#71: ZUNI FETISH DOLL
"GWAAAA YA YA YA YAHHHHHHH!"
In 1975, an ABC Movie of The Week called TRILOGY OF TERROR aired featuring 3 different short horror themed stories. All of them starred Karen Black. Though the first two were as entertaining as you'd expect a made for TV spooky story to be, the third story ranks up there as one of the scariest TV broadcasts ever made.
Long long before CHUCKY or PUPPETMASTER was the ZUNI FETISH DOLL, and it's appearance in that 3rd segment was mindbending. Black's character buys the doll to give to her boyfriend. Unfortunately, a tag is around the neck of the creepy looking toy warning of the doom the owner faces if it the tag ever falls off.
Of course, it would be a pretty lame segment if the tag remained intact, so after it falls off, the freaky little dude comes to life and chases Black around her apartment with his tiny little knife like a gremlin. He stabs at her feet, and whizzes around while he growls and gnashes his teeth like a Tasmanian Devil. Though she manages to trap the dude in a suitcase, he cuts his way out before she finally tricks him into jumping inside the oven.
Think it's over there? NO WAY! As she cooks him alive, his spirit comes out and possesses her, making her a psycho freak ready for anyone who's stupid enough to open the door of her apartment.
Though the animation and camera tricks that brought the ZUNI FETISH DOLL to life are a bit silly by today's standards, it certainly did its share to scare kids of the day back then. What sane kid could look at their action figures in the dark and not wonder if they'd befall a similar fate?
Dan Curtis, who directed the first movie, made a sequel a few years back TRILOGY OF TERROR II, and of course, brought back the ZUNI FETISH DOLL for another round of ankle-stabbing action.
THE SIMPSONS even parodied the doll in a special Halloween episode where a Krusty Doll goes bad.