Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Bruce Robinson|
|Produced by||Gary Lucchesi|
|Written by||Bruce Robinson|
|Music by||Christopher Young|
|Edited by||Conrad Buff|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
Former Los Angeles policeman John Berlin is teetering toward burnout after the collapse of his marriage. At the invitation of an old friend and colleague, Freddy Ross, Berlin heads to rural northern California, for a job with the Eureka police force. Instead, Berlin prickles his new colleagues, especially John Taylor, who was passed over for promotion in order to make room for Berlin.
After finding a woman's severed hand in a garbage bag at the local dump, Berlin reopens the case of an unidentified murdered girl, nicknamed "Jennifer", which went unsolved despite a full-time six-month effort by the department. Berlin notices scars on the severed hand's fingers and realizes that they came from reading Braille, determining that the girl is blind. He begins to believe the cases are related. Berlin does his best to convince Freddy and his fellow officers of his suspicions, but Taylor, and police chief Citrine, refuse to believe that the hand found at the dump is in any way connected to the other cases.
After consulting his former colleagues in L.A., Berlin discovers that in the previous four years, six women, most of them blind, have either been found dead or are still missing, all within a 300-mile radius of San Diego. He becomes convinced that "Jennifer" was the 7th victim and the girl whose hand was found at the dump is "Jennifer 8", or victim #8. While investigating the links between the dead and missing blind girls, he meets blind music student Helena Robertson, determining that her roommate Amber was the eighth victim. Berlin becomes obsessed with the case, despite an almost complete lack of hard evidence, and becomes romantically involved with Helena, who resembles his ex-wife.
After an attack on Helena, Ross accompanies Berlin on a stakeout at the institute where Helena lives in a dorm, after leaving Helena with Ross' wife Margie. When they see a flashlight shining on the same floor as Helena's apartment, Berlin investigates and is knocked unconscious by the killer, who then shoots and kills Ross with Berlin's .32 pistol. A grueling interrogation by FBI special agent St. Anne makes Berlin figure out that the killer is Taylor, whose killing spree began when he was a San Diego detective and was prompted by a childhood spent attending a school for the blind, where his mother, also blind, was a teacher. Berlin tries to tell St. Anne and Citrine what he has learned, but St. Anne and Citrine refuse to believe him. Berlin is arrested for Ross's murder, but is bailed out by Margie, who believes that Berlin is not the killer.
When Berlin hears that Margie has taken Helena back to the institute, Berlin knows Helena and Margie are in danger, because Taylor believes Helena to be a witness to his abduction of her roommate Amber and intends for her to be his next victim. Margie masquerades as Helena, and is chased by Taylor at the dorm. Taylor catches up and threatens her, then is shocked when the woman that he thinks is Helena turns around and he sees Margie's face - and a revolver pointed right at him. Margie shoots Taylor, avenging her husband's death and closing the case.
- Andy García as Sgt. John Berlin
- Uma Thurman as Helena Robertson
- John Malkovich as Special Agent St. Anne
- Lance Henriksen as Sgt. Freddy Ross
- Kathy Baker as Margie Ross
- Graham Beckel as Sgt. John "J.K." Taylor
- Kevin Conway as Chief Citrine
- Perry Lang as Travis
- Bruce Kenselaar as Bobby
- Nicholas Love as Bisley
- Thomas J. Hageboeck as Max
- Stephen Piemonte II as Trimble
Produced on a $20 million budget, the film grossed $11,390,479 at the box office, making it a financial failure. Robinson, who made the film in an attempt to establish himself in Hollywood, allegedly vowed to never direct again, until he made The Rum Diary in 2011.
- Janet Maslin (November 6, 1992). "Jennifer Eight". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
- "JENNIFER EIGHT (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 1992-11-06. Retrieved 2013-05-04.
- Jennifer 8 at Box Office Mojo Retrieved May 4, 2013
- Brennan, Sandra. "Jennifer Eight (1992)". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
- "Jennifer Eight (1992)". Film4. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
- Jennifer 8 at the Internet Movie Database
- Jennifer 8 at Box Office Mojo
- Jennifer 8 at Rotten Tomatoes