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Old 03-12-2013, 08:48 AM   #1
rhett's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Canada
Posts: 9,210
SsSsSo what do you think of the movie JENNIFER (1978)?

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 .

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:

Can't argue with a confident man.
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