Trilogy of Terror II (1996) **
D: Dan Curtis
C: Lysette Anthony, Geraint Wyn Davies, Matt Clark, Geoffrey Lewis, Blake Heron, Richard Fitzpatrick
Plot Synopsis: Three tales of terror, all starring Lysette Anthony, and featuring the return of the African Aztec doll from the original film. Tale one features a greedy, no good wife getting her just deserts after trying to rob her own dead husband's grave. Tale two features a grieving mother resurrecting her son with disasterous results. And tale three, of course, features the return of everyone's favorite killer doll.
Review: This followup stays true to the essence of the original, so where exactly did it go wrong? Themes of revenge and poetic justice are intact. Tales with a timeless feel, check. Killer Aztec doll, check! Showcase role for a respectable actress ......uhhhhh, not so clear on this one.
Karen Black, star of the original Trilogy of Terror, is one of the finest actresses of this generation. She owned every frame of the original. She's so different. She's so unique. She has this quality to her that makes her stand out. She was absolutely riveting to watch.
While Lysette Anthony is a competent actress who has turned in serviceable performances her entire career, she's no Karen Black. Since this is a followup to the original, comparisons between the two are unavoidable. Lysette Anthony is bland in comparison to Black. She has none of that quirkiness or je ne sais quoi that makes Karen Black ....well Karen Black. Lysette Anthony doesn't make much of an impression and as such the tales feel routine since Anthony is supposed to be the driving force behind each of them. Trilogy of Terror II is watchable, but like its star, it just doesn't stand out. [R] 90 mins.