Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971)

Directed by: John D. Hancock

Written by:
John D. Hancock & Lee Kalcheim


Zohra Lampert .... Jessica
Barton Heyman .... Duncan
Kevin O'Connor .... Woody
Mariclare Costello .... Emily

Special Appearance:

Alan Manson .... Sam Dorker

Release Date: Theatrical: August 6, 1971

*Images courtesy at: www.terrortrap.com






After being released from an institution by suffering from a nervous breakdown, Jessica (Zohra Lampert) is trying to get her life together along with her husband Duncan (Barton Heyman) and close friend Woody (Kevin O'Connor) as they seek the tranquility to a secluded farm home in Conneticut to help her make her recovery complete.
However, they encounter a strange woman named Emily (Mariclare Costello) also living in their house as apparently they find a picture of a woman who drowned there on her wedding day that looks just like Emily.
The farmhouse claims to be haunted and rumour has it that Emily has returned from the dead as a vampiress this time.
Jessica finds dead bodies of local people around her property she as well but Duncan and Woody just tell Jessica it's all her imagination.
Is Jessica going crazy again, and can she escape the madness that is surrounding her?


Nice uplifting situation with Jessica happy to find the new home as well as her walking near the hill of the home which looked good and foggy. Plus a good moment with the mysterious girl rocking by the outside chair as this draws you in greatly when seeing this.
There was a suspenseful moment when Jessica is walking towards a hallway to a staircase and everything seems still and suddenly Emily jumps out of nowhere catching her by surprise which makes you jump a bit.
We see a nice brief conversation between Jessica and Emily discussing to stay the night as it looks believeably welcoming as well as Jessica seeming too kind and desperate to have company making her a little too friendly.
Perfect mysterious setting at the dinner table with everyone talking along with a ghostly voice talking to Jessica when she spots some dirty plates as well as a nice moment with Emily playing a gutiar and singing along with Duncan bringing out a violin bass and strumming as this all blends in nicely. Plus nicely focused moments on Jessica spotting that her husband seems to really like this mysterious woman. Keeps you watching in order to find out on what will happen next.
There's a good shot on Jessica after she tries to summon up spirits as she shows a good dazed smile as well as nicely focused camera shots circling around the room which draws you in while watching the movie.
We see great discussions with everyone hanging out at the lake as it looks like a good relationship towards one another. Plus a drawn in moment with Emily bathing Duncan's back as well as Jessica realising this and looking briefly uncomfortable as this makes you wonder if these two will have an affair later on. Catches your attention pretty good.
Nice moment with Jessica swimming towards the deeper end of the lake and then a good mysterious shot on a white figure approaching underneath the water near her and she freaks out which is a nice horror taste.
Perfect moment put into the story with an antique dealer telling both Jessica and Duncan on a legend of a woman whom was turned into a vampiress that resides in the back of their home by the lake which gives you an eerie feeling about the situation as well as Duncan cutting him off which looked impressively done and giving you the chills.
A good camera shot on one of the local crazies towards Jessica while holding groceries by her car as it almost gives you a clue to the story in this film and it almost convinces you that she might get hurt as well as a nice close up shot on one of the locals face as this looked creepy too.
There was a good shot on the mysterious girl waving towards Jessica to come follow her and it looked good on the two of them running too which makes you wonder as to what she will show her.
Perfect moment with Duncan and Jessica finding the mysterious girl running away and grabbing a hold of her as well as trying to get some answers from her which makes you watch carefully as to what will come of all this.
Great intense moments with Duncan arguing with Jessica in bed and she totally loses it which was sharply done and making you wonder if all hell breaks loose with her attitude.
Perfect setting with Emily coming onto Duncan and the two of them making out with good camera shots on all of this as well as a good close up shot on her putting her mouth to his neck as you wonder what she's going to do.
A nice tense setting was with Jessica and Emily at a pier next to a lake and Emily acting aroused around her and then behaving extremely strange which makes you think to yourself what is going to happen?
There's a terrific camera shot on Emily rising from the lake in a gown looking like some sort of a spirit.
Good shot on Jessica running away towards the house in the field.
We spot a lustful conversation between Emily and Woody as she talks soothing towards him and he is unsure of what she is doing then we see her mouth going to his neck.
There's many great shots on Jessica encountering people around town bit bitemarks on their necks too and her shocked reactions.
Nice make out scene with Duncan towards Jessica in bed and then notcies his bite mark as well as a good creepy shot on Emily approaching with a knife as well as the locals coming in and surrounding her leaving a great ghostly feel to it all.
Bottom line is that this is a nicely done mysterious horror flick as you wonder all the way through if this is a hoax, illusions or is it really happening. You do sort of wonder where it is going and it goes along greatly even if sometimes the story doesn't make sense but again it wasn't meant to since it's supposed to be a brainteaser. It is quite eerie in lots of spots in the film which makes you wonder if the missing pieces will come together.
It was a very strange and confusing film I must admit but well done.

The acting is a little average but good in some spots. Zohra Lampert (Jessica) seems to pull off well as someone trying to recover from a nervous breakdown and does well with her speech disorder too but it sounds like she is deaf by the way she speaks. Does well with her pleading and overly friendly behavior while convincing someone to stay the night. She looked great at trying to force something out of her onscreen husband after what she saw with her wild but reasonable expressions. We see a great tripped out reactions on her towards her onscreen husband once again in a bed scene about what she is seeing as if she is going crazy again. Does well with her intensity when tripping out and trying to run away.
Barton Heyman
(Duncan) seemed to do the trick as a sympathetic husband in the film having the right looks and motives for all of this. Also shows a convincing patience with his words. Plus does well showing off his aggressions too in which he brings to a good and hyped energy.
Kevin O'Connor (Woody) brings out his perfect outgoing charm and was appealing with all of this onto the camera and the right looks for his role too. He portrays a perfect open minded and laid back type of fellow. Seemed to really study his role quite well along with someone whom is happy and likes to have a good time as well as convincingly courageous and helpful within all that he does here.
ariclare Costello (Emily) is the best one in the film with her outgoing actions and lustful words too which makes her deadly and mysterious too which she also knew how to do greatly. She shows off a true charming personality as well as showing a deceiving innocence during the beginning of her performance. Does well by getting into things like playing a guitar and singing which she brings this out energeticly. Had the perfect looks for her role as she looked like a drifter as well as a hippie type too. Stands out nicely when slowly approaching someone making her presence look truly chilling.
Supporting actress Gretchen Corbett (The Girl) looked perfect as a mysterious mute one spying on the place and just the way she does things is all that mattered for her well performance.
She shows a great freaked out expressions as well as being good and tense. Showed good adrenaline.

Orville Stoeber has some nice low keyboard settings to the plot of of this movies which sounds similar to the 1981 slasher flick Just Before Dawn also some decent folk guitar music in certain spots too having an uplifting sound for when the new home is discovered which was necessary since it takes place on the great outdoors. Plus some mellow piano playing is heard as well which isn't too shabby. Plus we have alot of metal booming sounds and unique rolling sounds too for the chasing scene's oer the dark terrors as this sounds extremely effective. More low budget creepy sounds in other spots which suits it in well and just as unique as well.

Jessica: I was just, er, looking at the picture. It looks so much like you.
Emily: My lord, it does. Gee, how weird. What's the matter?
Jessica: Nothing. It's just, er, it does look so very much like you.
Emily: It's an old print. It could look like anybody.
Jessica: No, it's... it's the eyes.

Emily: Do you like my new dress? My new old dress?