DVD Review HTF REVIEW: Masters of Horror - Dario Argento: Jenifer

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Michael Osadciw, Sep 13, 2006.

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  1. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]

    MASTERS OF HORROR
    Dario Argento
    JENIFER

    [​IMG]
    Distributed by: Anchor Bay Entertainment
    Original Air Date: 18 November 2005 (Season 1, Episode 4)
    Film Length: 58 minutes
    Genre: Horror/Thriller

    Aspect Ratio:
    [​IMG]
    1.77:1

    Colour/B&W: Colour

    Audio:
    English [​IMG] [​IMG] 5.1 Surround

    English [​IMG] [​IMG] 2.0 Surround

    Subtitles: none
    Film Rating: not rated


    [​IMG] [​IMG]





    Release Date: August 15, 2006.


    Rating: [​IMG] [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Scare Factor: [​IMG] [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Steven Weber (Frank Spivey), Carrie Anne Fleming (Jenifer)

    Teleplay by: Steven Weber
    Directed by: Dario Argento



    Yikes, I expected a lot more from Jenifer, Dario Argento’s entry in the Masters of Horror series. It was slow, strange, and illogical with a few loose ends never tied up.

    Frank Spivey is a cop who is seemingly never at work (if he was on vacation he never let us knew). One day on his job (the only day we see him work) he saves a girl from being hacked up by a madman. The man is shot dead and the girl he saves is Jenifer. She has a beautiful body – slim, rounded, long blonde hair flowing past the shoulders and over her face…a body you’d kill over…or be killed over.

    Jenifer’s face is disfigured, horribly…not by some terrible accident, but for some unknown reason. What is she? We don’t know, but fearing that she’d be ridiculed out on the streets and with her unable to speak any language, Frank Spivey takes her home to his family to live.

    His wife has a fit. His rebellious son is appalled but loves the bod. But after some freak accidents in the house by Jenifer Frank’s wife packs up and leaves home indefinitely with her son. Frank, in complete lust for Jenifer, hides away with her in an unknown town where he seems to start a new life with this…thing. Little does he she what horrible things she is capable of doing.

    When you are done watching this episode (for the guys), I guarantee it’ll be a while before you get the image of Jenifer’s face out of your head next time you kiss a girl…and those whimpering moaning sounds…they will drive you insane when you hear them in your every day life. An effect I’m sure was planned. Dammit!

    [​IMG]VIDEO QUALITY [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Like all other Masters of Horror titles, this title is presented in 1.77:1 anamorphic widescreen. This time the video doesn’t look good like the rest of them. I don’t know what went wrong here, but there is a lot of mosquito noise and grain, the image is dull and dim, and pales in comparison to the rest of the titles I’ve viewed so far. It seemed not as much care has gone into this title, or the job was sloppy. On a 110” screen this title does not stack up well to the rest of the series.

    The picture has some good black levels that are adequately defined in the darkest part of the picture. It’s the bright parts of the image that aren’t all that bright, which is fine if that is the intent. Where this title sort of suffers is with the details in the house interiors…the picture looks a bit murky and lacking definition. Colours are natural but slightly desaturated. There was no vividness of colour…just an overcast image that didn’t look intentional. Hmmmm…


    [​IMG]AUDIO QUALITY [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack delivers the original recording to our homes. The result is dull, lifeless, limited soundtrack that is unexciting and not the best in production quality. Much of this soundtrack is limited to the center channel with a bit of music and effects stretched out to the sides. Surround use and LFE are limited. Dialogue is forward but not strident. Overall, it’s just O.K.

    TACTILE FUN!! [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    TRANSDUCER ON
    /OFF?: OFF

    Since there is very little LFE I’d have a tough time recommending the use of the tactile I didn’t find it effective at all so I don’t believe you’ll miss it for this title.


    [​IMG]SPECIAL FEATURES [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]


    If you own other Masters of Horror titles you’ll be familiar with the layout of special features on this disc. It’s organized just the same so I’ll list them out rather than getting into obvious details about them. I will say they are well done and are worth the viewing. This is a lot of supplements for a single TV show, and much more than we get with some films that deserve a lot!

    “So Hideous My Love” is a featurette featuring an interview with Dario Argento
    ”Working With A Master: Dario Argento” is another Argento featurette
    On Set: An Interview with Steven Weber
    On Set: An Interview with Carrie Anne Fleming
    Script to Screen: Jenifer
    Behind the Scenes: The Making of Jenifer
    Audio Commentary by writer/actor Steven Weber and DVD producer Perry Martin
    Howard Berger and the Make-Up of Jenifer
    Trailers
    Sill Gallery
    Dario Argento Bio
    Screenplay
    on DVD-ROM
    Screensaver on DVD-ROM


    IN THE END...

    This isn’t a great entry in the Masters of Horror series. Mr. Argento, I expected much more!
    For more information on this series you can visit www.mastersofhorror.net.

    Mike Osadciw
    September 13, 2006.
     
  2. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    Huh! I really enjoyed this one, especially after the ham fisted satire of the previous "Homecoming". I liked the obvious attempt at making the viewer squirm through sexual gore. My only complaint was that it was still cut, despite the uncensored footage being shown complete in the documentaries.

    I wouldn't call it the best of the series :sick girl and Deer Woman still top it IMO, but it was still very good.
     
  3. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Screenwriter

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    Russell, what was cut from this? Do you mean this disc doesn't contain the full version of what was aired?
     
  4. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    It's the full version of what was aired but the episode was cut before airing. The cuts involved rather painful sexual violence involving Jenifer's toothy mouth and Steven Weber's "area". And I think there was another cut near the end with the kid having the same painful problem.
    Like Russell said, the footage is in one of the docs.

    I'd rank this episode lower than the average MOH episode but I still kinda dug it.

    EDIT: Michael, are you planning to review Dance Of The Dead? I've been on a Tobe Hooper kick lately but I haven't gotten a chance to watch his episode yet.
     
  5. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    Hmm. I thought this was one of the better episodes in the series. The only episodes I did not like were Dance of the Dead and Deer Woman although they were still watchable the only one I found unwatchable was HomeComing.
     
  6. Justin_S

    Justin_S Producer

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    Michael, I'm glad to see somone else who didn't like this episode. I'm a big fan of Argento's work, so I was a little shocked by how horrible Jenifer turned out. It's plagued by plot-holes galore, poor logic, predictability, laughable acting, and in the end, it's just outright bland. Rather than creep me out or disturb me, Jenifer herself annoyed the hell out of me. The constant sex scenes really grated on my nerves. Nothing in the episode worked.

    I look forward to reading your thoughts on Dance of the Dead. As far as I'm concerned, it's the best episode of season one and the best thing Tobe Hooper's done since The Funhouse. When I got home Tuesday, I went through the entire disc in one sitting, including both commentaries and another viewing of the ep itself. I love the hell out of it, though most viewers seem to hate it. Oh well, they can keep Jenifer.
     
  7. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    This could be why I liked it. I'm not all that familier with Argento, other than Susperia which I saw ages ago and "The Black Cat" from "Two Evil Eyes" (or whatever it was with George romero)which was pretty piss poor. As such, I didn't have much in the way of pre-conceived expectations.

    I was expecting a bit from "homecoming", having enjoyed Joe Dantes previous stuff, but the satire was just so obvious it seemes more lazy. "deer woman" really balanced the humor and spooks, and was probably the best thing Landis has done in years. It's still my favorite, although I've been might impressed so far (having missed not seeing this on TV, we didn't get it up here.)

    The one I'm really waiting for is Takashi Miike "Imprint". I hope it meets the hype.
     
  8. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    This could be why I liked it. I'm not all that familier with Argento, other than Susperia which I saw ages ago and "The Black Cat" from "Two Evil Eyes" (or whatever it was with George romero)which was pretty piss poor. As such, I didn't have much in the way of pre-conceived expectations.

    I was expecting a bit from "homecoming", having enjoyed Joe Dantes previous stuff, but the satire was just so obvious it seemes more lazy. "deer woman" really balanced the humor and spooks, and was probably the best thing Landis has done in years. It's still my favorite, although I've been might impressed so far (having missed not seeing this on TV, we didn't get it up here.)

    The one I'm really waiting for is Takashi Miike "Imprint". I hope it meets the hype.
     
  9. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    After all the hoopla surrounding that episode, unless my head explodes it can't live up to its hype. [​IMG]
     
  10. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    Quote:
    "It's plagued by plot-holes galore, poor logic, predictability, laughable acting":

    I'm an Argento fan as well and find this puzzling because these statements are true about nearly every film Argento has done and are not the elements that make his films interesting and great.
    I'm also curious what you found great about Dance of the Dead. It wasn't bad but after a good opening and nice potential it went absolutely nowhere and has left me with no reason or desire to rewatch it.
    I need to see Imprint as well but for me 9 out of 12 in the series makes the series a winner for me. I'm looking forward to Season 2.
     
  11. Ryan L. Bisasky

    Ryan L. Bisasky Second Unit

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    inprint comes out in 2 weeks i believe.
     

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