• Trilogy Of Terror II (Kino Lorber) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Kino Lorber
    Released on: October 22nd, 2019.
    Director: Dan Curtis
    Cast: Lysette Anthony, Matt Clark, Geoffrey Lewis
    Year: 1996
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    Trilogy Of Terror II – Movie Review:

    A sequel of sorts to 1975’s Trilogy Of Terror, 1996’s Trilogy Of Terror II once again finds Dan Curtis in the director’s chair collaborating with writers Richard Matheson and William F. Nolan. Where Karen Black starred as the lead in all three chapters of the original picture, this newer entry uses Lysette Anthony instead.

    The first story, written by Richard Matheson, is The Graveyard Rats and it tells the story of a beautiful woman named Laura (Lysette Anthony) who is, for all intents and purposes, a trophy wife. Her insanely wealthy husband, as it so happens, is not a particularly nice guy and when he comes across footage of his wife doing the dirty deed with a man much younger than he, he decides to make her out to be a gold digger. When this happens, Laura decides to get rid of her husband on a permanent basis… using some killer rats!

    The second story, Bobby, again written by Matheson, revolves around a grieving mother (Anthony) who desperately wants to be reunited with her recently deceased son, young Bobby (Blake Heron). To do this, she researches and quickly indulges herself in the dark arts, casting a spell she believes will resurrect her son. As it turns out, Bobby isn't quite on the same wave length as his mother and while he's definitely down with coming back, it won't be in the form his mother had hoped... and resurrected bobby isn't quite the kind and gentle kid that the original version was!

    Last but not least is He Who Kills, co-written by director Dan Curtis and William F. Nolan. Here Ms. Anthony plays Dr. Simpson, a researcher tasked with investigating a strange - and all too familiar looking - doll that was potentially involved with a grisly murder some time ago. Simpson starts exploring the origins of the doll and, as she does, the doll itself starts morphing from a burned-out husk back to a livelier and much deadlier form, soon chasing down the good doctor and terrorizing her in the empty lab where she works.

    The third story is the highlight of the three, even if it was clearly designed as a bit of a crowd pleaser that doesn’t feel as unique or as original as the story that inspired it. Still, even the first two entries are pretty entertaining, if never amazing. The effects work is pretty decent throughout the duration of the film and the three separate stories are paced well enough, never overstaying their welcome. Curtis, to his credit, does a nice job of keeping the action moving. Cinematography is solid and production values are quite good overall. Performances are decent enough but it’s almost entirely Ms. Anthony’s show. She handles the material well enough and looks great doing it.

    Trilogy Of Terror II – Blu-ray Review:

    Kino Lorber brings Trilogy Of Terror II to Blu-ray on a 50GB disc in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer framed in the film’s original 1.33.1 aspect ratio and all things considered, it looks very good. That said, the film opens with a disclaimer noting that although the transfer was taken from a new 2k scan of the original 35mm negative, there are small sections of the movie that had to be taken from inferior elements. As such, while the bulk of the film looks quite nice, the lesser quality inserts are noticeable. This is clear a case of doing the best with what was available, and better to have the complete film here than to not. The inserts look soft, while the negative sourced content shows strong detail and good colors. No problems with any noise reduction or edge enhancement issues to note, and the transfer is free of any noticeable compression artifacts.

    The only audio option for the feature is a 16-bit DTS-HD 2.0 track, in the film’s native English. It’s a very good track, properly balanced and very clean sounding. Sound effects zip around quite effectively and the score is placed well, with good depth and range. There are no problems here with any hiss or distortion or any sibilance. Optional English closed captioning is provided.

    Extras start off with an audio commentary track from Troy Howarth. He covers all the bases here, such as how this sequel came to be, Curtis’ career and specifically his involvement in the production, Matheson’s contributions, what works and what doesn’t as far as the quality of the film goes, the actors and actress that are case in the film and lots more.

    Additionally, there are two new interviews included here, the first of which is Second Unit Director Eric Allard and Special Makeup Effects Artist Rick Stratton, which runs eighteen-minutes. In this piece, the pair talks about how they wound up working on the film, what they were specifically required to do on the production, some of the difficulties that they ran into on the shoot and how they’ve worked together on quite a few other projects during their time in the industry. The second interview spends sixteen-minutes with actress Lysette Anthony who talks about getting the part in the film, working with director Dan Curtis, what it was like on set and how she feels about the film. Both of these are quite well done.

    The disc also holds bonus trailers for a few other Kino Lorber releases (Burnt Offerings, Parasite, Zoltan: Hound Of Dracula, Night Angel and Rawhead Rex) as well as menus and chapter selection options.

    Trilogy Of Terror II – The Final Word:

    Trilogy Of Terror II never reaches heights of its predecessor but it has its moments and proves to be an entertaining enough watch if never quite a classic. Kino, however, has done a very nice job bringing this one to Blu-ray with some solid extra features and a very nice presentation. All in all, a very good release of an okay movie.

    Click on the images below for full-sized Trilogy Of Terror II screen caps!