Sunday, 7 April 2013

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 109: Fri Apr 19

Let's Scare Jessica To Death (Hancock, 1971): ICA Cinema, 8.30pm
It's a Cigarette Burns production. What are you waiting for? Rush here to find more details.

Here is the ICA introduction:
A shining example of the creeping dread which infused the finest genre films of the 70s, Let's Scare Jessica to Death places Zohra Lambert as the titular character, a fragile woman recovering from a recent stint in a mental institution. Whisked away to a labyrinthine house on a remote apple farm with her husband and his best friend, her head filled with unnerving local legends of murder and vampires, Jessica's slender grasp on sanity is to put to the test once again as transient hippie Emily decides to stay with them at the farmhouse. Her striking resemblance to a murdered girl who once lived on the property, eerie visions, terrifying locals and bodies in the lake all combine to push Jessica ever closer to the edge, with disastrous consequences.

The film will be introduced by Kier-La Janisse, a writer and film programmer based in Montreal, Canada. She is the Director of The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies, Web Director at Fangoria.com, the film curator for POP Montreal and a programmer for SF Indie. She has written for Fangoria, Filmmaker, Rue Morgue, Shindig! and Incite: Journal of Experimental Media and is the author of A Violent Professional: The Films of Luciano Rossi (FAB Press, 2007) and House of Psychotic Women: An Autobiographical Topography of Female Neurosis in Horror and Exploitation Films (FAB Press, 2012), Kier-La Janisse's autobiographical exploration of female neurosis in horror and exploitation films. Anecdotes and memories interweave with film history, criticism, trivia and confrontational imagery to create a reflective personal history and examination of female madness, both onscreen and off.

Here is an extract from Tom Fellows' review at the classichorror.com website:

That Let's Scare Jessica to Death should be overlooked as one of the finest horror pictures of the 1970s is apt. Lacking the guttural, attention grabbing scares of contemporaries Night of the Living Dead and Last House on the Left, the film is a more somber, subdued affair. Its autumnal light casts dark shadows and the rural farmhouse location becomes secondary to the inner landscape of a mentally unstable mind. Also Let's Scare Jessica to Death refuses the sensationalism usually associated with movie madness (no cannibal doctors or men dressed as their mothers here) and instead retreats inward, sharing whispered thoughts and ghostly warnings. Like its central protagonist, it is a movie that shyly refuses to draw attention to itself, but underneath lays insanity, sadness and startling beauty. A masterpiece.

Here is the trailer.

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