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I was getting ready to watch the 1978 “ostracized psychic girl terrorizes school” flick Jennifer today, which I shall review for you in the near future, and I realized that, gosh, there are a lot of movies that sort of, to be polite about it, serve as “homages” to 1976’s Carrie. It is not quite to the level of the horror subgenre that is the Exorcist ripoff (what is?), but it’s definitely a thing. I’ve chosen ten to highlight here, and you can probably name at least ten more. Some of these are obvious “homages,” while others have probably just had the misfortune of being movies about psychic killers that were made after 1976, but I’ve included some from both columns in order to take a better look at the phenomenon.

Cathy’s Curse – This story of a little girl who starts using her powers to frighten and kill people after getting a creepy doll that used to belong to her dead aunt manages to rip off not only Carrie, but The Exorcist, The Omen, and Audrey Rose as well. It has been known to make viewers jump out the window, and has been haunting every 50 pack of horror movies for years. It was also featured in Terror on Tape, which made it look better than it is. So of course you need to see it. And you can! Right now! It’s in the public domain and is available here: http://archive.org/details/PhantasmagoriaTheater-CathysCurse1977707-2

The Child – Rosalie not only has telekinesis, she can use it to raise the dead and make them kill people. Also, she’s a brat. This one is a Something Weird release, so you know you want to see it. Read more about it in my review, if you have not already done so, and watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QW6SDl6wCWk

Friday the 13th Part VII – This is the long-awaited Carrie Vs. Jason installment of the F13 series. Tina gets so upset by seeing her father abusing her mother that it gives her telekinesis and she kills him, right at the spot where Jason happens to be dead and chained to the bottom of the lake. Years later Tina feels bad about killing dad, tries to resurrect him, and brings up a soggy Jason instead! Jason of course then goes about doing what Jason does, of course of course, but Tina fights him with her powers. Besides the psychic plot, this movie is notable for being the first appearance of Kane Hodder as Jason. Trailer is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFueYFS9rB4

The Fury – Like Carrie, The Fury is directed by Brian De Palma. This one has two Carries, the good female Carrie played by Amy Irving (who also was in Carrie) and the bad male Carrie played by future soft core schlockmeister Andrew Stevens. Both psychic teens are taken away to be studied by an evil branch of the government. Although this one also stars Kirk Douglas and John Cassavetes, even these two greats can’t overcome the annoyingness of Stephens’s character, at least for me, although I usually am a De Palma fan. The Fury is notable for being mentioned here on my blog despite having a budget. Trailer is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWvgLOLRM00

Jennifer – This girl has a special type of power. She can use her mind to control snakes and make them attack people. The snobby girls at her boarding school should’ve checked themselves before they wrecked themselves. I think Jennifer and Rosalie The Child could have been friends if they weren’t fictional characters. You won’t feel too sorry for Jennifer’s victims, though, when they’re spouting off dialogue like “The rich are always right.” Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Bqg_sMaF0E

The Initiation of Sarah – This is one of the best-remembered TV movies of the 70s. Sarah, who is an outcast, goes off to college with her sister, who is in the cool crowd. The cool kids in the cool sorority allow the sister to pledge, and then start some serious mean girl antics against Sarah. They shouldn’t have done that! Sarah not only has psychic powers that can drop a piano on your head, she is favored by a conniving and vengeful Shelley Winters who remembers the last time someone from Sarah’s family went to that school…watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlLJLuBQKAA

Patrick – Patrick is a boy Carrie who, despite being in a coma, uses his telekinetic powers for revenge and profit. I have not actually seen this one yet, but it is well-regarded in horror fandom. Goblin did a score for the Italian release, which is always a good thing, and there was an unofficial Italian sequel called Patrick Still Lives, which is a great thing. The fact that there was an unofficial Italian sequel is great, I mean. Those movies just tickle me to death for some reason. I’d like to think I’d be just as amused if it happened to my personal real horror movie that I made that cost a bunch of money to make that they made a plate of very stylish but nonsensical spaghetti out of. But until I make a movie, and the Italian horror industry crawls out of its grave, we’ll not know. Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UYFLEZJ78A

The Spell – This is the plus sized version of Carrie. Susan Myers plays a girl who is overweight, and, because kids are so nice to anyone who doesn’t look a certain way, she is the most popular girl in school. Just kidding, they try to destroy her and she takes bloody revenge on everyone in sight until someone stops her in a terrific twist at the end. Lee Grant and a very young Helen Hunt also star. I reviewed it here. I couldn’t find a trailer, but the whole darn thing is up on Hulu (with “limited commercial interruption” no doubt): http://www.hulu.com/watch/92741

Suffer, Little Children – Somebody pawns a murderous mute Carrie off on a home for troubled kids, and she begins beating the other kids up with her mind right away. Not only that, she ends up possessing them all before Jesus, yes, that Jesus, shows up and layeth down the smacketh. This is a strange film (you don’t say?), made by an acting coach to showcase her students’ talents. It should be seen for all the reasons I have listed above, and several others. I could not find a trailer for this one, but you can buy it here if you dare: http://www.twistedanger.net/movies/devils-witches-demons_c20/dvd-suffer-little-children-alan-briggs-1983_p1022/

Tourist Trap – Chuck Connors plays the psycho psychic here, against type as he was usually a tough guy/good guy I believe. Here he owns a roadside museum and kills visitors to his roadside attraction with his powers just because he likes it so much, and because he is crazy and a dickhole. This is regarded as a decent slasher, and also features the nightmare fodder of lots and lots of creepy mannequins moving about. I like it a lot and, while I haven’t watched it in a few years, I intend to see it again soon because they made a Rifftrax of it. Hurrah! You can read my review here and see a trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwA1yNpcTwA

What other Carries can you think of? I would add Fear No Evil under honorable mention, along with Aenigma and Boardinghouse. Which of these, if any, is your favorite of the sub-subgenre?

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