Friday, May 11, 2007

The Movie That Jacked My Childhood


So yesterday I drop my son off for baseball practice and I go run some errands. I'm a coach myself, so it's a benefit to my son that I do not stay at practices because I spend most of my time telling him how to do things.

Anyways, I go to peruse some DVDs because right now I feel my collection is filled with all the good DVDs I want and I just have a hankering for some really bad DVDs. Bad cinema if you will.

So I'm in the horror section when I come across the movie that is single-handedly responsible for most of my childhood angst. The reason I ran up the stairs so fast as to almost trip for fear that a monster was right at my heels. The reason that every light in our house was on when the sun went down. The reason why I spent many a night at the foot of my parents bed. And that movie is called Trilogy Of Terror. It's a made for TV movie. A MADE FOR FRICKIN TV MOVIE. That's the movie that tortured me. The movie that still haunts me today. Not Halloween. Not Jaws. Not the Exorcist. It pains me to reveal this but perhaps by doing so I can put the old demons to rest.

It was 1975 and my brother was babysitting me. I was to be in bed, but I snuck downstairs to see my brother watching it and he let me sit there with him. I was four years old. Let me say that again, I was four. I curse my brother to this day for letting me watch this. Thirty two years later, it's like it happened yesterday because it has been branded into my brain. I can't even remember the first two stories, because they were so bad, but I remember the last story because that's the one that got me.


All three stories star Karen Black in different roles. The first story is about blah, blah, blah I care. The second story is blah, blah, blah, blah and again with the not caring. The final story involves Karen Black as a woman who has purchased an African fetish doll for her boyfriend. Now who in the world would do that? I love you sweetie, put this scary as shit doll on your bedside table and think of me. The doll is wrapped in chains and there's a note that says don't remove the damn chains because this doll is going to come to life and fuck some shit up. Of course Karen removes the chains and the thing comes to life. It spends the rest of the show chasing her around the apartment and in remembering the doll (I have only seen it once more and have chosen to leave it be in my adult life for fear that if I see it again I will curl up in a ball under a desk somewhere and possibly pee myself) it's not terribly frightening as it moves around the apartment (they used a wooden puppet and most of the shots were tight close-ups of its face) but it's what the doll did that scared me. First, this doll is pissed. I mean really pissed. Evidently, it didn't have a good life before it got all chained up and sold to Karen Black because it comes after her fast and furious and with its mouth a chompin. When Karen does get away from it and manages to get into a room, it throws its little body against the door and runs its little dagger under the door in hopes of cutting Karen's feet. It's a pretty scary visual and makes me shudder thinking of it now. At one point Karen tries to drown the thing in the tub or the sink and I can remember seeing her struggle to shove its head underwater while it furiously tries to bite her. Again, with the shuddering. Eventually Karen looses and in the end, the doll inhabits her body and makes her hair all crazy and her teeth all jaggedy (oh no spoilers!!!! give me a break). She sits in the middle of her kitchen and repeatedly stabs a knife into the floor with an evil smirk on her face. All I can say is that boyfriend must have been something to risk and eventually lose to demonic possession.

That's the movie and more specifically the story that haunted me in my waking life as well as my sleeping. It may not be as scary today as it was in 1975, but I'm sure as shit not going to risk it. I was able to actually see the doll in person when I went to Universal Studios as a teenager with my Mom. Needless to say, I kept my distance from that rotten little bastard.

11 comments:

Moviezzz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jane said...

I remember that movie and all the same scenes, too! Between that and also a sneaked peek at the scene in "Salem's Lot" where the kid's friend is trying to get in through the window, it's amazing I ever slept as a child.

Joe Valdez said...

I'm at a loss to explain why Chuckie and Leprechaun received their own franchises, but the Zuni Fetish Doll was never heard from again. Maybe the children of the world will get a good night's sleep.

The single-minded wrath and ferociousness of the Zuni was definitely disturbing, plus the fact that he's small enough to hide practically anywhere around the house.

Another lost gem from the '70s. I'll have to watch this one again!

Piper said...

And critters too. Actually, they did make a sequel. I saw that they had today when I was looking for visuals. Didn't know it existed and am a little curious/cautious to actually check it out.

Sheamus the... said...

is that the mom from Burnt Offerings?

Piper said...

Shea,

Yep. The same woman.

Bob Turnbull said...

I almost watched this during my marathon of Horror last October, but the thought of three different Karen Blacks freaked me out more than the thought of little Zuni guy.

Several folks have mentioned how memorable that third story was though, so I'll give it a whirl this year.

Guy said...

I remember that little effer! What a scary little beastie he was. I'm surprised there hasn't been a remake of that story.

Ray said...

Never saw this movie, though it sounds kinda dumb LOL. I can only imagine the processes used to make that doll come to life, and how laughably bad it looks.

www.therecshow.com

garrett said...

I've never seen this movir but kind of want to now. The cover of this trilogy reminded me of a child hood favorite, Troll. This movie wasnt that scary, actually i dont know if it was meant to be, but it did kind of gave me the creeps for some reason.

Anonymous said...

hi all, just a quick note. i am39 yrs old. when i was a kid/ whats the math...75-67 ok 8ish. i was at my ant and uncle's house. i saw this "show" about a little doll that came to life. man it was creepy! all these years i never heard of,or saw it again.. i just spent about an hour and finally arrived at the "triligy" and the zion worrior... i think that dame thing got all of us who were kids of the 70's..sure it may be hokey now but the sound of that little monster... the knife under the door/ and cuttin himself out of the suit case.....