Summer of Fear


linda blair summer witch zits
 Credit it to talent or dumb luck, only a small minority of child stars are fortunate enough to transition from the precocious years, through the awkward adolescent stage, to become working adult actors. Most child stars never make the full transition, but a lot do manage to crank out some unintentionally hilarious work during their declining post-pubescent years. Case in point, LINDA BLAIR‘s star turn in WES CRAVEN‘s 1978 made-for-TV movie SUMMER OF FEAR. With her round face framed in a bad perm ripped off the head of MISS PIGGY, BLAIR plays Rachel Bryant, your typical late ’70s teen, who’s into horses named Sundance and making ill-fitting dresses for the upcoming dance. Rachel’s perm becomes more frazzled when cousin Julia from the Ozarks comes to spend the summer following the death of her family. Seemingly plain Julia appears nice and all at first; but when Rachel breaks out with a mysterious case of facial herpes, it doesn’t take Julia too long to steal her man and look better in the moo-moo dress Rachel had spent so much time sewing. While the rest of the family is taken by Julia’s charm, pox-marked Rachel is not buying her Cracker Barrel routine. After she finds a dildo-shaped voodoo doll made of her horse’s hair in Julia’s drawer, Rachel consults the next-door neighbor who just happens to be an “expert in the occult,” and he confirms her suspicions that Julia is indeed a bitch witch. Sadly, no one listens to Rachel’s claims, and Julia manages to off the horse, seduce the father, and cut the brakes in the mother’s car during the chilling mountain-side climax.


    • Sundance the horse freaking out at Rachel’s big show
    • Rachel’s speedy transformation from awkward teen stage to full-blown Garbage Pail Kid face
    • Julia seducing the father
    • Rachel and Julia’s throwdown in the darkroom
    • Julia’s bewitching color contacts
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    Amanda By Night
    13 years ago

    This movie is super fun. It’s not my favorite Wes Craven TVM (I reserve that for the thoughtful and underrated Chiller), but it’s never not interesting. EVER. Plus, didn’t Lee Purcell go on to play one of the mom’s in Valley Girl, like, 3 years later?!?
    And in indelible scenes, you may want to mention ANYTIME Fran Drescher was in shorts. Her pantyhose were something else!

    I’m so loving all the TV Movie reviews. I think you’ll agree, but this is where I got most of my trauma as a child! KEEP IT UP!

    13 years ago

    I love this movie too. Own the VHS. Has anyone seen the new Modern cover art? It never mentions this is a TV movie from 25 years ago! They act like its a new release starring linda Blair and directed by Wes Craven! Most people probably rented this, popped it on and went “What the Hell is THIS????”  I have a soft spot for Linda Blair and TV movies though so I was hooked.

    Fran Drescher! OhmyGAWWWWWWWWWWWWWD!