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Jennifer 8 (1992)

Jennifer Eight (original title)
John Berlin, a big-city cop from Los Angeles, moves to a small-town police force and immediately finds himself investigating a murder. Using theories rejected by his colleagues John meets a... See full summary »

Director:

Bruce Robinson

Writer:

Bruce Robinson
5 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Andy Garcia ... John Berlin
Lance Henriksen ... Freddy Ross
Uma Thurman ... Helena
Graham Beckel ... John Taylor
Kathy Baker ... Margie Ross
Kevin Conway ... Citrine
John Malkovich ... St. Anne
Perry Lang ... Travis
Nicholas Love ... Bisley
Michael O'Neill ... Serato
Paul Bates ... Venables
Bob Gunton ... Goodridge
Lenny von Dohlen ... Blattis (as Lenny Von Dohlen)
Bryan Larkin ... Bobby Rose
Debbon Ayer ... Amanda
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Storyline

John Berlin, a big-city cop from Los Angeles, moves to a small-town police force and immediately finds himself investigating a murder. Using theories rejected by his colleagues John meets a young blind woman named Helena, who he is attracted to. Meanwhile, a serial killer is on the loose and only John knows it. Written by Rob Hartill

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and terror, and for language and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bruce Robinson wrote the script for the sole purpose of actually getting a formula commercial film made so he might have the leverage to make other projects. The film's box office failure prevented that. See more »

Goofs

Obvious body double for Uma Thurman (Helena): her breast size is far greater when naked than when clothed. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Travis: You can drive down there, sir.
Freddy Ross: I'm already walking. Where is it?
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Connections

References Harry and the Hendersons (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Louie Louie
by Richard Berry
Performed by The Kingsmen
Courtesy of Highland Music by arrangement with Sounds of Film
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User Reviews

 
Who Can Be More Vulnerable Than a Blind Woman in a Bathtub While a Creep Unknowingly Takes Photos of Her?
10 January 2013 | by romanorum1See all my reviews

Jennifer 8 is one of those serial killer thrillers quite common in the 1980s and 1990s. "Dead Aim" (1987), "Whispers in the Dark" (1992), "Blink" (1994), and Copycat (1995) are several that come to mind. The movie may be broken down into three parts: (1) the mystery build-up, (2) the romance, and (3) the recovery (back to the thriller). Andy Garcia stars as LAPD cop John Berlin who relocates to an old farmhouse in Eureka, CA to flee his cheating ex-wife and to lick his wounds. Fred Ross (Lance Henriksen) is Berlin's partner and brother-in-law. On his police radio, Berlin learns that the local cops are at a dump examining the body of a derelict. He arrives and soon the police discover a severed human hand and a bra with dried blood; later they deduce that the fingers were severely scratched because the person was a young blind woman who had used Braille. Learning of seven unsolved cases involving murdered blind women dating back to 1985 that drained police resources to no conclusion, Berlin becomes convinced that the deaths are all related. He wants to reopen the old cases. Of course, no one in the PD believes him. Berlin and Ross drive to the blind people's institute to interview the roommate of Amber, one of the missing women. The roommate is cello teacher Helena Robertson (Uma Thurman), who earlier had been in the dormitory room briefly with the bad guy (called "John") while he moved out with Amber. Helene remembers just a few details, like the sound of the car engine. Berlin comes to believe that Helena is Jennifer 8, the eighth (intended) victim nicknamed Jennifer. Helena resembles Berlin's former spouse. In this second phase, angry dark-eyed Berlin and soft blue-eyed Helena eventually fall in love.

Berlin wants to go back to the dump, but Ross says to him, "No way. I'm not going back. You might find someone's p---- in a hot dog roll." But go they do, and find a clue. But police chief Citrine (Kevin Conway) and others are adamant to close out the case because the evidence is so scanty. Of course you know that Berlin, like a pit bull, will not let go. There will be other trips to the institute, and the situation will be even spookier for Helena, as most folks would have departed the grounds to spend the Christmas holidays at the residences of their families. Even when she stays at the farmhouse, the atmosphere is eerie. Then, on a snowy and fateful Christmas Eve at the institute, a main character is bumped off, and suspicion falls entirely on Berlin. Enter FBI agent St. Anne (John Malkovitch) – smug, unyielding, insufferable, but effective. What a scene-stealer! Chomp! Chomp! Then again, you know that Berlin will clear his name in the end.

There are lapses in credibility, like Berlin's release while charged with a capital offense (murder one!), his odd motive to rummage through an Oakland house, and even his atypical second arrest. Minor plot holes or some crude editing do not really detract from the movie, because we can visualize that such and such happened although it was not shown. The climax, appropriately creepy, is somewhat turgid. Although some have questioned Uma Thurman's interpretation of a blind woman, the acting is commendable. Michael O'Neill as cop Angelo Serato, seems miscast. Does he really look like an Angelo? Then again, that is just a tertiary role. A big plus for Jennifer 8 is the on-location wintry shooting, for Eureka is cold, dreary, and darkly atmospheric. The ominous background music adds to the eeriness. But, with some better editing and a better ending, the movie could have been even greater. So is it worth seeing? Of course!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Canada | USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 November 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jennifer 8 See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,619,666, 8 November 1992

Gross USA:

$11,390,479

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,390,479
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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