Masters of Horror: Season 1, Episode 4

Jenifer (18 Nov. 2005)

TV Episode  -   -  Horror | Thriller
6.4
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While parked in a remote spot lunching Chinese food with his partner, Detective Frank Spivey saves a disfigured woman called Jenifer from being sliced with a meat cleaver by a deranged ... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
Frank Spivey
Laurie Brunetti ...
Spacey
...
Jenifer (as Carrie Anne Fleming)
Kevin Crofton ...
Homeless Man
Beau Starr ...
Chief Charlie
Julia Arkos ...
Ann Wilkerson
...
Amy
...
Ruby
...
Pete
Matt Garlick ...
Institute Guard
...
Side Show Owner
Cynthia Garris ...
Rose
...
Young Jack (as Jeff Ballard)
Brad Mooney ...
Friend #1
Riley Ruckman ...
Friend #2
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Storyline

While parked in a remote spot lunching Chinese food with his partner, Detective Frank Spivey saves a disfigured woman called Jenifer from being sliced with a meat cleaver by a deranged homeless man. He feels sorry for the retarded Jenifer, and takes her from an insane asylum and brings her home. Frank becomes obsessed for Jenifer, feeling lust and attraction for her lascivious body. When he realizes that she is a human beast, he moves with her to an isolated old cabin in the woods, with tragic consequences. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Horror | Thriller

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TV-MA | See all certifications »

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18 November 2005 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the only Season 1 episode to require cuts. 2 shots were removed from the final film, both involved graphic depictions of oral sex. The first one occurred during the 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. See more »

Goofs

Frank rolls up his car window after swatting a fly, but when he gets out of the car moments later his window is down. See more »

Quotes

Chief Charlie: If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck with a meat cleaver.
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Soundtracks

Enjoy the Silence
performed by It Dies Today
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User Reviews

The Masters' Touch, Part Two: "Jenifer"
21 February 2006 | by (Arlington, VA.) – See all my reviews

Directed by Dario Argento ("Suspiria"); written by Steven Weber, based on the original graphic story by Bruce Jones and Berni Wrightson; starring Steven Weber, Beau Starr and introducing Carrie Anne Fleming as "Jenifer."

Stephen King has previously outlined his blueprint for writing successfully. You go for the creeps first. If that doesn't do it, go for the scares and if that doesn't do it, go for the gross-out. For the master of Italian gialli, Dario Argento, that plan is his intentional M.O. with every film, and in this one, he works his macabre magic with almost surgical skill, bringing to life a tale so twisted, that it sears itself into your memory banks with the same intensity as the original story upon which it's based.

Writer/actor Steven Weber, (so good in Mick Garris' reworked version of King's "The Shining",) stars as world-weary cop Frank Spivey, whose life and sanity are destroyed by a fateful encounter with a young girl. Frank interrupts what appears to be a murder-in-progress: a crazed maniac wielding a meat cleaver over a bound, bedraggled, helplessly cowering figure. But even after Frank fatally shoots the man and frees the girl, all is not what it seems. Frank has just met "Jenifer," which is the only word the dying man can utter with his last breath.

Apparently mute, or unable to talk, Jenifer is graced with a body that would shame the 'Venus de Milo.' But the problem with her speech is horrifyingly clear, as the poor girl has a unnaturally deformed face that would stop a clock...especially if that clock is "Big Ben!!!" Confused by the simultaneous feelings of repulsion and sympathy that course through him, Frank takes deliberate steps to take the girl into his house, once he discovers that she is homeless. But at the core of his compassion, which his wife and son understandably don't share at all, is something compelling, disturbing and powerful that he can't deny, explain or resist...

He has fallen under Jenifer's insidious spell, and as she systematically destroys his will, his sanity and finally his life, he discovers that she is one siren/succubus whose appetite for the flesh is not limited merely to rounds of mind-blowing sex, in horrifically erotic sequences that will make you cringe and yet leave you unable to avert your eyes from what's on-screen...Argento fans will rejoice even as they're fighting their gag reflexes. This is the maestro in rare form...on a groove we haven't seen from him since the days of "Deep Red" and "Tenebrae."

Though he usually works from his own scripts, it's a pleasant surprise to see him demonstrate such even-handed confidence with material from other sources. Which is essential here, since a less-skilled hand could've turned this into a really bad Saturday Night Live skit viewed through an l.s.d. haze. Weber, in addition to having done a terrific job with adapting Jones' story, does some of his best acting ever as Frank makes the constantly shifting transitions from sympathy, to lust, to revulsion, to self-loathing, to outrage and back again.

As for Ms. Fleming, she does an amazing amount with what is basically a wordless role. All of her acting has to be done via her physicality, (and with a stunning body to begin with, she has to work at it, but not too hard), and her portrayal of a creature designed to seduce-and-destroy any (and every) man she meets is suitably compelling, disturbing and ultimately revolting.


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