Jennifer Eight

1992, R, 124 min. Directed by Bruce Robinson. Starring Andy Garcia, Uma Thurman, Lance Henriksen.

REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., Nov. 13, 1992

The story behind Jennifer 8 is nearly as interesting as the film itself, what with the behind-the-scenes infighting between director Robinson and his producers. Rumored to have been a troubled shoot all the way around, Robinson (Withnail & I, How to Get Ahead in Advertising) nevertheless has managed to come up with a darkly solid piece of filmmaking. Garcia is John Berlin, a burnt-out homicide detective who relocates from Los Angeles to the backwaters of Northern California in a last-ditch attempt to come to grips with a job he no longer enjoys, a drinking problem and a wife who's left him in the lurch. Unfortunately for Berlin, small-town life isn't as prosaic as the travelogues have painted it as being: body parts begin turning up from the moment of his arrival, and Berlin, much to the annoyance of his new bosses, thinks he may be on the track of a serial killer with a penchant for blind women. While trying to sort out exactly whether or not there actually is a maniac hanging around town, Berlin runs into, and eventually falls in love with, Helena (Thurman), a blind woman who may be the link he's looking for. Robinson keeps Jennifer 8 moving right along, alternately dropping clues right in our laps and tossing in a red herring or two, but it's the dark town running like a black thread throughout the whole film that keeps your nerves jangling. Nearly half of the action here takes place in dim or unlighted hallways, buildings, streets, and that makes for a very grim story, despite the Garcia/Thurman love interest. Robinson, who wrote the screenplay for The Killing Fields, seems to have a knack for this, and whether you like it or not, he does it well.

More Bruce Robinson Films
The Rum Diary
Johnny Depp stars in this adaptation of one of Hunter S. Thompson's earliest novels, which is set in Puerto Rico in 1960 and soaked in booze

Marc Savlov, Oct. 28, 2011

Withnail & I

Nov. 21, 2017

More by Marc Savlov
An original take on a crisis of faith

Nov. 17, 2017

Treacly feel-good drama nevertheless has helpful life lessons

Nov. 17, 2017


Jennifer Eight, Bruce Robinson, Andy Garcia, Uma Thurman, Lance Henriksen

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