Janice, Sweet Janice

I’m not much a slasher person. There, I’ve said it, judge me as you will. I’ve always preferred supernatural stories. While I’m not sure if I believe in ghosts I find the “what if” ideas tickle my brain. Then I saw Bravo’s Hundred Scariest Movie Moments and was intrigued by…

This movie is actually from 1976 and was originally titled Communion, was rereleased in 1978 as Alice, Sweet Alice, and rerereleased in 1981 as Holy Terror. You may have heard of this because it’s Brooke Shield’s first movie performance playing the character Karen. Yeah, she’s in the movie but the real star, for me is Paula E. Sheppard. She plays the Alice of the title, the clearly resented and ignored sister of Karen. Sheppard is alternately charming, vulnerable, and scary as the troubled daughter. The movie starts just before Karen’s first communion and Alice is jealous of the attention lavished on Karen. Seriously, everyone looooooves this girl so much. As she’s in line, someone in a yellow slicker and creepy, creepy mask strangles Karen, stuffs her in a pew, and sets the whole thing on fire. I have to add that this movie is very atmospheric and manages to evoke scares through music and setting, not through heavy metal and jump cuts like them dangblaggit new movies today dernit. This shot actually made me jump. The combination of the music and it suddenly popping on screen was just very effective and I think it’s what I like to call creepy-beautiful.

After the funeral, Aunt Annie moves in to help Alice and Karen’s single mother, Catherine. Annie clearly suspects Alice and Alice’s suspicious behavior doesn’t help her case. Who could have killed Karen? Is it the creepy Mr. Alphonso?

Nah, he’s not the killer. Don’t be a hater because he’s hot. We finally get a full glimpse of the killer when aunt Annie is attacked. For those people who’ve never met me, you should know that I look just like this.

I wont reveal who the killer actually is. I ruined it for myself and looked it up ahead of time, which is a very very bad habit. I need to stop that, I probably would have been surprised. This movie isn’t perfect. There are moments that descend into campy lulz that probably takes away from the scares. Like when the parish priest’s house-keeper, Mrs. Tredoni, have an argument with the aging monsignor and the movie suddenly becomes Italian Stereotype Theater. Or when you see this picture of Tom the Priest that Mrs. Tredoni has on her vanity.

Father Hunk! I think it was nice of him to give her one of his head-shots. He also has ones of himself as a cop, fifties greaser, and Italian chef. My final say is that this movie is worth the watch. It’s a fun, intriguing little thriller.


About scarina

I like scary movies a little too much. I thought I'd share my obsession with you.
This entry was posted in 1970's, slasher and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Janice, Sweet Janice

  1. Pingback: Look! Now! | Scarina's Scary Vault of Scariness

  2. Pingback: In Memoriam | Scarina's Scary Vault of Scariness

  3. Pingback: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) | Scarina's Scary Vault of Scariness

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