Jennifer Connelly stars in horror stylist Dario Argento’s spine tingling tale of a young girl who arrives at an eerie Swiss boarding school where the students are being butchered by a vicious serial killer. With the help of wheelchair bound bug-specialist, Dr McGregor (Donald Pleasance), she discovers she has special powers and is able to use them to pursue the killer before she becomes the next victim. With a bevy of beautiful schoolgirls, maggots, mutants, a chimpanzee with a razor and a soundtrack from Bill Wyman, Iron Maiden and Motorhead, Phenomena is Argento’s most outrageous movie.
Dario Argento was born on September 7, 1940 in Rome, Italy. He is the first born son of famed Italian producer Salvatore Argento and Brazilian fashion model Elda Luxardo. Argento recalls getting his ideas for film making from his close knit family and from Italian folk tales told by his parents and other family members, including an aunt who told him frightening bedtime stories. Argento based most of his thriller movies on childhood trauma, yet his own, according to him, was a normal one. Along with tales spun by his aunt, Argento was impressed by stories from The Grimm Brothers, Hans Christian Andersen, and Edgar Allan Poe. Argento started his career writing for various film journal magazines while still in his teens attending a Catholic high school. After graduation, instead of going to college, Argento took a job as a columnist for a roman evening newspaper, Paese Sera. Inspired by the movies, Argento later found work as a screenwriter and wrote several screenplays for a number of… read more
Although they look cool, I haven't liked much about Argento's films except for the deaths (which are always cool, albeit not that frequent). I was pretty much stimulated most of the way through the mystery storyline, and I particularly loved the absurd and satisfying climax. If you've seen Suspiria and want something else to watch, watch this one.
A beautiful, surreal, and dreamlike fantasy punctuated by moments of intense horror. Plus it has deformed killer dwarves, a girl who can communicate with bugs, knife wielding chimpanzee nurses, a tub full of maggot filled dead bodies, and ridiculous comic moments. Gotta' love Argento.
A chilling, melancholy piece of music to Dario Argento’s oft-overlooked grim fairy tale, Phenomena (1985), by Bill Wyman and Terry Taylor.