TRILOGY OF TERROR II (1996) Reviews and overview

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Trilogy of Terror II is a 1996 American horror anthology made-for-cable feature film, and a sequel to the 1975 television film, Trilogy of Terror, both directed by Dan Curtis (Dead of Night; Burnt Offerings; Bram Stoker’s Dracula; House of Dark Shadows; et al).

The film was co-written by Curtis and William F. Nolan (The Norliss Tapes; The Turn of the Screw; Burnt Offerings) except for ‘Bobby’ which was scripted by Richard Matheson.


New release:

Trilogy of Terror II will be released on Blu-ray – newly restored in high definition – by Kino Lorber Studio Classics on October 1, 2019. Special features:

  • Audio commentary by film historian Troy Howarth
  • Interview with second unit director Eric Allard and special makeup effects artist Rick Stratton
  • Trailers


The sequel follows the formula of the original, with one female lead, in this case British-born Lysette Anthony (Doctor Jekyll and Ms. Hyde; Dracula: Dead and Loving It; Tale of the Mummy, playing parts in each of three segments – Karen Black starred in the original 1975 movie.

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This first story is based on Henry Kuttner’s eponymous short story, albeit considerably altered.

The third segment, about the Zuni fetish doll, is a direct sequel to the third segment of the original Trilogy of Terror, “Amelia”.

The Graveyard Rats:

A wealthy man by the name of Ansford (Matt Clark) discovers his young wife Laura (Lysette Anthony) having an affair with her cousin. Having video proof of the pair having sex he threatens Laura to be faithful or he will turn the video over to the news stations and cut her out of his multimillion-dollar will.

Meanwhile, her lover Ben (Geraint Wyn Davies) comes up with the idea to murder Ansford and collect all his money. After Ansford is pushed down the stairs and killed, Laura and Ben are more than happy to collect their winnings, however, all doesn’t go as planned…



It has been some time since Bobby “accidentally” drowned, leaving his mother Alma (Lysette Anthony) depressed and guilty. However, while her husband is away on business, she determines to raise her son from the dead.

Armed with a magic book and a “Key of Solomon” (in this case, a talisman rather than a book), she conjures dark forces to bring her son back. Before going to bed, a vicious thunderstorm approaches the luxurious beach mansion. Hearing a knock, she opens the door to discover her son…


He Who Kills:

After finding the double homicide of Amelia and her mother from the first movie with the Zuni Doll at the scene, the local police drop off the doll to local Doctor Simpson (Lysette Anthony). As she begins to examine the doll she learns that the doll comes to life when a gold chain is removed from his neck and that the Zuni Doll has a desire for flesh. It also seems to regenerate (the idea itself initially laughable to both Doctor Simpson and her assistant) as when she chips the charred wood away, the Zuni Doll seems to be brand new…



“Anderson might not be an icon in the vein of Black and far from an actress many could identify by name, but she performs adequately here … It’s of far lower budget than the original Trilogy of Terror, but its commitment to understatement is its greatest asset.” 

“Lysette Anthony is a spirited protagonist in all three. Curtis directs with an appreciation for the material. Forget the self-consciousness of Scream. These are unashamedly old-fashioned stories meant to frighten. Turn out the lights and enjoy.” Mike Mayo, The Horror Show Guide


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” … it’s hard to judge Anthony in comparison to Karen Black, if only because the former isn’t given much of a chance to exhibit all that much range. She’s either terrified and frantic or conniving and deceitful, and this hardly feels like a showcase for her. Instead, Trilogy of Terror II just feels like a quick way to cash in on a well-known property…” Brett Gallman, Oh, the Horror!

“I actually prefer Trilogy of Terror II over the original. It’s far more even in quality and more entertaining on repeat viewings (whereas the first two segments from the original film are a chore to sit through a second time).” Mark Pellegrini, Adventures in Poor Taste

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“This is a solid sequel … Curtis revitalizes the formula with three new horror yarns all starring Lysette Anthony, a gifted actress who carries all the mini-chillers successfully … Definitely a keeper.” John Stanley, Creature Features

Cast and characters:

  • Lysette Anthony as Laura, Alma, and Doctor Simpson
  • Geraint Wyn Davies as Ben – American Psycho 2; Cube 2
  • Matt Clark as Ansford – The Horror Show; Candyman 2
  • Geoffrey Lewis as Stubbs – Moon of the Wolf; Salem’s Lot; Human Experiments; The Devil’s Rejects; Wicked Little Things aka Zombies
  • Blake Heron as Bobby
  • Richard Fitzpatrick as Jerry O’Farrell
  • Thomas Mitchell as Lew
  • Gerry Quigley as Akers
  • Dennis O’Connor as Brig
  • John McMahon as Taylor
  • Alan Bridle as The Minister
  • Brittaney Bennett as The Waitress
  • Norm Spencer as Officer #1
  • Bruce McFee as Officer #2
  • Joe Gieb as The Dwarf Bobby
  • Alex Carter as Breslow
  • Philip Williams as Pete
  • Tom Melissis as Rothstein
  • Aron Tager as Steve
  • Durward Allen as Spaulding
  • Peter Keleghan as Dennis


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Choice dialogue:

Ansford: “Ew, this is going to be fun. Watching you attempt to cool off those hot little panties of yours.”

Alma: “If your father could see us eating tuna fish, at this hour!”

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