Trilogy of Terror (also known in the United States as Tales of Terror and Terror of the Doll ) is a three part television horror thriller film, first aired on ABC on March 4, 1975. The film, directed by Dan Curtis and starring Karen Black in the four lead roles of each chapter, including roles as twin sisters, was originally a failed pilot for a horror anthology television series.
All three segments are based on unrelated short stories written by Richard Matheson, with film titles being the names for the film's protagonists, played by Black. Black initially turned the role down but eventually accepted when her then-husband, Robert Burton, was selected for the role of "Chad". A television film sequel, Trilogy of Terror II, written and also directed by Dan Curtis was released in 1996.
Trilogy of Terror first aired on ABC on March 4, 1975 to positive reviews and has since reached cult status, though admittedly the film is often appreciated for comedic, rather than horror, value. Jon Niccum, Lawrence Journal-World wrote, "The third segment in this trilogy is arguably the scariest piece ever crafted under the made-for-TV label". Rotten Tomatoes readers give the film a 100% fresh rating.
Black felt the film typecast her into accepting many roles in B grade horror films following the film's release, saying "I think this little movie took my life and put it on a path that it didn't even belong in".