Netflix boasts over 70,000 titles. That may be true or it may not; I’m certainly not going to count them. I do know that I’ve already paid for a lifetime membership in terms of the films and television shows I’ve been able to get that I couldn’t have gotten from Hollywood Video or my local Albertson’s. (Don’t even get me started on that enemy of the First Amendment, Blockbuster Video; Wayne Huizenga should burn in hell and I don’t mean after he dies, either.) All’s I know is that Netflix usually has it when I go looking for it.
I was in the mood for a nostalgic trip down memory lane the other day and decided to Netflix the iconic horror compilation from the mid-70s, Trilogy of Terror. Even though the TV-movie hasn’t aired in who knows how long, it is truly amazing just how many people remember Trilogy of Terror. Well, they remember the last third of it, anyway. Just in case you aren’t on the trolley here, let me give you the 411 (nice how I combined 1890s and 1990s slang in one sentence there, huh?). Trilogy of Terror was an ABC TV movie of the week first broadcast in 1975. It told three different and unrelated stories with the only connective tissue being that all three stories starred Karen Black and were based on stories by Twilight Zone regular Richard Matheson. Hardly anybody can recall the first two stories, but few Netflix subscribers who watched the third story that March night have forgotten it.
If you’ve ever seen the Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror Halloween episode titled Clown Without Pity in which a Krusty the Klown doll terrorizes Homer Simpson, then you have unofficially gotten yourself into one of those Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon slots tying Karen Black to Dan Castelleneta. That episode owes a great deal to the Trilogy of Terror episode titled Amelia. It is the one in which Karen Black is the only human player and spends practically the entire episode fighting for her life against a malignant little Zuni doll who sticks to a bad idea with even more fervor than Donald Rumsfeld. He just will not give up on his idea of slicing poor Karen Black until she turns blue.
This amazing piece of television shocked and awed a generation or two back when it first aired. Some people remember where they were when they heard JFK had been shot, others recall the Challenger explosion. I am not being heartless when I say that there are people walking amongst you whose most vivid television memory is of the moment when Karen Black first sees that little devil doll attacking her ankles.
Trilogy of Terror is available on DVD. In fact, a Special Edition (don’t you just love those?) DVD of Trilogy of Terror was released last August. And yet Netflix doesn’t carry it. I can’t understand that. Few TV movies in history have had a big an impact on its audience as Trilogy of Terror, yet Netflix has for some reason not yet made it available to old and new fans alike. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking Netflix. I figure there must be a pretty stupid reason having to do with copyrights or trademarks or some other legal jerkoff maneuver like that. I’ve got my copy of Trilogy of Terror in my Netflix queue under their “Saved” command and I’m merely waiting for whatever the holdup is to be cleared. I actually hope the reason Netflix hasn’t made the movie available to subscribers is because of a lack of demand because I’m hoping this article will convince readers to immediately go to Netflix and queue up Trilogy of Terror. I myself haven’t seen Trilogy of Terror in decades, so it could very well be one of those situations where the memory is far better than the reality. But I would at least like an opportunity to test that possibility.
So, c’mon Netflix. Give us Trilogy of Terror. Don’t make us FedEx you guys a little Zuni doll.