Movie Review – Jennifer 8 (1992)

A friend sent me a package in the mail. When I opened it, it was the DVD of Jennifer 8. She raved about the movie and wanted me to watch it. Last Saturday, I popped the 1992 crime thriller into the DVD player. I was not disappointed.

John Berlin (Andy Garcia) has recently transferred to the police department in the small town of Eureka, California from the mean streets of Los Angeles. He overhears a call on the police band and drives to the crime scene at a local dump. The body of a male drifter was found with his neck sliced. John is reunited with his old friend, Freddy Ross (Lance Henriksen). As the two partners search for the weapon used in the crime, a police officer finds a hand in a garbage bag.

John analyzes the hand and discovers it to be that of a female. As he discusses the evidence with other police officers at the station, they mention how it reminds them of a case titled “Jennifer”. The body of a female victim was found without her hands or head. After long hours and extensive funds were spent trying to solve the case, it was dropped and filed away.

As John searches for the identity of the victim, his peers tell him to drop the case. Unwilling to do so, will John be able to solve the mystery? What cost will be paid to find the killer? Will it be John’s sanity, his long friendship with Freddy, or even his life?

Written and directed by Bruce Robinson, this murder mystery includes Uma Thurman, Kathy Baker, Bob Gunton, and John Malkovich.

Uma Thurman plays Helena Robertson, a blind woman who is interviewed by Berlin and Ross as a potential witness in the case. This role may be early in Uma’s acting career, but you can see flashes of brilliance in this role. Bob Gunton plays the headmaster of the institute for the blind and you can see his villainous side, one that he was born to play in other movies in the early 1990s like Shawshank Redemption. John Malkovich plays a small but pivotal role in the film as St. Anne. He brings his usual frenetic energy to this role in the film.

Jennifer 8 will keep you guessing the identity of the killer until the very end of the movie. I paid attention to the clues but was unable to guess who it was. The movie has many twists and the end is one you need to see to believe. Spoiler alert – it’s a jaw dropper!

After watching the film, I told my friend that this was a hidden gem and she agreed with me. I told her truthfully that they don’t make movies like this anymore. A lot of people missed this in the theater during its theatrical run back in 1992. Jennifer 8 is available on Amazon Prime if you want to watch it.