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When the "masters of horror" show was first announced for broadcast on Showcase and Scream I remember being being more excited for it than any theatrical releases for that year. Being an enormouse horror fan, it was a dream come true to hear that many of my favorite directors were coming together in a competion to outdo each other and tell the stories which were too short to be fature length films.
Some great episodes which stood out to me as being the best of Season 1 are Lucky McKee's "Sick Girl", William Malones "Fair Haired Child", John Ladis' "Deer Woman", and of course Takashi Miike's outlandishly bizarre and greusome installment "Imprint". To round out this top five list, I would definately say that "Jennifer" is the fifth.
It's funny how the two most disturbing, disgusting, over-the-top, scary episodes were both by the foreign directors Miike and Argento. I think this just goes to show that when it comes to handling the grotesque and macabre in a mature, creative and skillful manner, no American or Canadian director can reciprocate the talent of a foreign film director (especially those from the East Asia, the Japanese in paritcular, and Italy, godfather of the slasher genre) when it comes to handling this specific type of horror.
But be forwarned, "Jenifer" is gross. Very gross. Very creepy. And very cool. Theres plenty of nudity and lots of gore, and some pretty awkward but welcomed laughs. Definately not for the weak of stomach but if you've enjoyed what you have seen so far in the series, or if your just a horror fan in general, give "Jenifer" a view.
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This is my first Argento flick and I got to say its..... okay. In this world there are a lot of guys out there that's known a Jenifer. Not the lady on this disc that's mentally posses of some form or do you? What I do mean is that you find yourself with a extreme lady, and you just don't how you got trapped with her. No matter what, you just can't seem to get rid of her regardless how much she ruins everything, distance you from everybody you know and makes your life absolutely dejected. If you don't know what I mean consider yourself fortunate, although it's probably just a matter of time before you do. Exaggerated as this film may be there is a very real thread of something conceivable behind it all.
There are a number of things that are off beam about this flick. Along with the drive-thru plot holes the acting is well....they speak. In here we have a police officer Spivey, (Steven Weber), who stops a man from killing a woman (Carrie Fleming) with a meat cleaver. Spivey shoots the man, who utters one word before he dies: "Jenifer." The whimpering traumatized girl attaches herself to him, and she turns out to be some kind of demon. Weber somehow manages to check her out of the mental ward and take her to his house, the first instance of a serious plot hole in the film. There, Jenifer eats the family cat, causing Spivey's wife and son to leave. For no reason that I could discern, Spivey makes no apparent effort to get them back. Bad Jenifer!
To me there was just something inherently wrong about this tale. Maybe it is the statement that men are all slaves to their genitals, but Jenifer's behavior is so reprehensible that we should laugh at Weber's slavish devotion to her, but we don't.Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
True to the ComicOct. 19 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
Based on an old Eerie comic illustrated by Bernie Wrightson, this is an eerie tale that plays against a number of emotions. The story starts with a police officer who sees a man try to kill a woman. He shoots the man before he can cause harm. The rescued woman is Jenifer. She has a disfigured face, a killer body, and seems unable to talk. But no sooner is the case open than the detective begins to become obsessed with Jenifer. He visits her at an asylum and decides she needs compassion and friendship so he brings her home. This causes new trouble.
With Jenifer in the house things quickly fall apart for the detective's family life. Then he discovers that Jenifer has a very active libido and has targeted him. Then more of Jenifer's nature becomes apparent as she eats the family dog. Things continue to go downhill as the detective is both repulsed by Jenifer's behavior and enslaved to her passion. The downward spiral continues until the inevitable ending.
This is one of the best of the Master Of Horror series and may be the best of them all. The story is dark and disturbing. It is missing the cuteness that ruined some of the others in the series. The script is true to the original except the detective is given a happier home life so that he call fall even further during the story. There is a large amount of nudity and sexuality in this film. Had this been a theatrical release there would probably have been talk of an NC-17 rating for a couple of the scenes. All in all this is a very good horror film that gets to the viewer on multiple levels. Definitely check it out.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
An honest look at disturbing subject matterJan. 30 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
After police officer Frank Spivey saves a disfigured young woman named Jenifer from being killed, he takes her into his home and begins a dangerous love affair with her. (Okay, so I know this has been reviewed a million times over, but I will address issues not previously covered by others.) When Frank later returns home after killing a man and saving Jenifer, he is seduced by his wife. At first, her advances turn him off, but then he is plagued with flashbacks of the dying man and a helpless tied up Jenifer. This makes Frank become sexually charged and aggressive towards his wife. In an ambiguous move on the director's part, it appears as though he rapes his own wife. Later, you will find him sinking to new lows with devastating consequences.
I could not help but notice the many similarities to David Cronenberg's Crash. There is an emphasis on the weird attraction we may feel towards some things that should repulse us. The nude & sex scenes show a heavy contrast between what is beautiful and what is disgusting and as it turns out, there is a thin line between the two.
I have read some other reviewer's opinions and they seem to state that their interpretation of Jenifer is as a monster or severely disfigured woman. Some even called her an "alien". My personal opinion is that she is none of the above. I think that would be missing the point of the film. I believe that Jenifer is not a human, but rather a manifestation of man's desire. Inevitably, all the men lose their wives, children, jobs, freedom, and eventually their lives. It is a cautionary tale to all stupid men, uh, well, I guess all men. The good news is that Frank pays for his stupidity in the end. Actually, things come around full circle. And I have to admit, I laughed.
Like a typical Argento film, he covers much ground here. Besides the obvious comparison to ugly and beauty, he takes a look at a corrupt police force. When the man that attempted to kill Jenifer has his nice clothes searched, but found missing an ID, he is written off as a homeless person. It later turns out that he was wealthy. When Jenifer is rescued, she is considered retarded and admitted to a mental institution because "that's the system".
While the story itself is great and tackles bizarre subject matter, my biggest complaint is that the nudity goes way overboard. I got the point about 5 nude scenes in. I don't need a paint by numbers cheap porno where the partners switch positions repeatedly. Top, bottom, side, car, bed, cabin, etc. It got very boring, very quickly. Plus half the time the nudity made no sense at all. For instance, if Jenifer is showering in an institute, Why is a male orderly and a male stranger allowed in there to gawk at her? Why is Jenifer walking around naked at Frank's house in front of his wife and young son and no one bothers to cover her? Another thing that didn't make a lot of sense was when Frank quits his job to live in the woods with Jenifer. Why not just hide her there and visit? Okay, to keep an eye on her and bone repeatedly. Fine. But wouldn't his wife and son report him missing? Um, there is such a thing as child support. He cannot just run off with another broad and not expect people to come for him.
Clocking in at a full 58 minutes, the film features great SFX (and in case you missed it, nekkid people). Claudio from Goblin supplies the soundtrack.
Weird Fact: This was the only Season 1 episode to require cuts. 2 shots were removed involving graphic depictions of oral sex. The first one occurred during the awkward sex scene in the car and the second occurred at the end of the film. The deleted scenes are edited into the 'So Hideous My Love' documentary on the DVD, which somehow I completely missed. Uhh, I guess I don't know oral sex when I see it. Or maybe I accidentally skipped over this. Or I got tired of watching this and did something else.
Favorite Quote: Police Chief, "If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck with a meat cleaver." DVD Extras: Interview with Director & Cast, Commentary, Stills, Bios, Trailers, and the Screenplay on DVD-ROM.
Bottom Line: An honest look at disturbing subject matter. Incredibly sexual, while lacking in extreme gore and devoid of any scares.
by Molly Celaschi
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The best Masters of Horror movie yet.Jan. 3 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
Wow what a sick movie. "Jenifer" by Dario Argento (Suspiria,Opera) is a film of passion, sexual addiction and blood curdling horror. The film follows the plight of a cop who stumbles apon a crazed man trying to decapatate a woman by a river. The cop proceeds to shoot the man and save the damsel in distress. Sounds like the beginning to a nice love story right?...no. The cop is shocked to discover that the woman is horribly disfigured, sporting a pair of huge black eyes and razor sharp teeth. After failed attempts to get rid of her, the cop brings her home where Jenifer displays her terrible manners by eating the family cat. This doesn't sit well with the wife and she leaves before losing her lunch. With the wife gone and being in a nice big house alone with Jenifer the cop soon finds that Jenifer is amazing in the sack. (except for a few minor turn-offs like her twisted face and the fact that she sounds like an elephant)He begins to find that he is hopelessly addicted to Jenifer's passion and as that addiction grows so does Jenifer's murderous hunger for blood. I really enjoyed this film. I found it to be a very unique and innovative story in horror. I loved the symbolic ties between the characters (The cop slowly having his life distroyed by sex addiction and Jenifer, the seductive sucubus who's disfigurement reflects in a way her own nature but also the horror that she enflicts in her victim's lives. I really recommend this for fans of horror who like their plots more left of the dial. watch it!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
creepy, disturbing & very tabooAug. 23 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
I found this film emotionally relevant as a man. I have a feeling that the reviewers that did not like this film are women or homosexual men. They just don't get it. They're busy looking for something complicated or something that Argento did in his old films & they are missing the point. One reviewer spoke of exploring the storyline of the girl possibly not being human?...(BOOORING)...Been there, Done that! This reviewer even said they didn't like the way she cannibalized the little girl. Ummm...HELLO!!! That's what makes it good! I say, the more shocking or taboo or politically incorrect, the better! I WISH they would've kept the penis biting seen! That would've been the icing on the cake! As a man, I can put myself in the main characters shoes & ask myself would I have sex with a woman with a grotesquely deformed face but with a beautiful body, who obviously has some social & emotional issues??? When you first see her face, you say HELL NO! But as she emotes her submissive yet seductive personality with her whimpers & her sexually vulnerable mannerisms, I found myself a little turned on by her(call me a pervert). She knew exactly what she was doing when they were alone. I think she fulfilled many mens dark, politically incorrect fantasies of the perfect woman. She couldn't talk, she was very horny, with the loyalty & submission of a trained dog(referring to the seen when she attentively sat next to him & fetched him another beer after he threw his empty one away). If it wasn't for the fact that she was a cannibal with a grotesquely deformed face, she would make a great girlfriend. Is that wrong?(maybe). But that's what makes this film cool. The taboo of it all. Some reviewers obviously don't get it(probably some chicks or homo dudes)
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Intriguing and enthralling!!Jan. 6 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
The movie is the perfect mix of revulsion and attraction in one hour-long film. Personally, I think the cop (Frank) had the perfect situation but mishandled it. Think about it. A smokin hot blonde with a face that is a lil scary, combined with an inability to talk, a hunger for raw meat and an animalistic sexual appetite...TOO EASY! Jenifer's mixture of innocence and animal instinct reminds me of the siren story where the lusty sirens would lure seamen to their doom. Jenifer does all the same far too easily. And she does it while making you feel sorry for her and pitying her.
Well, The situation/movie could have turned out better if Frank had just kept a sane head on his shoulders. His family left him but he could have continued communication with them while he was with his new girlfriend. Yeah yeah yeah, she ate the family cat but I mean come on! The dude never fed her! Wouldn't you be hungry after a romp like that!? I know I'd be looking for a sandwich as soon as I woke up out of my romp induced coma! How could the dude expect her to be normal when he SAW how she ate the family cat!?! He should have kept his job and just locked her in the house all day and left her a few animals running around the house for her to stalk and eat. Then when he came home he could clean her up with a nice hot shower and take care of himself and clean up the house. He could take her out for a walk or to a park so she could get some air then come back home and eat dinner himself. Then relax a little bit before taking her to bed and making her howl.
There were a few parts where I wanted to know more...like, did she know how to dress herself, was she potty trained, who owned her before Frank, was she able to eat cooked food, was she teachable, was she a mutant or a demon, if she was a mutant who were her parents, was she just a disfigured abused female that someone kept in their basement most of her life, is she capable of true love or just animalistic companionship, who taught her to use her mouth without her shark teeth getting in the way?....all of these questions bounced around in my mind and they still do. I am so thoroughly intrigued by Jenifer. She definitely has her teeth in me...