Any extreme horror fan remembers the 1975 film Trilogy of Terror, which starred Karen Black. One of the shorts in the film unleashed one of the coolest horror characters of all time- the ‘Zuni Fetish Warrior’ doll, which cackled horrific sounds as it stabbed its prey over and over again. Inside you’ll find my review of the 13 inch replica from Majestic Studios. An exclusive version of the figure was sold at the San Diego comicon, which had glow in the dark teeth and eyes. The regular version will be hitting stores within the next few months…
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! This 13″ replica comes packaged beautifully with his hunting spear, an actual cloth skirt and glow-in-the-dark features (San Diego Comicon version), including his eyes and teeth. There are actual feathers on his spear and his hair looks so real, you might be afraid to set this guy up in your room, just in case he comes to life too! He has razor sharp teeth that are something you don’t ever want to be bitten by.
The only thing that I don’t like about the replica are the points of articulation. There appear to be between four and six points, but the funny thing is I think adding more joints would take away from the effect of the doll. The paint job is pretty well done, but I feel a little more shading, they could have made it look a little older and scarier. Maybe if they added a little texture to the doll itself it would look more real, it’s just too smooth.
Overall, I give the doll a Seven out of Ten skulls. You can win one of two for yourself in the coming weeks. You can pre-order the doll here and at other online retailers.
Majestic Studios, the guys who brought you the Jeepers Creepers and Fly figures, has sent in this official press release, “In the film Trilogy of Terror, 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!