Twilight Zone veteran Richard Matheson wrote the screenplay for Trilogy of Terror, a 1975 NBC network Movie of the Week that was a lot creepier than TV audiences were used to watching. The third story in the 40-year-old trilogy, “Amelia,” is still profoundly terrifying. Mental Floss has a remembrance:
In essentially a one-woman play, [Karen] Black portrays a character hoping to impress her anthropologist boyfriend by gifting him with an African “Zuni fetish doll,” a fearsome-looking warrior cast in wood and grasping a spear. Alone in her apartment, Black finds that the doll is more spirited than your typical toy. As he hacks and slashes at her feet and hides behind furniture, it’s not quite clear whether Black will conquer her tiny terror, go mad, or both.
In the more than 40 years since its original airing, “Amelia” has seared itself into the public consciousness, with viewers genuinely riveted by Black’s plight against the fanged terror. Prior to her death in 2013, Black said she was approached by fans to talk about her fight with a killer doll more than all of her other roles combined; when writer Richard Matheson went in for meetings, he was often approached by executives who admitted to wetting themselves watching the film as a child.
The whole thing: