Phenomena

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 ...
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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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Special Features

Interactive menu and scene index
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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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/1/2005
  • UPC: 625282904091
  • Original Release: 1984
  • Rating:

  • Source: Legacy Entertainment
  • Region Code: 0
  • Time: 1:50:00
  • Format: DVD

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
Eleonora Giorgi
Paola Grooper Schoolgirl
Ninke Hielkema Schoolgirl
Mitzy Orsini Schoolgirl
Francesca Ottaviani
Tanga the Chimpanzee
Duccio Tessari
Franco Trevisi
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
Motorhead 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

Side #1 --
1. Chapter 1 [5:14]
2. Chapter 2 [7:53]
3. Chapter 3 [7:32]
4. Chapter 4 [5:33]
5. Chapter 5 [6:55]
6. Chapter 6 [8:23]
7. Chapter 7 [4:35]
8. Chapter 8 [6:22]
9. Chapter 9 [6:09]
10. Chapter 10 [7:12]
11. Chapter 11 [7:47]
12. Chapter 12 [6:15]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Scene Selection
   Trailer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    It takes an Open Mind, But...

    This is one of the finest films you will ever see. Phenomena centers around a young american girl who ended up studying in a private Swiss school. In the ''Swiss Transylvania'' as a matter of fact. Anyway she is the daughter of a famous actor, he is on a shoot somewhere, and she ends up being chased by a local killer. You see this girl has a secret though, she communes with insects on a mental level. Hmmmmm? anyway she meets and old entomologist, how convinient, who has a chimp that is his nurse. Well here is what is so cool, the bugs, the chimp they get there chances to act dramatic scenes in this film. It is cool, well people flock to see humans like Brad Pitt completely devoid of any acting skill, when they could be pondering the preformances offered by these other spieces, the ones that get less screen time. Any way it's got it's turns it's shocks, it's grossness, it's beauty, it's triumphant save the day ending(thanks to, you have to see it) and it is about bugs. Oh and check out how misplaced the motorhead song appears. Buy the way any movie with Goblin music in it is worhty of all high praise.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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