This relatively tame made-for-TV anthology has achieved cult status amongst even the most hardcore horror fans for three simple words: Zuni…fetish…doll. The little African bugger (I say African because although the Zuni are a Native American tribe, the doll was confirmed in the sequel to be African.) has become the movie’s unofficial mascot, a demonic poster child whose horrific appearance is outstripped only by his rabid, Energizer Bunny-on-crack ire.
This little dude is mad, mad, mad. He’s so pissed, he can’t even speak (granted, his razor teeth and unhinged jaw probably impede proper enunciation); he just shrieks like a banshee as he stabs wildly at anything that moves. Sure, he may look a little frail, but what he lacks in size he makes up for it in sheer pissed-off-edness. Basically, he makes Chucky look like Teddy Ruxpin. Plus, he’s resourceful; he can climb up and turn doorknobs, he can swim (or at least hold his breath), and if there’s a sharp object in the room, you better believe he’ll find it.
While the other two tales in Trilogy are fine, it’s the third, “Amelia”, that has made the movie so memorable. In it, Amelia (Karen Black, who stars in all three stories) buys the Zuni fetish doll for her anthropologist boyfriend. It supposedly contains a hunter spirit kept in check by a golden chain that, conveniently enough, falls off, letting loose the possessed doll. Thus begins a game of cat and mouse in Amelia’s apartment that begins with delicious anticipation and ends with a shit storm of flailing limbs. AAAIIIEEEEEEE!!!