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Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971)

 -  Horror  -  6 August 1971 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 4,314 users  
Reviews: 120 user | 78 critic

A recently institutionalized woman has bizarre experiences after moving into a supposedly haunted country farmhouse and fears she may be losing her sanity once again.

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(as John Hancock)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Zohra Lampert ...
Barton Heyman ...
Duncan
Kevin O'Connor ...
Woody
Gretchen Corbett ...
The Girl
Alan Manson ...
Sam Dorker
...
Emily
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Storyline

After a stint in a psychiatric facility Jessica, her husband and a friend move to remote farm they have recently purchased. There they find a young woman by the name of Emily living in the house and they invite her to stay. When Jessica goes for a swim in the lake, she sees a body just below the water's surface. When they go into the village to sell some old furniture, they learn that a woman by the name of Abigail Bishop drowned in the lake and her body was never found. Local folklore has that Abigail is now a vampire roaming the countryside. A mute blond girl leads her to the body of a dead man but the body is not there when Jessica goes for help. Jessica and those around begin to wonder if she is losing her mind. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Something is after Jessica. Something very cold, very wet... and very dead... See more »

Genres:

Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for terror/violence and some sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

6 August 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

What Killed Sam Dorker?  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The antiques dealer explains to Jessica, the lampshade's style is known as malefiori, meaning "flowers of evil". The correct name is millefiori, which means "one thousand flowers" in Italian. See more »

Goofs

Throughout the movie (most notably at exactly 7:01 into the movie), you see the license plate of the hearse they drive is a New York plate, 1Z-7663. However, If you pause it just right at exactly 41:27 into the movie, you can clearly see the car's front license plate reads 4G-3375. Later on in the movie (at exactly 1:00:08) you see the front plate is back to 1Z-7663. See more »

Quotes

Old man: Look what they're driving. Damn hippies, creeps!
Duncan: Some welcoming committee.
Jessica: I don't think they like our mode of transportation.
Woody: Look at those bandages. I think these guys are left over from the Civil War.
[to the old men]
Woody: It's cheaper than a station wagon!
[They drive off, laughing]
Old man: Good riddance.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Dreams or nightmares, madness or sanity..." it's amazing
16 June 2001 | by (northeastern PA) – See all my reviews

Unjustly neglected, Let's Scare Jessica to Death ranks with The Haunting (1963) as a classic of understated horror. Everything about it is brilliantly eerie--from the tombstone etchings to the hostile townsfolk to the whispering voices in Jessica's head. From beginning to end, there is a distinct impression that beneath this picturesque rural setting something is very wrong...and this sense builds slowly and lyrically, leading up to a breathtaking shock-twist climax. And still, as in The Haunting, we're left with the question, "Was it real?"

Benefiting from a well-utilized low budget and beautiful color photography, this is one of the most subtly scary motion pictures you'll ever find. The characters are well-rounded and brought to life by a team of talented character actors. Zohra Lampert positively glows as the sweet, delicate Jessica; she is superbly expressive and keeps you firmly at her side all the way. Her performance should be studied as a casebook example of how to play a fragile, sympathetic character. And this rich, highly imaginative Gothic chiller is essential viewing for fans of intelligent terror.


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