Synopsis: Brace yourself for an all-new look at one of the most original films ever from writer/director Dario Argento, an insane epic of terror, wonder, and jaw-dropping carnage. Jennifer Connelly stars as an outcast student at a Swiss boarding school who discovers both her telepathic power to control insects and the gore-soaked trail of a razor-wielding killer. Can a kindly professor (Donald Pleasence of Halloween) now harness her ‘gift’ to stop the bloodbath of a psychopath? Daria Nicolodi (Tenebre), Dalila Di Nazzaro (Flesh For Frankenstein) and Fiore Argento (Demons) co-star – along with a pounding soundtrack by Goblin, Bill Wyman, Iron Maiden and Motorhead – in the shocker that remains a favorite of Argento fans as well as one of the most brutally original horror thrillers of the ’80s.

Phenomena 3.0

eyelights: Goblin’s motion picture score.
eyesores: the direction, script, editing, cast, pacing, soundtrack – you name it, it was sucky.

Holy crap… this is one phenomenally terrible picture.

And yet it’s the original, unedited version (it was originally  released as ‘Creepers’ in the U.S. with an astonishing 30 minutes’ worth of footage excised from it). It’s so bloody awful that I can’t even be bothered to write it up; it would pain me needlessly – and I’m no sucker for punishment.

But let me put things in perspective: a chimpanzee saves the day. (Well, at least it’s a chimp with scissors. Um… for what that’s worth!)

God this was horrible. Utter rubbish. Complete nonsense.

The only thing worth mentioning is Goblin’s synth-laden score. It didn’t always work, and it’s certainly not their best, but at least there was a modicum of quality and style to it. Unfortunately, it was marred by an ill-suited hard rock/metal soundtrack that overlaid scenes that didn’t suit the music at all; it was totally jarring and awkward.

My understanding is that ‘Phenomena’ is one of Argento’s most popular works. Frankly, I don’t get it: this film is bursting with such wholesale ineptitude that it should have been called ‘Phenominable’.

Sigh… the only way I can survive the agony of having watched it is by singing “Phenomena” to myself to the tune of “Mahna Mahna”:

“Too too, too too too”
“Too too too too…”

At least that puts a smile on my face.

Date of viewing: November 14, 2012

4 responses to “Phenomena

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