MASTERS OF HORROR SEASON ONE, EPISODE FOUR: JENIFER
Directed by Dario Argento
Teleplay by Steven Weber
When I was a younger man in my late 20’s I worked as a pizza delivery driver. I had a boss, Ben, who was adamantly against the use of drugs of any kind. I mean, the guy didn’t even drink. That is, until he met Denise. There was only one way to describe Denise and that was that she was a crack whore. Denise led Ben down a path that he never completely recovered from. He still wouldn’t do drugs himself; but he bought them for her, and he even went to prison for her. Nothing would ever again be the same for Ben.
Now, I told you that story to demonstrate that at first I wasn’t really sure what director Dario Argento and writer/star Steven Weber were trying to say in their Masters of Horror adaptation of a Creepy comics tale from Bruce Jones. This story of a cop, Weber (Wings, Jeffrey) who takes in a horrifically facially disfigured woman who leads him down a path of self-destruction is exactly the same as that of my friend and his albatross of trouble. At first, I thought that the episode was one long joke about ugly women and how men will fuck them, but they surely will not tell their friends about it. At the risk of sounding sexist or cruel, it reminds me also of that old joke about the similarity between a fat girl and a Moped; they’re both fun to ride, you just don’t want anyone to see you. Another is that when it comes to women, the majority of men let the little head do the thinking. Even after she eats the family cat and the kid from next door, Frank still has no qualms about dipping his wick in Jenifer. After all, the body is a classy chassis; it’s the face that looks like it smacked a wall at 90 miles per hour. Hell, then again who knows? Maybe I’m missing the point altogether. Somehow, I don’t think I am.
One thing I know for sure is that this is the first episode of Masters of Horror that lives up to the name. Director Dario Argento (Suspiria, Mother of Tears) seems to be having a lot of fun with the episode and treats it more like a mini-movie than he does a TV show. Steven Weber is good in the role of Frank; and Carrie Anne Fleming grunts, whines, licks and snorts her way through her role as Jenifer. After a flawed, but promising start and then a big step backward, Argento and company set Masters of Horror back in forward motion with Jenifer.
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.
The source material first appeared in 1974 in Creepy #63 and was illustrated by Bernie Wrightson.
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Posted on 12/04/2012, in Movies and tagged Bernie Wrightson, Bruce Jones, Creepy, Dario Argento, Jenifer, Master of Horror, Masters, Short story, Steven Weber, Suspiria. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.