Plot: Jennifer (Lisa Pelikan) attends the prestigious Green View School, an institution home to the children of politicians, celebrities, and the super rich. She grew up poor in the hills, but was able to go to Green View because of her impressive intellect, which earned her a full scholarship. But she doesn’t fit in well and is often the target of the school’s mean girls, who make fun of her whenever possible. At home, her father is obsessed with religion and in specific, an instance when Jennifer was marked as a chosen one as a child, because she could handle dangerous snakes. While he is still certain she has “the power,” Jennifer just wants to leave the past behind her and move on with her life. As the torment at school grows worse and worse, Jennifer finds herself tapping into a deeply buried part of herself, one that she isn’t sure about and what could happen if she unleashes it. Will Jennifer just sit back and take the abuse, or will she let the demons of her past loose once again?
Entertainment Value: This one was released in the wake of Carrie and the inspiration is quite obvious, with a bullied teenage girl pushed to her limit and a dark power awakens inside her. The horror genre is ripe with rip-offs, so I won’t judge a movie based on just that, as long as it is fun to watch. Jennifer hits on a lot of the same notes of Carrie, but still manages to entertain. The religious angle is emphasized, as in Carrie, but this time around we have a focus on snakes. I mean, who doesn’t love a crazy bitch who uses lethal snakes to attack her sworn enemies? I also love dysfunction and Jennifer is loaded with it, from mean girls to social elitism to religious fanaticism, so that adds so much to the fun. As the movie rolls on, the dysfunction only amplifies and and of course, that is like music to my ears. Lisa Pelikan has the lead and she does well, though she plays the sweet side of Jennifer better than the unholy snake bitch side. We also get Burt Convy as a hip school teacher and I couldn’t be happier about that, as his presence is awkward and fun to watch. The various mean girls do their jobs well, as do the bitter old women, prunes that they are. So yes, we’ve seen this premise before, but Jennifer is still well made and a lot of fun to watch. If you appreciate religious snake use, high school drama, or horror rip-offs, give it a chance.
A blink and you’ll miss it topless scene is here, as well as an odd nude scene where Jennifer falls nude off a ladder. Again the nakedness is brief, but the circumstances make it a little more fun than it should be. A lot of hot girls in this one, but not much naked flesh on showcase. The movie has frequent violence, like a rape, attempted drowning, and falling naked off a ladder, but not much blood. The wild finale involves a little, including a giant snake biting a man’s head clean off, but still not much in terms of visible bloodshed. But we do get some fun snake attacks and really, isn’t that what life is all about? The dialogue is a lot of fun, as I mentioned before there is ample dysfunction of all types here. A wealth of mean girl barbs with social shaming, turning down John Travolta, body shaming, and yes, even anti-hillbilly rhetoric. I also love the zealotry of Jennifer’s father, who is beyond delusional and buries himself in his work at a pet shop, of all places. On the crazy scale, this one earns some points for the snake presence, mean spirited dialogue, and the finale, which is a wild ride. Imagine harnessing the power of religion to summon hordes of snakes, then unleashing them upon the hapless crowd at a drag race. I love everything about that sentence and the finale alone is worth some points, let alone the rest of the wackiness.
Overall Insanity: 5/10