LOS ANGELES, CA. (February 16, 2004) - In 1975, long before Childs Play's Chucky and The Bride of Chucky scared audiences with killer dolls, there was the film, TRILOGY OF TERROR, where Oscar nominated and 2 time Golden Globe winning actress Karen Black met a razor-fanged plaything that led to stabbings, drowning and immolation. MAJESTIC STUDIOS, the toy company specializing in premium retro collectible action figures, will spring that plaything on the world in mid-September... it's the ZUNI FETISH WARRIOR DOLL.
In the film, Black's character purchases the Zuni Fetish Warrior for her boyfriend who teaches Anthropology. It comes with a parchment warning of doom for the owner, if the protective chain is removed from its waist. Does she remove it? Of course, she does, and all Hell breaks loose within the tight confines of her apartment.
He stabs at her feet with a tiny knife, and whizzes around the room like a bat out of Hell while he growls and gnashes his teeth. Black runs from him like a track star and screams like she invented it. Though she manages to trap him in a suitcase, he cuts his way out before she tricks him into jumping inside the oven. But if you think cooking him alive is the end of the story you'd be wrong. Dead wrong.
Everyone who has ever seen this three story film by horror producer Dan Curtis always comments on the relentless nature of the doll and it's, "ARG, ARRG, ARRGGGG," gravel throated growl.
"That growl is something I've never forgotten," says Majestic Studios CEO Rick Phares. "In fact, I've always kept a replica of the Zuni doll, made by an effects person from the original film, in my office. It's one of my favorite pieces of movie memorabilia." Phares continued, "When we asked Dan Curtis for the rights to make the figure, he said he couldn't believe no one's thought of this before."
Curtis began his horror producing and directing legacy back in 1966 with the vampire chic soap opera, Dark Shadows. He continued with the classic 'seedy investigative reporter meets supernatural forces' TV movie of the week The Night Stalker, later turned into a TV series with Darrin McGavin as newspaper man Carl Kolchak, a precursor to The X-Files.
The Zuni Fetish Warrior Doll section of the trilogy, titled "Amelia," was written by famed sci-fi and horror author Richard Matheson. His string of movie writing triumphs began with The Incredible Shrinking Man and continued with the Vincent Price hits Pit & The Pendulum, The Legend of Hell House, and I Am Legend; Steven Spielberg's Duel; Somewhere In Time; and the recent Kevin Bacon film Stir Of Echoes. In TV he wrote some of the best Twilight Zone episodes ever. Ultimately he and Dan Curtis would team up for 4 made-for-TV movies and 1 theatrical feature. Trilogy of Terror would go on to spawn an ankle-stabbing made-for-TV sequel in 1996 written and directed by Curtis.
In the sequel film, a security guard takes a look at the temporarily docile doll and says, "Ugly little creep isn't he... but I bet he'd be a big mover at Toys R Us, though." Now, Majestic Studios will find out if that's true.
"We've photographed the original doll, which is on display at Dan Curtis' Santa Monica, California offices, from every angle to make an exact likeness," says Phares. "Like the original, our dolls will be inhabited by the spirit of a Zuni warrior, so don't take that chain off their waist, if you know what's good for you!"
The licensing agreement was worked out through the current merchandising rights owner, ABC-TV Consumer Products, a subsidiary of Walt Disney Inc. This is probably the scariest character handled by any division of the Disney company.
The ZUNI FETISH WARRIOR DOLL from Majestic Studios will be lurking in your local collectibles store and ready to strike in mid-September, 2004. After coming half way around the world, he can't wait to play with YOU. Watch out for him!
Odd film history footnote: Fourteen years after it premiered, Producer/Director Charles Band credits Trilogy of Terror with being the inspiration to his 8 film Puppet Master series begun in 1989, and 8 other films all featuring tiny killer dolls, including Demonic Toys, Ragdoll, and Blood Dolls.
More information about accessories and packaging, and more publicity photos, will be released closer to the September release date.