Jennifer (1978)

Article 2085 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-30-2006
Posting Date: 4-28-2007
Directed by Brice Mack
Featuring Lisa Pelikan, Bert Convy, Nina Foch

Jennifer, a shy college student at a private school, becomes the object of torment at the hands of shallow society girls. Little do they know that Jennifer has the power to summon snakes.

Believe it or not, this late seventies horror movie is subtly modeled off of another late seventies horror movie. Let’s see if you can figure out which one from the subtle clues below.

1. The movie title consists of a girl’s name, much as the the title of CARRIE does.

2. The title character is tormented by snooty rich kids, much like the way the snooty rich kids in CARRIE treat the title character in that one.

3. The title character has a secret power, much like the title character of CARRIE has. In this case, it is the power to summon and control snakes (a little bit like the main character in STANLEY does). Not just ordinary-sized snakes, mind you, but also those big fake-looking ones that are capable of decapitating people.

4. The title character has a crazy Bible-thumping parent, much as the main character in CARRIE has.

5. There is a scene of shallow people enjoying themselves in a disco much like the movie SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER has ( a movie featuring John Travolta, who is not only name-dropped on one occasion here but also appeared in CARRIE).

Now, can you figure out which movie served as the subtle model for this one? (HINT: It’s not SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER or STANLEY .)

All right, so I made it fairly obvious, but no more so than the movie itself does. Yes, it does manage to dredge up a few differences from its model (in particular, the main character’s parent is not the authority figure to get offed in the story), but whatever points it gains by these differences are lost by the use of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor as music at one point (how hackneyed can you get?) and for having a scene that takes place in a disco. If you’re going to drag me back to the seventies, at least don’t drag me to one of those.


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