SsSsSo what do you think of the movie JENNIFER (1978)?

Discussion in 'General' started by rhett, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. rhett

    rhett Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Messages:
    9,414
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Canada
    [​IMG]

    Used the search function and was surprised to find not a single thread, let alone post, that even discussed JENNIFER in any detail. Pretty interesting little low budget knock-off of CARRIE with a little bit of WILLARD thrown in for good measure. Lisa Pelikan, who'd make her mark for good (Van Damme's LIONHEART) and for bad (GHOULIES) later in her career, gets her first, and probably only, starring role here. She's quite good, making the character her own despite the fact that her arc as written is pretty much the exact same as Sissy Spacek's in that she's a smart, religious girl with a careless parent. Spacek plays the character more as helpless until the finale, whereas in JENNIFER, Pelikan is much more confident and self-aware. Good performance.

    The style in the film, while far from DePalma, is still pretty effective for low budget, with a lot of lens filters, cosmetic gels and light haloing throughout. There may not be any gore (the film is somehow Rated PG despite quite a few flashes of breasts and even full frontal nudity, although I suspect much of that was matted off in theaters) the DOP does a good job heightening the climax with some real off-kilter compositions and lighting schemes.

    I also like the cast and I think, kind of like the FRIDAY THE 13TH flicks, that's where the small budget helps this movie. They're not as "good" as all the Hollywood talent in CARRIE, but they have kind of a realism or intimacy to them. Everyone is just more ordinary, and sometimes that's nice to see. Makes it a little more plausible, I suppose, when they get eaten by a giant snake head :lol:.

    My complaint is mainly that the film wraps itself up too quickly - it's only 85 minutes, and that's with pretty lengthy start and end credits. Considering how long the finale of CARRIE plays out, this one is much quicker by comparison and on a much smaller scale due to the film's budget. There's not much closure with Jennifer and her father, and the end gag, while kind of a fun comeuppance moment, kind of marginalizes the severity of the climax, making it come off more like a BeWitched episode or something.

    Anyone else have any thoughts on this? Any fans?

    Here's a cool interview with Lisa Pelikan on JENNIFER and the rest of her career:

    http://www.retrocrush.com/archive2006/lisapelikan/index.html
     
  2. bruce h

    bruce h Editor - CINEMA ARCANA

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2001
    Messages:
    2,410
    Likes Received:
    139
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    MD
    I remember this being a bit of a surprise when I rented it on VHS (15 or so years ago...), and I'm surprised it doesn't have more of a following -- especially post-NIGHTMARE USA, where every not-on-DVD U.S. indie seems to get talked up to high heaven like they're all unheralded classics. I'd love to check it out again; I'll have to see if I still have the tape buried away in some bin.
     
  3. Devo1313

    Devo1313 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Messages:
    481
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    One of my late night favorites during the early 80s. Fritz The Nite Owl's Double Chiller THeatre used to show this quite a regularly and I was a very big fan of Jennifer. Wish it would get a nice DVD release with extras.
     
  4. wago70

    wago70 Surviving on nostalgia

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2001
    Messages:
    3,859
    Likes Received:
    289
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    San Francisco - down by them two ol' sheds
    I never got to see this. Snakes were never the most intriguing draw for me to watch a movie so whenever it was on TV (the two times or so) I gave it a pass. I'd love to watch it now paired up with Initiation of Sarah. ;)
     
  5. Mutilated Prey

    Mutilated Prey Soul Stealer

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Messages:
    6,814
    Likes Received:
    427
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Texarkana
    Never saw it either - thought about picking up the VHS a while back and just never pulled the trigger. It's too expensive now if you can even find it.
     
  6. chancetx

    chancetx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Messages:
    1,139
    Likes Received:
    420
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    With the "Carrie" remake coming later this year, some company would be wise to give this a DVD release. Scorpion? Code Red? VCI? Anyone know who owns the rights?
     
  7. rhett

    rhett Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Messages:
    9,414
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Canada
    I'd love to see that, and you're right, the timing would be perfect. Obviously it takes a lot of time to get a release together, but considering Lisa Pelikan has spoken about the film before I'm sure she could be got to do some extras. The director was a prominent animator for Disney for over a decade back in the 40s and 50s, and the writer/producer did his share of producing for Bakshi's animated films in the 70s too, so both I'm sure would have some stories that some close to them might be able to pass on through the DVD. Something on Bert Convy and his rise to popular game show host would be cool too. John Gavin of PSYCHO fame is still kicking it, why not try to sit down with him?

    JENNIFER is better-made than most horror films of its time, it really deserves some better distribution so people can give it a look.
     
  8. startide

    startide Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Hamilton High
    Never seen it, but for some bizarre reason thought Jennifer's Body was a remake of this film.
     
  9. spawningblue

    spawningblue Deadite

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2004
    Messages:
    5,069
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
    According to Film Aficionado it is owned by MGM. It sounds interesting, hopefully someone picks this up and puts out a Blu or DVD.
     
  10. chancetx

    chancetx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Messages:
    1,139
    Likes Received:
    420
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Interesting if MGM owns it since they own the original "Carrie" and the remakes. I wonder if they don't want it out there for some reason. It would have been perfect for their Midnite Movies series. If they won't release it maybe Shout Factory could license it. Would love a special edition with commentary from Lisa Pelikan.
     
  11. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    8,054
    Likes Received:
    2,892
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    US
    Watched the blu-ray tonight, first time seeing the film and I absolutely loved it! I did not think I would like it as much as I did. Definitely a solid blind-buy for me. Looks really nice in hi-def too, only extra is a trailer.
     
  12. wago70

    wago70 Surviving on nostalgia

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2001
    Messages:
    3,859
    Likes Received:
    289
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    San Francisco - down by them two ol' sheds
    Nice! I think I'll blind buy the Blu Ray. Too bad I can't see it here:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2003
    Messages:
    22,150
    Likes Received:
    3,611
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Missouri
    I watched the Blu-ray last night...

    I hadn't seen the film in probably 20 years, but I had a blast revisiting it in HD. The A/V quality is quite good. I would have loved to have had a commentary or interview, but at least the trailer is included.

    Is Jennifer a Carrie ripoff? Well yeah...but it's the best one! If you're a fan of Carrie, I don't see how you could possibly dislike it.
     
  14. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    8,054
    Likes Received:
    2,892
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    US
    "It's not my fault daddy, it's that damned hillbilly bitch!"

    I can't get over how entertaining this movie was. Probably my favorite first-time viewing of the year so far. I love that they played the creepy Bach music while building up to Jennifer's revenge. Kat's right, if you're a fan of Carrie you should have a lot of fun with this. I sure did.
     
  15. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2003
    Messages:
    22,150
    Likes Received:
    3,611
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Missouri
    I remember only viewing it once before, on a very worn VHS tape. It's like a whole new experience viewing it in HD. There's some great performances and one-liners in the film.

    The obligatory "mean girl" (Sandra) in the film truly almost makes Chris from Carrie seem like a nice girl at times! :lol:

    Yep, highly recommended. :evil:
     
  16. Cujo108

    Cujo108 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2013
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Cleburne, TX
    I actually prefer both Jennifer and The Initiation of Sarah to Carrie itself. I was disappointed that Kino couldn't get a Lisa Pelikan interview, but glad to hear the film looks great. I made the mistake of ordering my copy with the LE Scorpion titles, which I figured would have been ready by now, so mine's still in waiting limbo.
     
  17. crikan

    crikan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Messages:
    2,026
    Likes Received:
    105
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Alright, you all have sold me.
     
  18. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2003
    Messages:
    22,150
    Likes Received:
    3,611
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Missouri
  19. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2003
    Messages:
    22,150
    Likes Received:
    3,611
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Missouri
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2014

Share This Page