Who Killed Jessie? (1966) – Vaclav Vorlicek

The 101 Sci-Fi movies has brought me this unexpected treasure. This is a wacky 60s sci-fi romp that is just an absolutely hoot, verging on madcap hilarityof the Blake Edwards variety.

Jessie (Olga Schoberova) is a busty, brainy, blonde beauty (how’s that for alliteration?) who has created a pair of anti-gravity gloves, unfortunately she’s consatantly being hunted down by two villainous fellows, a musclebound guy in a cape, and his cowboy partner.

She’s also a comic book character.

One that is haunting the dreams of Henry (Jiri Sovak) as he struggles to resolve a problem at the local factory where he works when he’s not teaching. His wife, Rosie (Dana Medricka) is a state scientist who is revealing her research and discoveries to her colleagues.

It seems she has created a device that allows you to watch another’s dreams, along with it though she’s developed a serum to remove troubling elements from dreams to create better rested and therefore more productive workers.

But who’s to say what is a troubling element?

There’s also a troubling side effect, apparently the serum brings the elements of the dream out into the real world.

jessie2This process is shown by example of a test on a milking cow, who is having bad dreams about being tormented by gad-flies, which after the injection show up in the real world.

So when Rose catches Henry dreaming about Jessie, as he hopes to learn the secret of the anti-gravity gloves, she injeects him, causing Jessie, and her two nemesis to show up in the real world.

Being comic-book characters though, they only speak in speech bubbles, which provides for some rather comedic moments, as characters pause to read the bubbles, or, if you’re a little kid, complain about not being able to read yet.

As the trio cause havoc in the real world, Henry gets sewpt up in the adventure and the romance, while Rose takes on the side of villainy, trying to control dreams, even putting her husband on trial, holding him responsible for the damages his dreams have caused in the real world.

jessie1The scientists, led by Rosie are out to destroy people’s dreams, uncaring that it can also be a source of great inspiration, until they see the anti-gravity gloves in action, and Rosie catches sight of the muscle-bound villain chasing Henry and Jessie.

The comedy runs from slapstick to sight gags to sharp satirical dialogue. There’s a rather fun sequence that sees Henry in jail, but his prison uniform seems to be loaded with enough spare cash to buy every piece of information he wants from his easily bribed guard.

The film is a lot of fun, and if weren’t for the 101 Sci-Fi Movies list I may never have heard of it.

The dream trio are a lot of fun, poor Jessie’s clothes can’t seem to stay in one piece, and the caped goon and his cowboy cohort are just goofy. You can’t help feeling bad for the one, when Rosie takes a shine to him, takes him home, and tells him that tonight is Thursday (wink wink). The scene goes black, until a speech bubble appears on screen yelling “No!!”

Poor fella.

Shot in black and white, with a swinging 60s soundtrack, this film is one of those that should be sought out, it’s a joyful romp and the gags stand up nicely, even in the 21st century.

Have you seen it? What did you think of it?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s