Jack Be Nimble
©1992 Essential Productions


Genre: Horror

Rating: R

Abandoned by their birth parents (Patricia Phillips and Paul Minifie), Dora (Hannah Jessop) is adopted by a nice couple named Mr. and Mrs. Birch (Gilbert Goldie and Brenda Simmons), while Jack (Sam Smith) is adopted by a cruel and sadistic couple (Tony Barry and Elizabeth Hawthorne). Jack's childhood is one of cruel torment by his stepparents and his four twisted stepsisters, while Dora's childhood is a relatively normal one. As a teenager, Dora (Sarah Smuts Kennedy) falls from a cliff and, when she awakes, she is tormented by strange voices in her head. Luckily, a fellow psychic named Teddy (Bruno Lawrence) helps her control her new powers and they become lovers. Meanwhile, Jack (Alexis Arquette) hypnotizes his adoptive family with a device he created in metal shop. He has his stepfather lay down in front of a speeding truck and has his stepmother climb a tree, where she falls to her death. Sensing that Jack needs her, Dora asks Teddy to help her find him but when they locate Jack, Teddy immediately realizes that Jack is trouble. Pregnant with Teddy's child but forced to choose between Teddy and Jack, Dora goes with Jack to find their birth mother. Unfortunately, while they're away, Jack's stepsisters come looking for him and brutally murder Dora's stepmother. When Jack and Dora locate their birth mother, Dora feels sorry for her when she realizes that her mother is haunted by the same voices that almost drove her mad but Jack feels nothing but resentment. Next, they locate their birth father and Jack uses his device to hypnotize him into killing himself by doing a thousand sit-ups. Dora finally realizes how scared and angry Jack is and tries to calm him down but Jack's stepsisters attack them and kidnap Jack. Dora runs to Teddy for help and they track down the stepsisters but the stepsisters kill Teddy. The stepsisters try to kill Dora but she somehow channels her psychic powers into a destructive force that fries their brains. Finding Jack hanging from a tree, Dora turns to the only person left in her life and calls out to her birth mother with her mind. The movie ends with Dora's birth mother happily visiting her near the end of her pregnancy and the two of them sharing a psychic link with Dora's unborn child.

Type of mind control: Hypnosis

Mind control scenes:
The first mind control scene is when Jack uses the device he created to hypnotize his stepparents and have them kill themselves. He makes his father lay down in the middle of the road, where he's run over by a truck, and he makes his mother believe she's a cat and climb out onto a tree branch that collapses under her weight and sends her to her death. The second mind control scene is when Jack hypnotizes his birth father and has him kill himself by trying to do a thousand sit-ups.

Subjective Rating: 3 out of 5
The mind control in this movie is pretty good but not stellar. The hypnotic device Jack uses is very hokey, consisting of nothing more than five blinking lights, but its effect is portrayed reasonably well. The scene with Jack's stepparents and four stepsisters staring blankly at the lights is well done and the scene with Jack convincing his stepmother that she's a cat is memorable. Unfortunately, the movie concentrates more on Dora's psychic powers than Jack's hypnotic device and Dora's psychic powers don't appear to include mind control so the actual mind control scenes in the movie are scarce.

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