Pop Classics

Extra Salty: Jennifer’s Body
Frederick Blichert


Paperback | Oct 2021 | ECW Press | 9781770415898 | 152pp | 178x121mm | RFB | AUD$24.99, NZD$29.99

Jennifer's Body was a critical and box office failure. Bilchert makes a case for why it's so much more than B-grade trash, traces how it got short shrift, and chronicles its comeback in the wake of shifting attitudes toward women, abuse, queer love, and female friendship.

Megan Fox, a diabolic indie rock band, toxic friendship, fluid sexuality, feminist reckoning, and a literal man-eater in the body of a high school cheerleader: Jennifer’s Body has it all Featuring an original interview with director Karyn Kusama What would be an easy sell in 2021 — women at the helm (screenwriter Diablo Cody, director Karyn Kusama), a bankable cast (Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried), and a deceptively complex skewering of gender politics — was a box office flop in 2009.

In Extra Salty, Frederick Blichert flips the script on how Jennifer’s Body was labeled a failure to celebrate all that is scrumptious (as Jennifer would say) about it: supernatural horror, dark comedy, queer love, and a nuanced handling of gendered violence. The movie could have been to the aughts what Heathers was to the eighties, and it’s finally getting its due — whether in the flood of tenth-anniversary praise, the parade of Jennifer Halloween costumes, or Halsey’s nod to it (Killing Boys) on her platinum-selling album. With insight into the genre’s cinematic tropes, our current cultural reckoning with misogyny, and an original interview with director Karyn Kusama, Extra Salty solidifies the status of Jennifer’s Body as a cult classic. Jennifer’s Body was a critical and box office failure. Bilchert makes a case for why it’s so much more than B-grade trash, traces how it got short shrift, and chronicles its comeback in the wake of shifting attitudes toward women, abuse, queer love, and female friendship.