Sham Shocktober hasn’t been any kind of countdown, but I have saved the best for last. And tomorrow I’ll let you know which of Shocktober’s 30 suggestions have become my Top 5 must-see movies. To me, today’s choice is the Holy Grail of horror films I haven’t seen – the one I almost can’t believe I’ve never watched. Think about it: I’ve seen Cheerleader Massacre and yet I haven’t seen this? I’m clearly either (a) stupid, (b) stupid, (c) stupid, or (d) all of the above and stupid to boot. Anyway, if you haven’t worked it out by now – or read the post title – I’m talking about 1971’s Let’s Scare Jessica to Death.
Key to my fascination with Jessica is the fact that I know so little about it. Basically, I hear it’s creepy and it might have something to do with vampires... who knows? I actively avoid reading about the plot because I really don’t want to spoil anything. Anything at all. But it’s difficult to argue with reviews like these:
“To say it’s one of the best horror films ever made still wouldn’t do it justice” – Amanda By Night
“They really don’t make ’em like this anymore. I was mesmerized” – Final Girl
“Will linger in your consciousness for years to come” – DVD Drive-in
“Shamefully underrated” – Kim Newman (and that’s high praise indeed from this venerable horror expert)
So that’s why we might call Jessica the guts of Sham Shocktober, celebrating a month of classic horror I haven’t actually experienced. Behind the scenes, I’ve been frantically flogging unwanted DVDs on eBay, and tomorrow – yes, on Halloween itself, pumpkins – I’ll let you know which five of the thirty preceding movies I’ve decided to buy with my PayPal proceeds. Thanks for the help in choosing!