.
The original Trilogy of Terror (1975) is a fun but seems only remembered for the Zuni doll segment. But damn, what a segment that was. Trilogy of Terror II (1996) I dare say has more memorable segments but doesnt have that standout moment the original did. Bobby might be the closet thing it has to that but you cant compare it to how fans talk about the Zuni fetish segment in the original.
Its not perfect and its kind of basic at times but it does have Curtis's flare for moody set pieces and Neo-Gothic quality that makes even lesser works a hoot. Kino has really pulled out all the stops in its Blu-Ray for TOT II. The new HD master is clean, not overly bright and really makes the EC comic's like color scheme pop! The extras includes a fun and informative running commentary by author and film historian Troy Howarth (So Deadly, So Perverse series) who gives some great background and trivia behind the film. His informative context honestly made me like the film more. We are also treated with interviews with lead star Lysette Anthony and creature effects artist Rick Stratton and Second Unit director Eric Allard. Overall this is a treat for anyone who grew up watching this on television and while it doesn't hold up as well for me, it is still a great seasonal watch.
Consider this a must own Blu Ray. Kino has really outdone themselves.