never go swimming in your wedding dress…

So many choices! A practical joke? A vampire? A hallucination? It is a psychological thriller? A psychedelic romp? A horror movie? All of the above? Regardless, it is an odd movie. Yes, we watched Let’s Scare Jessica to Death. It wasn’t much of what I expected and at times it was hard to tell exactly what it was, but I love the title and we just had to see it.

In classic 1971 style (I kept thinking it would make a good double bill with Last House on the Left), a hearse being driven by a hippie couple and their friend rolls into a small Connecticut village where they receive, surprise, surprise, a cold welcome from the batch of old VFI fellows haunting about the town. In fact, it is an unsettlingly hostile welcome that they get. But one of our heroes has bought a local farm, The Old Bishop Place, and they plan to make it their home. See, one of them, Jessica, has recently been released from the mental hospital and they are looking to get away from the big city, I imagine for her mental health. Why they start off the trip by taking her to a graveyard so that she can do some tombstone rubbings is beyond me, of course, she gets some nice old tombstone posters to hang on the wall but she also catches a brief glimpse of a red-head in a white gown who looks like some kind of apparition. She doesn’t tell anyone about the girl, fearing they’ll think that she is losing her mind again, and off they go!

 

Let's Scare Jessica to Death

disgruntled bride

 

 

Let's Scare Jessica to Death

friendly locals

 

They get to the house and Jessica begins hearing her voices, rather creepy ones at that, and then a glimpse of the red-head on the porch? And there is someone in the house? After these initial shocks, it turns out that their guest is nothing but a wandering young lady who was crashing there because it was empty. This girl catches the eye of both the fellows yet Jessica, strangely, invites her to stay… Even though seeing this girl and her fellow eying each other only accentuates the voices. As the movie progresses, Jessica’s voices become firmer and more violent and the white gowned girl begins silently appearing just about everywhere that Jessica looks, reminding me why it is wise to keep your eyes shut when swimming in a lake. When the one friendly local tells them that the house is haunted by the ghost of a young woman who drowned there and Jessica begins noticing that everyone in town has strange scars on their necks, things really seem to fall apart for everyone. And wait, doesn’t the girl they found in the house bear a striking resemblance to a girl in an antique photograph in the attic. Is Jessica seeing/thinking/hearing things? Is there really a member of the undead floating around? Is someone trying to drive her crazy? It is really hard to tell and it kept me guessing.

Apart from all that, the movie was pretty good: it had a good score, some nice settings and parts that really made me wonder what was going on, and the locals looked like they probably really were small village locals.

And on a small celebratory notice, this is post #200 of The Penguindevil. So Hurray! Sadly, I don’t have a toasting beer handy, so I guess that a little glass of Bunnahabhain is in order…


One Response to “never go swimming in your wedding dress…”

  1. Kurty on November 20, 2007 13:26

    One of my all-time favorites … I remember seeing it on TV in the early ’70s, too, scared me sooo bad. I wish they’d put out a better DVD tough!

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