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Author Topic: Phenonema aka creepers (1985)
amaranth
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Just watched this little gem by Dario Argento starring Jennifer Connolly, Donald Pleasance and Patrick Bach. Set in Switzerland its about a girl who has a famous father and is sent to boarding school, were there has been lots of murders of young girls. Jennifer has the ability to communicate with insects and they help her to find the killer with the help of the professor (pleasance). Goodfilmin the usuall Argento way with music from Iron Maiden and Motorhead
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Crash
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Amaranth, I hope that you saw the uncut version of "Phenomena." ("Creepers," the U.S. cut distributed by New Line Cinema, has a run time of 82 minutes, compared to the original 110, and is missing whole chunks of plot.) While it is not one of my favorite Argento films, I like it a lot. It's great to have Connelly, Nicolodi, and Pleasance in a film together; the opening crane shot is fantastic (second best shot in any Argento movie after the Louma crane shot in "Tenebrae"); and the plot is just so freakin' nuts--telephathically controlled insects, a monkey, Donald Pleasance, weird boarding school in Switzerland, mad dog killer, thrash metal music...in other words, everything you'd want in a Dario Argento film.

I wish Argento would get some of his old school mojo back. As much as I've liked a few of his newer things like "The Card Player, ""Do You Like Hitchcock?" and his two "Masters of Horror" episodes ("The Third Mother" is just dreadful--don't get me started on it [Smile] ), he seems tired and bored, not caring to be flamboyant anymore. Pity...

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amaranth
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Im pretty sure it was uncut going to have to look into that one, excellent film just the same my fave Argento film being Demons. Still to see the card player
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Crash
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I don't consider "Demons" to be technically an Argento film, much as the original "Dawn of the Dead," also produced by Argento, is not really an Argento film. Lamberto Bava directed "Demons," and I think that it has his stamp on it.

"The Card Player" is not for all tastes, and if you are used to flashy, over-the-top Argento, it might disappoint you. It's well filmed and certainly really interesting (Stefania Rocca, in a part intended for Asia Argento, is one of my favorite Argento female leads), but plays out more like a police procedural--and then it has a typically nutty Argento ending. [Smile]

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Helen_S
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Yeah, I see Demons as a Lamberto film too. Phenomena is my fave Argento flick, but I love most of them. Still got a couple left to see. Oh I liked The Third Mother in a so bad it's good way [Razz]

Crash, I'd be interested to hear what you think of The Stendhal Syndrome? Can't recall a film having disturbed me quite so much. It makes me feel sick in the stomach all through it. I watched it the second time thinking it would have lost some of its effect but it was the same  - Great film tho [Razz]

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aTomiK
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amaranth, was it the first time for you?
Such a fantastic movie, love the soundtrack too.

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Crash
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Great thread--it's always fascinating to discuss the legendary Argento. Helen, I am fascinated that "Phenomena" is your favorite of his films. Is it because it's just such a crazy sort of "best of" highlights reel for Argento? I love most of them too, and it's hard to pick favorites, but for me, his top-tier masterpieces are "Suspiria," most folks' favorite and a great film by anybody's standard; "Deep Red, the best of his gialli; "Tenebrae," right up there with "Deep Red"; "Inferno," just so insane; and my wild card choice of "Four Flies on Grey Velvet," also insane. After that you have a whole bunch of great films like "Phenomena," "Cat O'Nine Tails," "Bird with the Crystal Plumage," and "Two Evil Eyes. I really like "The Stendhal Syndrome," though I have not seen it in many years. I'd put it just below "Opera" in the second-tier "great" films. I agree with you: "Stendhal" is truly disturbing on quite a few levels; the most disturbing for me was watching dad have his daughter, Asia, do the stuff that she does in the movie.
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Burnett
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I liked Phenomena, although I prefer his more visually stylized films like Suspiria. Love that one.
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