Friday, October 05, 2007

31 Days of Halloween - Day 5 - Movie 1

The plus side about horror movies made in the 1970s is that they didn't always feel compelled to explain everything, or anything. The negative side is that so many of them look like they were made for tv -- whether they were, or not.

"Let's Scare Jessica To Death" (1971) is one of those movies. Jessica (Zohra Lampert), recently released from a six week stay at a mental institution, moves with her husband, and a close friend of theirs to a secluded home, where in true hippy fashion they plan to return to the land, and grow apples, which they spray with liberal doses of toxic pesticides. When they arrive at the house, they discover a woman squatter already there. Rather than kick her out, they ask her to stay with them, and Jessica's mental state, already precarious before reaching the house, quickly begins to unravel as all sorts of inexplicable events begin to surround her. Dead bodies, beckoning voices, and attacking drowned bodies seem to be a phenomena only she experiences, but a ghostly mute girl, and the unfriendly old men of the town with their starnge wounds and bandages, are seen by the others as well. Everything seems to have something to do with a woman who once lived in the house, and who drowned on her wedding day, but whose body was never found. Is the strange woman who they found already inhabiting the house really the drowned woman, or is Jessica simply having another nervous break down? You decide.

This movie was no nail biter, but did have some odd moments of tension. It's worth a look, but not much of a loss if you don't see it.

1 comment:

Dane said...

I just watched this last night and figured you'd have a review of it. :)

I loved it! First of all, the house/cove/cemetery/vintage hearse is like some hippie dream I'd love to live.

Secondly, as you said, the '70s ... man, they just piled it high with no regard for explaining anything. It's a haunted house! She drowned! No, wait, she's a vampire! All irrelevent to the wafty, drifty, creepy sense of constant mystery and menace.