Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Let's scare Jennifer to Death!!

A few thoughts about "Jessica." #1: She has the coolest hobby: Gravestone rubbing! I have to take this up. Then I can hang my gravestone rubbings all around the house! I am sure my husband would love that. #2: She drives around in a Hearse. With a peace sign on the door. Cool. #3: Her husband is an asshole, as evidenced by the fact that he wears a turtleneck through half the film. #4: She is completely out of her mind! In a nutshell you have 1971's Let's Scare Jessica to Death. Great title, great film. I have heard about this film here and there, most notably in "The Book of Lists: Horror" collection in an entry entitled "Richard Harland Smith's Ten Horror Movies that suggest life is unlivable." Considering the fact that I must like this particular genre, as two of my favorite films are on the list (Night of the Living Dead and Carnival of Souls,) I decided to check Jessica out.
Jessica is a messed up hippie girl with a jerk of a hippie husband. She just got out of a sanitarium, having been put there because of a nervous breakdown. The film never really goes into detail about what her trip was, but it suggests that she "saw" things. Jerky-hippie husband with the turtleneck spends their savings to buy a farm in upstate New York, hoping the change of scenery will help Jessica recover. Word of advice: Haunted farmhouses never help people recover. They move into the house with their porn-star looking hippie friend (who apparently knows something about farming because the other two don't.) Wouldn't you know there is some hot hippie chick squatting in the house and they ask her to stay (porn star has the hots for her.) Anyway, it is not long before Jessica starts "seeing" things again. A young girl in white with a bandage around her neck. A lady in the lake. Voices in her head telling her to "stay, stay with me Jessica..." No one believes her of course, because she just had a breakdown and isn't fully recovered.

Let's Scare Jessica to Death is a strange ghost/vampire/losing one's mind hybrid that works on every level. The lead actress, Zohra Lampet, is fantastic as the put-upon Jessica. We feel for her as she struggles with the "visions" she is seeing. She is not sure whether or not to tell anyone, knowing they won't believe her. To top it off as she is losing her mind she fears that she is also losing her husband (to another woman.) She is experiencing extreme psychological and emotional terror, and neither she nor the audience know if any of it is real or not.
The film is a little dated (hippies,) but it is worth seeing. There is no nude dancing (but there is a jam session) and Les Baxter does not do the score (that would have been awesome though.)

1 comment:

Dwido said...

What a handsome blog. Was your
Howard homie flashing a gang sign?
Los Nortes Dwidos? Eh?