Brainless With A Splash Of Dumb
Trilogy Of Terror 2 (1996) Made For Cable TV
Don't get me wrong - anthologies can be kind of nice. You don't have to watch the whole thing at once in order not to lose the plot, the stories are short, and in this case, the final two stories were written by Richard Matheson, who is one of my favorite horror authors (I Am Legend, The Legend Of Hell House, many other great novels as well as a slew of short stories.). So what could go wrong? Oh, a lot of things - if you're looking to make a quick buck and cheap out on a trio of stories that deserved much better than this. But hey, they made it for TV so... I guess cheap was all they had. They even used the same actress, Lysette Anthony, in all three stories. Apparently this was to follow sort of in the footsteps of Trilogy Of Terror, made in 1975, starring Karen Black. The same director, Dan Curtis, did both of these treatments.
The Graveyard Rats: A rich guy knows his wife is having an affair with her cousin (ewww). He tells her okay, you get my money, but only if you're a good girl until I die. Of course she's not. She and her boyfriend (a welcome Geraint Wyn Davies, familiar if you were a fan of Forever Night) plan to murder him by scaring him to death and take the money. Well, Ben (Geraint) decides that he's rather copy his favorite crime movie and pushes the man (he's stuck in a wheelchair) down the stairs on a night where the servants are out. So now the non-grieving widow discovers that his money is basically gone - he's cashed everything out and microfilmed the account numbers of his secret money stashes. Trying to figure out where that might be, Laura (the widow) remembers his insistence on being buried with a particular watch. She knows it has a secret compartment so voila. Now we get to have some graverobbing.
As a side point the caretaker of the cemetery he's buried in had warned her to get another plot, as his was in a section almost totally tunneled out by rats 'as big as dogs'. She scoffs of course. Rats aren't going to get in her way of getting the money. Even her favorite Rat, Ben. The second the body is dug up and he has the watch, she shoots him. Bye cuz. As she reaches for the watch, the body begins to move - she sees a tunnel at the head of the coffin - the huge rats (the caretaker wasn't kidding) have already dug a tunnel through and are stealing the body and her fortune. Being movie stupid as well as greedy, she goes after 'em. After all, she's got a gun, right? Well that's good for what - four or five rats? There are many, many more. Laura is forced to crawl in after him through a network of underground graveyard tunnels. Eventually the advancing rats corner her into another buried coffin. Laura tries to keep the rats away by firing her gun at them but quickly the rats pour into the coffin and devour her, in the end the grave is revealed to be her own. Somehow I didn't feel a bit sorry for her.
Bobby: A woman, desolate since her son 'accidentally' drowned resorts to black magic to get her son back. We get a hugely overacted treatment of some sort of booga booga noise with pentagrams, black candles - you know, what every single other black magic scene looks like. Hearing a knock (Hmm, is this going to be like The Monkey's Paw?), she opens the door to discover her son, wet and shivering. After cleaning him up, she begins to make him feel at home again. He claims he never drowned - some people found him and kept him. He just remembered now who he is. Being movie stupid, she totally buys it. Be careful what you wish for... when Bobby ends up going insane with rage, coming at her with weapons, he reveals that 'Bobby' couldn't stand being with her and killed himself (she probably knew that or at least it was implied). Bobby didn't want to come back, so she hears, "Bobby hates you, Mommy, so he sent me instead," revealing his demon-like face and... the end.
He Who Kills (This segment, about the Zuni fetish doll is a sequel to the third segment of the original Trilogy of Terror, "Amelia".): If you saw the first movie, you recognize the scene they tried to recreate of Amelia and her mom being murdered. The doll is found burnt in the oven and is taken to a museum to be examined by Dr. Simpson. She scrapes at it with a knife, seeing that even though the surface is burnt, the doll seems to be intact. And a gold chain, according to the 'instructions' is needed to keep it in line. Not believing a word, she keeps working on the thing. Soon the guards offer her pizza and she leaves. Immediately we see both the doll an the knife has disappeared. When she returns, she finds a large pile of charred material, but no doll. One of the guards investigates the surrounding museum, only to be shot down by an arrow from one of the exhibits by the doll. He dispatches the other guard also. He attacks the movie stupid doctor, and she manages to trap him in a case - which of course he begins to cut through. Conveniently she has a container of acid and throws it into that. Thinking that should do the trick (although the 'acid' hasn't even melted the hair off the thing) she takes it out - after which it attacks. When her boyfriend comes to pick her up, she attacks him with an axe, now being possessed by the spirit of the doll. And we're done.
Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.