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.
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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.
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