This week Nikki and Kate look at the “box office failure” turned cult classic Jennifer’s Body and explore what happens when the movie advertised doesn’t match up with the movie delivered. They later nonchalantly climb out the window after being refused a tampon. 

See if you can find the part in the episode where Kate was trying to slyly troubleshoot zoom camera issues. It’s super inconspicuous. 

Also, Kate does *not* hate Kristen Stewart. She failed to enunciate that all important d at the end of the word. Kristen Stewart is a gem and must be protected. 

 

**We talk about sexual assault in this episode. If this is triggering and/or you need to talk to someone about experiences regarding sexual assault, you can call the 24-hour National Sexual Assault Helpline at 1-800-656-4673 **

 

Rated R for sexuality, bloody violence, language, and brief drug use

Content warnings:

Blood, gore, hate speech (ableist slurs, homophobic slurs), car crash, cannibalism, cutting, someone is burned alive, kidnapping, death of a minor, stalking, jump scares, possession, vomit, mental institution, hospital scene, gaslighting, body dysmorphia, eating disorders, anxiety attack, self harm, flashing lights, sexual assault, teeth are damaged, broken bones, drug use, alcohol use

 

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Our intro and outro music was composed by Anthony Rocazella, on instagram @puffthemagicbassist 



Summaries

When a demon takes possession of her, high-school hottie Jennifer (Megan Fox) turns a hungry eye on guys who never stood a chance with her before. While evil Jennifer satisfies her appetite for human flesh with the school’s male population, her nerdy friend, Needy (Amanda Seyfried), learns what’s happening and vows to put an end to the carnage. -Rotten Tomatoes

 

Nerdy, reserved bookworm Needy Lesnicki, and arrogant, conceited cheerleader Jennifer Check are best friends, though they share little in common. They share even less in common when Jennifer mysteriously gains an appetite for human blood after a disastrous fire at a local bar. As Needy’s male classmates are steadily killed in gruesome attacks, the young girl must uncover the truth behind her friend’s transformation and find a way to stop the bloodthirsty rampage before it reaches her own boyfriend Chip. -The Massie Twins (IMDb)

 

A newly possessed high school cheerleader turns into a succubus who specializes in killing her male classmates. Can her best friend put an end to the horror? -Anon (IMDb)

 

“In Devil’s Kettle, Minnesota, Jennifer and Needy have been best friends since childhood: Jennifer is a popular cheerleader while Needy is her shy, virginal follower. After devil-worshipping indie rock band Low Shoulder attempts to sacrifice Jennifer, she becomes possessed by a demon who is hungry for human flesh. The new, homicidal Jennifer gains her strength by killing and eating her male classmates — as Needy struggles to keep her best friend’s murderous instincts in check.” -Buzzfeed

 

Nerd Corner:

  1. How was the movie set up to fail by the marketing?
  2. How was it critically received as a result?
  3. Why was there a resurgence of the movie 9 years later? 

 

How was it set up to fail: The general Hollywood consensus of the time was that Megan Fox was a sex icon and this movie was marketed to the wrong audience (via misleading promos and a bait and switch trailer)

 

How was it critically received as a result: poorly!

 

Why resurgence: lots of answers- potentially because of Me Too Movement and Kavanaugh hearings

 

Tropes:

Marketing: Sex Sells, Sexy Surfacing Shot, Never Trust a Trailer, Hollywood Hype Machine, Ambiguously Bi, Bait and Switch Lesbians, Bisexual Love Triangle, Bury Your Gays, Depraved Bisexual, Homoerotic Subtext



Returning tropes: Does this remind you of anything?, Dramatic Necklace Removal, Everyone Has Standards, Foreshadowing, I’m a Humanitarian, Jump scare, Gory Discretion Shot, Sex Equals Death- played with then played straight, Break the Cutie; Badass Boast- I’m going to eat your soul and shit it out, Lesnicki; Mood Whiplash; More Teeth Than the Osmond Family

 

The ones I think they did a lot with:

Fan Disservice- it’s Megan Fox but she’s eating his intestines. 

Death by Sex paired with Coming and Going. We covered Death By Sex in It Follows and it appears in this movie too. But it’s simultaneous paired with Coming and Going, where someone is having sex in close proximity time-wise to someone dying. In this case, the scene cuts back and forth between Needy and Chip having sex and Jennifer seducing and disembowling Colin. It’s used for Mood Whiplash.

 

Black Dude Dies First- so it’s not actually a Black character, but the only named character of color was Ahmet. It’s heavily implied that he’s crushed by a falling beam inside the bar and we later find out that he survived, only to be found by Jennifer who is freshly demonic and hungry. She asks if anyone knows he’s alive and he says no, she takes him into the woods to devour him. This trope shows how characters from marginalized communities are shown to be disposable in films. 

 

Hollywood Nerd- we’re supposed to believe that Amanda Seyfried isn’t gorgeous because she’s wearing glasses and plays a bookish character. 

Intentionally Awkward Title- yeah I really like Jennifer’s Body? Have you seen Jennifer’s Body? Hate it. 

Impact Silhouette- cartoonish outline left by someone walking/running/crashing through a barrier. It’s used to demonstrate Needy’s power, but it’s also darkly comedic.

 

Rule of pool: a very specific form of Chekhov’s gun. If there is a pool and characters that are fully clothed are near it, someone will end up fully submerged in the pool. It’s actually pretty interesting why in like tv shows this “rule” is so closely followed. Apparently the expenses and risks of filming near a pool basically mean that if you’re going through to effort to film near it, you’re going to be using it in some way. 

 

That woman is dead: I don’t even know who Needy Lesnicki is anymore.



Adrenaline Makeover

Adult Fear

All Guys Want Cheerleaders

Alpha Bitch

Ambiguously Bi

And I Must Scream

Annoying Younger Sibling

Antagonist Title

Armor-Piercing Question – Armor-Piercing Response

Arc Words

Asshole Victim

Badass Boast

Bait and Switch Lesbians

Big Bad

Big “NO”

Bisexual Love Triangle

Black Comedy

Black Dude Dies First

Body Horror

Bound and Gagged

Brainy Brunette and Dumb Blonde- inverted, hollywood nerd

Breast Attack

Bury Your Gays

Chekhov’s Gun

Coming and Going

Consuming Passion

Cursed with Awesome

Deal with the Devil

Demonic Possession

Depraved Bisexual 

Did You Just Have Sex?

Does This Remind You of Anything

Dramatic Necklace Removal

Everyone Has Standards

Extreme Doormat

Fan Disservice 

Finger-suck Healing

Foreshadowing

Friend Vs. Lover

Giggling Villain

Glasgow Grin

Gone Horribly Right

Gory Discretion Shot

Gosh Dang It to Heck!

Goths Have it Hard- parodied 

Great Big Library of Everything- parodied

Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold

Happy Flashback

Hate Sink

Hoist by his own petard/Karmic Death

Hollywood Hype Machine

Homoerotic Subtext

How We Got Here

I’m a Humanitarian

Impact Silhouette

Imperfect Ritual

Indecisive Parody

Intentionally Awkward Title

Jump scare

Literal Man Eater

Mood Whiplash

More Teeth Than the Osmond Family

Nerd Glasses

Never Trust a Trailer 

Nightmare Face

The Power of Friendship

Reality Ensues

Reality is Unrealistic 

Roaring Rampage of Revenge

Rule of Pool

Sex Equals Death- played with then played straight

Sex Sells

Sexy Surfacing Shot

Shut up, Hannibal!

Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror

Stealth Parody

Stuffed Into the Fridge

That Woman is Dead

Took a Level in Badass

Took a Level in Jerkass




Random notes:

Playing with jump scares

Something that pushes back on the male gaze, cheekily. 

The posters don’t show anything about the film other than like…look how hot Megan Fox is!

Maternal grief 🙁

Ironic baptism lololol 

Cleaning the blood off after killing Jonas 

All of the animals watching? Why would the deer be eating flesh??? Or was it just sniffing. 

Zombie mannequin robot statue- my new insta handle

The loop charmMMMM

 

Cohen, Anne. (2018, August 3). Jennifer’s Body & The Feminist Revenge Hero Who Came Too Early. Refinery 29. https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/2018/08/206426/jennifers-body-review-defense-female-revenge-movie 

 

Crucchiola, Jordan. (2019, October 1). ‘It Was a Dark Time’: Megan Fox and Karyn Kusama Revisit the Jennifer’s Body Backlash. Vulture. 

https://www.vulture.com/2019/10/megan-fox-karyn-kusama-talk-jennifers-body-at-beyond-fest.html 

 

Fonseca, Sarah. (2018, November 1). Too Little, Too Late: The Queer Cult Status of Jennifer’s Body Is Bittersweet. Them. https://www.them.us/story/jennifers-body-film-cult-status 

 

Goodsell, Luke. (2019, September 19). The Pieces of Jennifer’s Body – Karyn Kusama on Her Cult Classic at 10. 4:3 Film.  https://fourthreefilm.com/2019/09/the-pieces-of-jennifers-body-karyn-kusama-on-her-cult-classic-at-10/

 

Grady, Constance. (2018, October 31). How Jennifer’s Body went from a flop in 2009 to a feminist cult classic today. Vox. https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/10/31/18037996/jennifers-body-flop-cult-classic-feminist-horror 

 

Ouellette, Jennifer. (2019, September 21). Horror film Jennifer’s Body bombed 10 years ago; now it’s a cult classic. Ars Technica. https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2019/09/a-misunderstood-horror-film-turns-10-we-call-it-a-nerds-frightful-delight/ 

 

Robertson, Lindsay. (2009, September 17). 6 Reasons To Love Jennifer’s Body. Jezebel. https://jezebel.com/6-reasons-to-love-jennifers-body-30955343 


Vary, Adam B. (2016, April 7). “I’m not going away, people.” Buzzfeed. https://www.buzzfeed.com/adambvary/karyn-kusama-the-invitation-girlfight#.awjwLNeRB