6.5/10
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Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971)

PG-13 | | Drama, Horror, Mystery | 27 August 1971 (USA)
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.

Director:

(as John Hancock)

Writers:

(as Ralph Rose), (as Norman Jonas)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Kevin O'Connor ...
Gretchen Corbett ...
Alan Manson ...
...
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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:

Drama | Horror | Mystery

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:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 August 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

What Killed Sam Dorker?  »

Box Office

Budget:

$180,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Barton Heyman later appeared in The Exorcist (1973) and Zohra Lampert in The Exorcist III (1990). See more »

Goofs

Emily's hair is down as she applies lotion to Jessica but suddenly tied back as she jumps into the water. After being in the water for a moment her hair is down again. See more »

Quotes

Emily: [Emily and Duncan have just finished playing a song together] Wow, terrific! He's really something! I mean, really.
Jessica: He's an important man. He was with the Philharmonic.
Emily: Are you going to try to find someplace around here to play?
Woody: No, he's gonna farm. Raise apples, have a garden... get back to nature. He's a nut.
Jessica: *I'm* the nut.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A forgotten gem
20 January 2007 | by (Cincinnati, OH) – See all my reviews

This is one of those rare gems that never got the accolades from the mass public other horror films (Halloween, Friday the 13th, etc) garnered. I saw this as a kid and it scared the bejesus out of me. Some 30 years later, I still love this film. Dated, yes, but it possesses a strange creepiness that you almost can't put your finger on. Its premise is of a man and wife starting life anew in a small town. The wife Jessica, played wonderfully by Zohra Lampert, has recently recovered from a nervous breakdown. They decide to move out of the hustle and bustle of the big city to a small apple farm and bring their friend with them. From the onset, Jessica clearly struggles with her past demons and tries to convince herself that her mental breakdown was in the past. She starts to question everything she sees as to whether it's real or not. They get to their new home, only to find a strange girl occupying their property. The girl, Emily, played by Mariclare Costello, is truly frightening and plays the role of this mysterious girl to perfection. To anyone under the age of, perhaps 35, this movie will most likely do nothing for you. It is from the 70s and IT SHOWS, it contains no CGI, no bloody slasher gore, no "strap them down in a chair and torture them" scenes, and no famous big name people. It is a quiet, intense ride where you have to actually FEEL the emotions that grip Jessica. I've read comments here where others think it's lame, or complain about Lampert's clothes. How clothes can affect someone's view of this movie floors me, but whatever. This movie isn't lame. It's a classic gem of a thriller in a sea of garbage that's churned out by Hollywood these days. I think I'm going to go watch it now!


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