Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 19th, 2011
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 2010
Director: Matthew Reel
Writers: Matthew Reel, Elske McCain
Cast: Jason Foster, Trent Haaga, Elske McCain, Cisiany Olivar, Keith Marcellus Parham, Faith Preston, Matthew Reel, Jeff Sisson, Mike Wyatt
DVD Released: December 13th, 2011
Approximate Running Time: 78 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Troma Team Video
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.95
Synopsis: A mentally challenged woman that is being taken care of by her incestuous family, becomes rabid one day and goes on a killing spree.
Content wise, Jessica Rabid is a film that clearly was made for a niche market and there is no way this film will ever be the kind that is appreciated by masses. First off, it is a story about mentally disable woman and her incestuous relationships with those, who take care of her. Also there is no real attempt at back-story, thus trying to make sense of what any of the characters motivations are all the more futile. Furthermore there is no redeeming qualities about any of the characters, even the film’s protagonist Jessica is void of any sympathy. Every last character in this film is disturbing caricatures of some the most heinous human beings that to grace the silver screen in a very long time.
Structure wise, the film’s plot is as simple as they comes. The film basically alternates between mundane moments of dialog and moments of degradation. And after a few of this sadistic moments of perversion that trick has started to wear thin. Ok we get it these are nasty people, who have long since respected anyone else’s boundaries. Some of this film’s more disgusting moments include a scene with Jessica and female relative that involves peanut butter in a sexual way and a scene in which Jessica has juts filled her teeth so that they are now as sharp as razors and she uses her razor sharp teeth to bit off a penis.
Though this film was shot on a minuscule budget, it is not the more production related aspects like the visuals or the production design that ultimately hurt this film. It is the film’s mediocre screenplay and the lackluster performances of the entire cast, that make this film all the more difficult to digest. It should be noted that at least one performance does leave some kind of lasting impression and that would be Trent Haaga (Terror Firmer, Splatter Disco) in the role of Marley, the pseudo leader of this incestuous family of misfits. Also a special mention should be made about the film’s aforementioned visuals, which do an amazing job recreating a Retro /Grindhouse vibe that the creative talents behind this film wear aiming for.
Overall if you are looking for a film that degrades women at every turn, then this is the film for you. Unfortunately if you were looking for a film that reconnects you with those long lost days when exploitation films ruled the Grindhouse cinema’s, then you have come to wrong place.
Troma presents Jessica Rabid in a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, that retains this film’s intended aspect ratio. This is a good transfer that remains faithful to this film’s intended look.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. Background noise is minimal and dialog always comes through clearly enough to follow.
Extras for this release include a intro before the film with Lloyd Kaufman and Debbie Rochon, a trailer for the film, a behind the scenes slideshow, a slideshow for actress Elske McCain, a few pages from a digital comic book version of Jessica Rabid, a two minute segment titled ‘Lloyd Kaufman’s Outtakes’, eleven minutes of on-set footage and audio commentary with actresses Elske McCain and Cisiany Olivarand graphic artist Gregory Mannino, who offer a couple minor tidbits about the ‘making of’ this production in between moments of them describing what is onscreen. Also included with this release are trailers for other titles also available from Troma and wide assortment of other Tromatic extras. Overall Jessica Rabid gets a serviceable release that is on par with Troma’s other DVD releases.