Trilogy of Terror.
Now, I didn't get to see Trilogy of Terror when it first aired as a made-for-tv movie because I was all of four for most of that year. But I did manage to catch it when I was somewhere between the ages of 8 and 10, when one of our local stations aired horror movies and creature features on Saturday evenings before my bedtime.
I remember very clearly how I got to watch in the living room all by myself while my mom cleaned or read or whatever in another room. I got some snacks and a drink, went to the tv to flip a switch on the back from our regular channels to UHF (the channel that showed creature features was a UHF channel, and I don't really expect this to make sense to anyone under the age of 35.), and tapped my foot while waiting for the screen to clear up and the channel to come in. When everything was all set, I'd go turn the lights off and shut the door, giving myself a "theater" experience by turning the living room into a pitch dark, cavernous space. I'd plop down with my snacks in front of the tv.
Trilogy of Terror must have been one of the first movies I saw this way. Karen Black, whose career spans over fifty years (some you might know her as Mama Firefly from Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses) played the lead in each of the trilogy's unrelated segments. I was too young to really understand "Julie" or "Millicent/Therese" because I didn't yet understand manipulation and personality disorders, and therefore was simply uninterested. I'd really like to revisit those now that I'm an adult, just to see it either of them scare me, or at least hold my attention.
But the final segment of the trilogy, "Amelia," is one that really stuck with me. I was super-fascinated by that psycho little doll, and Amelia's inability to kill it. After being relentlessly terrorized by the doll for hours on end, she finally manages to disintegrate it in her oven. But instead of breathing a sigh of relief at the end, I felt like I had to swallow my heart after it leaped into my throat upon viewing Ms. Black's final scene!
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