Revisiting the Classics: LET’S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH
I’ve been hearing about this movie my entire life, but I never got around to watching it. I’d read promos for it airing on cable in an issue of TV GUIDE when I was a kid–and we didn’t have cable. I saw mentions of it in old movie magazines. It always seemed intriguing, but the opportunity to watch it never presented itself. Not until last week. In none of the things I remember reading, though, and in none of the mentions made of the film in old magazines, was it stated that LET’S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH is a vampire movie. It is. And it’s a pretty good one.
A young woman named Abigail (portrayed by Mariclare Costello, who would go on to have a recurring role in THE WALTONS) drowns, and returns to life as a vampire. You never see fangs and you never really see any blood, although you do see a lot of old guys sporting bandages from her attentions. Instead of standing outside bedroom windows, beckoning to potential victims to let her in, Abigail is frequently found in the water, trying to lure her prey to join her in her watery grave. It’s a nice alternate take on the theme. I quite liked it. The title is misleading; maybe it was meant to be. But it was a pleasant surprise to me when I realized that I was watching a vampire movie. Recommended.