Come, take a stroll back through time with me back into the mid 1970's; let's talk of the made-for-TV gem whose kind has sadly faded into nostalgia: Trilogy of Terror.
I had the good fortune to first see this way back then on late night TV, and I must say that in my then-largely-uninitiated youth, it scared the living hell out of me.
This clever and effective telefilm, produced by Dan Curtis and featuring the writing talents of Richard Matheson, is comprised of three short tales, linked only by the performance of the unredoubtable Karen Black, whose abilities are showcased with stylistic flair.
The first two stories, admittedly, didn't stand out in my memory from that viewing years ago...but upon rewatching, I find them both to be entertaining and creepy in their own way, but more of dark "Twilight Zone" stories than "terror" tales. They do show the versatility of Mrs. Black, and that versatility carries over in spades to the final chapter.
This third installment, "Amelia", is what got me then and still gets me now. Without giving too much away, it's about a single woman who buys a strange African fetish doll as a gift to her boyfriend...and from there things take a turn for the surreal. Suffice to say that while the visual effects from this little short are showing their age (although I still find them effective), it's the SOUND that will haunt you; gutteral screams and chilling footsteps are what will provoke the sleeplessness and the nightmares when sleep finally comes. It struck me as funny how that sound brought all that terror from those long ago days back to me.
As I implied, they don't make 'em like this anymore. For a great evening of fright with the family (since it was made for TV and relies on suspense and dread rather than gore for it's terror), it's hard to go wrong with this one.