Sunday, 18 March 2012

Jessicka Rabid (2010)

Jessicka Rabid is a gritty, low-fi, downright unpleasant slice of nastiness. The central concept alone makes it an essential viewing for fans of the sick and twisted - a trio of family members (the ever-excellent Trent Haaga, Jeff Sisson and Cisiany Olivar) make alternately nice and nasty with Jessicka (Elske McCain), a woman they keep caged up and treat as a family pet until they get horny and want to have sex with her.

Sadly, the execution is somewhat lacking. The script and direction by Matthew Reel, based on the concept by star Elske McCain, is pretty weak and leaves viewers frustrated and wishing that they coulf jump into the screen and help with the camerawork. Making an asset out of a low-budget with the look and feel of a movie is all well and good but making the film a headache-inducing feat of endurance is just going a bit too far (unless you're aiming for something like Driller Killer, which this isn't).

Thankfully, the performances help make the movie watchable. Jeff Sisson and Cisiany Olivar are very good but I was most pleased, as a fan of everything I see him participate in, to see Trent Haaga on good form yet again. Elske McCain deserves the most praise though, her performance is genuinely impressive and at times she's almost heart-breaking in the way that she naively puts up with the treatment of her "owners".

It's just a shame that the concept wasn't given the treatment it deserved, perhaps McCain and Reel went too far in another direction to differentiate their movie from Haaga's own Deadgirl (a superior movie with a number of similarities).

If I was only rating this movie on the execution of the material and the style then I'd probably, and generously give it a 3/10 (mainly because of the inspired use of some old footage). But for the cast members I always enjoy seeing, and for the great lead performances, I'm going to double up.


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