HORROR BUSINESS Episode 50: LET’S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH & HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER, Our 50th Episode, Or: We Got Nothing Special

Greetings, and welcome back to Horror Business. We have one awesome episode in store for you guys. On this episode we’re discussing 1971’s Let’s Scare Jessica To Death and 1990’s Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer.

First and foremost we want to give a shoutout to our sponsors over at Lehigh Valley Apparel Creations, the premiere screen-printing company of the Lehigh Valley. Chris Reject and his merry band of miscreants are ready to work with you to bring to life your vision of a t-shirt for your business, band, project, or whatever else it is you need represented by a shirt, sweater, pin, or coozy. Head on over to www.xlvacx.com to check them out. Also, thank you to our Patreon subscribers. Your support means the world to us and we are eternally grateful for that support. Thanks!

We start by talking about what we’ve seen or done lately in the field of horror. Liam briefly talks about seeing the Netflix original film Apostle and attending the annual Exhumed Films 24 Hour Horrorthon, and seeing the film Great White aka The Last Shark and Fade To Black. Justin talks about seeing the films Terrifier, Cold Skin, Still/Born, and Slender Man and starting the final season of the TV series Penny Dreadful.

First up is 1971’s Let’s Scare Jessica To Death. We begin by talking about the quasi-underrated nature of the film and giving a brief outline of the film.

We touch upon the strange and misleading nature of the title and how the film never quite reveals as to whether or not what we’re seeing on screen is real. We talk about the way mental illness is depicted in the film and the possible symbolism of other characters in the film that aren’t Jessica.

The concept of an environment being hostile to outsiders is touched upon.

Up next is 1990’s Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer. Liam talks about how he first encountered the film, and how it is essentially the “anti-80s horror film” and how it didn’t hold up upon a second viewing.

We talk about the almost unnecessary cruelty of the film at times and how the excessive violence comes off as just that: excessive. There is a brief discussion on the abandonment of supernatural themes in the early 90s and the rise of the splatterpunk movement.

The “nobilization” of Henry and how the film flirts with sympathizing with him is discussed; as is how this is a shortcoming on the part of the filmmakers for waffling on the nature of Henry i.e. is he evil or just misunderstood? The conflation of “intense and violent” with “good and scary” is discussed.

As always thanks to everyone and anyone who donated on Patreon, checked this episode out, or shared a tweet/shared a post on FB/gave us love by recommending us to someone. We love you forever for listening. Any questions, comments, suggestions for movies and guests, or if you yourself want to join us for a movie viewing or even an episode, can be sent to thehorrorbiz@gmail.com. We would love to hear from you! Thanks always to Justin Miller and Doug Tilley for their technical contributions and fliers, Mike Smaczylo for the shirts and fliers (you can check more of his work out at here), and also thanks to Josh Alvarez for the theme song, Chris, Brad, Alexis, and LVAC for the support and buttons (check them out at www.xlvacx.com), and a HUGE thank you to anyone who retweeted us or shared something on Facebook that we posted. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @thehorrorbiz666, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/thehorrorbiz66, and remember to rate, review, and subscribe to us on ITunes. In fact, if you write us a review, email us with your mailing address and we’ll send you some free pins and stickers! Check out www.cinepunx.com for more info on some of our other podcasts, some ultra stylish Cinepunx related merchandise, and how you can donate to our Patreon! Until next time…thanks!

Justin Lore

Justin Lore

Greetings and salutations. My name is Justin Lore, and in addition to being a real life pawn star, an obsessive dog dad, and a falsely accused Lovecraft apologist, I am the creator and co-host of the podcast Horror Business and the communications manager and assistant editor of Cinepunx. I saw Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’ at the age of six and horror films have been a large part of my life since then. Favorite directors include John Carpenter, George Romero, David Lynch, James Cameron, Wes Anderson, and David Cronenberg. I don’t eat animals, I abstain from the partaking of drugs and alcohol, I think ‘Friday The 13th’ is the most overrated franchise in film history and if I ever saw Metallica live and they played ‘Blackened’ there’s a decent chance I’d be led out in handcuffs because the pit would get murdered.
Justin Lore

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