Jessicka Rabid: A Gritty, Sleazy Throwback to 70’s Exploitation Horror


Warning! This movie is for mature audiences only! Viewer Discretion is advised!

A product of her incestuous dysfunctional family, Jessicka has been reduced to something less than human and assumes the role of family pet. After years of abuse by her family and neighbors, Jessicka sees an opportunity for revenge.

Starring Troma alumni Trent Haaga and Elske McCain, Jessicka Rabid was written by Matthew Reel (also the director) and Elske McCain, who plays our socially challenged, abused, and tormented lead, Jessicka. Elske starred in another Troma great: Poultrygeist. Haaga is most well known for writing Deadgirl, but he has starred in a multitude of Troma pictures like Terror Firmer and Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV. Together they team up to create a film that is unique in its approach and technique, not to mention the subject matter itself.

 The movie revolves around three cousins: Marley, Brad, and Abby. The three adult cousins hold their social awkward cousin Jessicka almost hostage in their house. She is forced to live in a dog cage next to their other dogs. She is fed dog food and is treated in the most disgusting, depraved ways. She is rented out to a porno production so that the one cousin can earn some cash. While in her cage, Jessicka is bit by one of the rabid dogs in a nearby cage. Things quickly go down hill for all of the cousins and some of their friends. Decapitations, blood, and gore are in abundance once Jessicka accepts her inner demons and lets them out to play.

First off, I just want to say that not everyone is going to enjoy this movie. Between the subject matter and how it was filmed, there will be many horror fans who will be turned off. That is understandable. There are some production issues (poor sound quality being one), but one thing this film does do is give us a glimpse of what this team is capable of.

One of the things that I really like about the film was the gritty way it was filmed. Gritty, purposely out of focus in spots, and grainy, the film style adds to the exploitation feel of the film. It was almost like it was a 70’s exploitation film that you’d go see at a drive-in (yes, I just dated myself). The film style adds to the ambience of the film, creating a sleazy feel to the movie which was perfect when taken in context with the story. There are a few areas where the filming gets a little artsy, which may cause some viewers to shy away from finishing the movie.

 A note on the “Adult Only” notice at the beginning: there are some nude scenes, but the majority of the sex (there is also an implied rape scene) takes place off of the camera. We all know what’s going on, but it is not portayed in the film. I think that if they would have shown everything, this would have been an entirely different type of film and a poor one at that.

If you are looking for something different and you are like me (enjoy watching and promoting lower budget movies – how else will these folks ever get to make movies with larger budgets?), take a look at this film. The cast and crew of this production definitely show promise and I would really enjoy watching anything else that they put out together or individually.  Elske and Trent give us a solid performance, and the creativity and horror of some of the final kills is not to be missed.




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