Phenomena

Phenomena

Director: Dario Argento

Cast: Dario Argento, Jennifer Connelly, Donald Pleasence, Daria Nicolodi

     
 

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Declared "my most personal film" by Italy's premier horror director Dario Argento, this production marked the director's return to the eerie thematic territory he pioneered in 1977 with the horror classic Suspiria. Much like that film, Phenomena conforms to the logic of nightmares. Jennifer Connelly stars as Jennifer Corvino, the daughter of an American…  See more details below

Overview

Declared "my most personal film" by Italy's premier horror director Dario Argento, this production marked the director's return to the eerie thematic territory he pioneered in 1977 with the horror classic Suspiria. Much like that film, Phenomena conforms to the logic of nightmares. Jennifer Connelly stars as Jennifer Corvino, the daughter of an American film star, who enrolls in a prestigious Swiss boarding school under the tutelage of the prudish Mrs. Bruckner (played by frequent Argento collaborator and former beau Daria Nicolodi). Possessing a unique telepathic gift, Jennifer is capable of communicating with insects on an instinctive level, often while sleepwalking. This trait soon brands her a "freak" among her snooty classmates but makes her a valuable asset to entomologist Dr. MacGregor (Donald Pleasence), who is currently employing the innate forensic skills of insects to aid police in tracking a serial killer targeting the boarders at Jennifer's school. As Jennifer's tiny friends (including the corpse-hunting Sarcophagus Fly) guide her closer to the murderer's lair, everything from MacGregor's revenge-driven pet chimpanzee to Bruckner's monstrously disfigured son figure into the mix, providing not one but three shocking endings. Shot in English and re-dubbed for various European markets, this graphic thriller was released in drastically edited form as Creepers in the U.S. and England; Argento's original cut runs 110 minutes.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Bugs, blood, and rock & roll are the orders of the day in this creepy-crawly shocker from Dario Argento. Jennifer Connelly plays a teenager with a gift for communicating with insects -- a talent that comes in handy when she is sent to a Swiss boarding school where a killer has been slaughtering the students. Definitely not for the squeamish, Phenomena contains a series of bold, bloody special effects that are graphically captured by cinematographer Romano Albini. Among the best is the opening sequence in which a girl is stabbed on the observatory deck of a waterfall. The butchery amidst the natural beauty provides a chilling visual contrast while the camera holds on to a tremendous shot of the girl shattering a glass partition. The story, written by Argento and Franco Ferrini, is basically a twist on the serial killer formula, but it is effective because of the filmmaker's great sense of style and suspense. The revelation of the killer is well done and is just one of many fantastic shocks included in a scary, extended climax that features a pit of decomposed bodies, a decapitation, a monstrous mutant-child, a deadly insect swarm, and a razor-wielding monkey. In true Argento style, many scenes are backed by a heavy metal soundtrack that includes Iron Maiden and Motorhead, among others. Connelly has certainly grown as an actress since Phenomena, but her striking looks help to carry her performance. Donald Pleasence is excellent to watch, as always, although he is murdered in rather boring fashion considering Argento's talent for creative murder scenes. The costumes were done by Giorgio Armani. Version reviewed is the full 110-minute original cut. The bloodless U.S. version is titled Creepers and runs only 82 minutes.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/27/2008
UPC:
0013131484793
Original Release:
1984
Rating:
NR
Source:
Starz / Anchor Bay
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Colorized]
Time:
1:50:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Audio commentary with writer/director Dario Argento, special make-up effects artist Sergio Stivaletti, music composer Claudio Simonetti and journalist Loris Curci; A Dark Fairy Tale; Luigi Cozzi & the Art of Macrophotography; Dario Argento on the Joe Franklin Show; Claudio Simonetti Music Video Jennifer; Bill Wyman music video Valley; Trailer; Dario Argento bio

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jennifer Connelly Jennifer Corvino
Donald Pleasence John McGregor
Daria Nicolodi Mrs. Bruckner
Patrick Bauchau Inspector Rudolf Geiger
Dalila di Lazzaro Headmistress
Mario Donatone Actor
Eleonora Giorgi Actor
Paola Grooper Schoolgirl
Ninke Hielkema Schoolgirl
Mitzy Orsini Schoolgirl
Francesca Ottaviani Actor
Tanga the Chimpanzee Actor
Duccio Tessari Actor
Franco Trevisi Actor
Fiore Argento Vera Brandt
Federica Mastroianni Sophie
Michele Soavi Police detective
Fausta Avelli Schoolgirl
Marta Biuso Schoolgirl
Sophie Bourchier Schoolgirl
Geraldine Thomas Schoolgirl

Technical Credits
Dario Argento Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Romano Albani Cinematographer
Giorgio Armani Costumes/Costume Designer
Simon Boswell Score Composer
Franco Ferrini Screenwriter
Franco Fraticelli Editor
Andy Sex Gang Score Composer
Maurizio Garrone Production Designer
Nello Giorgetti Production Designer
Goblin Score Composer
Iron Maiden Score Composer
Renato Lori Set Decoration/Design
Pier Antonio Mecacci Makeup
Motörhead Score Composer
Stefano Ricciotti Camera Operator
Claudio Simonetti Score Composer
Luciano Spadoni Production Designer
Sergio Stivaletti Makeup Special Effects
Umberto Turco Production Designer
Rina Villani Set Decoration/Design
Bill Wyman Score Composer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Phenomena
1. Start Program/Main Titles [2:45]
2. Rushing Waters [4:11]
3. The Eight Squadrons of Death [4:45]
4. A Love of Insects [1:47]
5. Girl Talk [5:49]
6. Sleep Walking [8:09]
7. The Alp Winds [5:48]
8. Class Room [5:14]
9. Sophie's Rendezvous [8:36]
10. Insects and the Human Soul [4:45]
11. Lady of the Flies [7:04]
12. The Great Sarcophagus [4:25]
13. Detectives [8:52]
14. The Professor's Assailant [4:03]
15. Under Restraint [:56]
16. Send Money [4:27]
17. Covered Mirrors [8:54]
18. Captive Terror [9:04]
19. The Rescuers [7:11]
20. End Credits [2:43]

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