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Jawbreaker (1999)

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Plot Summary:
"In what was meant as a harmless birthday prank, three of Reagan High School's most popular girls, Julie, Foxy, and Courtney pretend to kidnap their friend, the latter shoving a jawbreaker into the victim's mouth to keep her from screaming. Their plan goes awry when the girl accidently swallows the jawbreaker, choking to death. The cool and calculating Courtney tries to cover the crime but is found out by school geek Fern Mayo. In return for her silence, Courtney transforms the gawky Fern into the stylishly beautiful Vylette, leaving the conscience-stricken Julie out in the cold, threatening to set her up for the girl's murder if she breaks her silence."

Review by
Phil Davies Brown
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Review Date: 12 June 2005 My Rating: out of 5


Yes, I know what you're thinking; Has this guy lost his mind? but despite it's sugary coating, Darren Stein's 1999 movie is really a horror affair at heart.

The grim plot sees three seniors at Reagan High kidnap the most loved girl in school, only to discover that they have accidentally killed her by shoving a jawbreaker into her throat. The girls then begin a cover up, only to discover that the most unpopular girl in school has walked in on their plans, and they promise to make her popular if she agrees to keep their secret.

A fan of all things dark, Darren Stein cast Carol Kane as the crazy principal, as he had been a life long fan of her work after seeing her in 'When a Stranger Calls'. He also cast Pam Grier who has a huge following in the exploitation and horror genres. For his trio of terror he cast 'Buffy' and 'Angel' star Julie Benz, Rebecca 'Urban Legend' Gayheart and Rose McGowan of 'Scream' fame who went on to star in 'Charmed'. The girls are all great in their respective roles with Rose McGowan proving that she can play an evil little bitch exceedingly well.

The supporting cast is rounded out by horror regulars including Tatyana Ali, Ethan Erickson and even Marilyn Manson, and if you still think I'm just clutching at straws, how about the fact that every member of the Purr family was in either 'Carrie' or 'The Rage: Carrie 2'.

In all seriousness though the twisted teen tale has a dark streak through it, and manages to be witty as well, making it better than your average teen comedy. The fact that the main cast list reads like a who's who of horror only serves to make it even better.

A dark look at high school life which the cast themselves described as 'Heathers meets Clueless'. If Anchor Bay can release 'Heathers' then there's no reason why horror fans can't enjoy this. It's a little different to what some of you will be used to but it's great to see so many genre regulars working together.

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