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Foreign Comedy - Czechoslovakia - Who Wants To Kill Jessie?


Who Wants To Kill Jessie ?
Kdo Chce Zabit Jessii?
Karel Effa, Vladimir Mensik, Olga Schoberova
Directed by Vaclav Vorlicek
Czechoslovakia 1966
Black and White
Czech with English subtitles
Facets Video 2006
80 minutes

Somebody at Facets Video has a very bizarre sense of humor. After releasing the very weird and rather funny foreign comedy DVD Lemonade Joe, they've released the very bizarre Czech comedy Who Wants To Kill Jessie ? on DVD. This is your basic married man falls in love with comic strip girl, man meets comic strip girl in real life, and, well, it gets weirder and funnier from there.

Doctor Berankova (Dana Medricka) has invented a serum that allows to chase an animal's bad dreams so it can live happier and be more productive. Unfortunately, the dream that is chased away becomes reality. Her husband Henry, another scientist, has a problem keeping some kind of anvil up in the air and fixates on the anti-gravity gloves he has seen in a comic strip featuring scientist Jessie. When he falls asleep, he dreams bad guys want the secret of the gloves from him but gets rescued by Jessie, who only speaks in cartoon bubbles, before it is too late. Lucky him as Jessie, played by Olga Schoberova is a dead ringer for Brigitte Bardot (back when she looked like a babe, not like now).

Unfortunately, since this is Thursday (aka intimacy night for the scientist couple) his wife finds out about his dream and injects with a solution that gets rid of the dream, unaware that the dream will become part of the real world. You can imagine Henry's surprise when he wakes up next to Jessie and there are other superhero baddies in his apartment. This is where the fun starts as real people and cartoon characters, including a baddie dressed up as some sort of Superman and a cowboy, live in the same world.

Who Wants To Kill Jessie ? is basically a farce with some cartoon science-fiction thrown in. Director and writer Vaclav Vorlicek certainly knows how to make an original comedy that surprises the viewer at every twist and turn. There is a social message hidden from the iron curtain censors of the time in this foreign comedy and it is about the importance of being able to fulfill your dreams.

This is not a classic foreign comedy DVD but it is fun. The picture quality here is pretty good and the translation into English subtitles usually fine.

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