- Detective John Berline (Andy Garcia) escapes the big city to join his friend Freddy Ross (Lance Henriksen) as a small town cop, but immediately stumbles over the body of a young girl.
- A break in the case leads to the conclusion that the girl was blind, which puts Berline in contact with Helena (Uma Thurman), a teacher at a school for the blind.
- Soon Berline suspects that the dead girl is the work of a serial killer and that Helena might be his next victim.
What We Thought:
- Reportedly, with Jennifer 8, director Bruce Robinson tried to make a slam-dunk, run-of-the-mill, uncomplicated Hollywood thriller – a sure thing, the kind of film a director like him could make with his eyes closed. He failed miserably, and so did the film.
- Instead, Jennifer 8 is a solid to the core, effective thriller for grown-ups, so thoroughly committed to its course that even the clichés come across as honest.
- You do have to swallow a few giant camels to buy this story, and deal with a whole banquet of red herrings, but isn’t that the case with most murder plots? At least this one is full of darkness, without descending into torture porn, and excitement, without being reduced to “just a chase”.
- Jennifer 8 is full of rock solid craftsmanship, with moody cinematography by the late Conrad L. Hall and a beautiful score by Christopher Young, with a haunting theme.
- The cast is spectacular. Andy Garcia absolutely kills it, in the lead role, with great support from Lance Henriksen in one of his best non-xenomorphic performances. Meanwhile Uma Thurman is as delicate as new-fallen snow, and just as fresh, while John Malkovich gives THE most sleazy and unpleasant performance of his career, and that’s saying something.
- The Blu-ray is obviously a vast improvement over the DVD, but doesn’t quite pop. Occasionally the image seems a bit faded, and the black levels often appear crushed. Still, the upgrade is well worth it, even despite the criminal lack of extras.
- For some reason Jennifer 8 didn’t connect with audiences back in ’92. I don’t know why. I loved it back then. I loved it on VHS. I loved it on LaserDisc. I loved it on DVD, and now I can finally love it on shiny Blu-ray. Basically I’ve been watching this film for 20 years, and I still get chills when Andy Garcia yells “I’ve got a bad feeling about this!” while foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog.
- Naught, but a trailer. Disc is region free.
Notable Cast & Crew:
- Andy Garcia
- Uma Thurman
- Lance Henriksen
- Kathy Baker
- Kevin Conway
- John Malkovich
- Lenny von Dohlen
Recommended if You Like:
- Pre-CSI murder investigations
- The Silence of the Lambs
- Garcia in Black Rain or Internal Affairs
Extra Features: None