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I am not surprised to see mostly negative reviews for Fulci's 1987 "Carrie" inspired "Aenigma". It does not stand up to his late 70's/early 80's gore epics that you all are familiar with. But wait, let's remember that Fulci is still visually inventive in 87, with lots of great camera moves and flair. The man knew how to tell a story, folks. He may have been a jerk to his colleagues, but what a great craftsman. He was trying to make a US style teenager quasi slasher popcorn movie here, a lighter less horrifying type of deal. I think it should also be said that this was well cast. The beautiful college girls each play their roles with unique personalities, something you won't find in most US films of this type. The geeky girl in the red dress is a hoot, and so is the famous snail scene. Best of all is the English new wave/pop sappy romance song that sets up the audience perfectly. It's an interesting and engaging story, even if it is clearly inspired by Carrie. And unlike so many other horror films, the ending is rewarding, logical AND suspenseful. I still haven't seen a Fulci film that I don't like, and this is no exception...check it out!
Judging by the amount of other user-comments and their content around here, this "Aenigma" (love the alternate spelling!) is a lesser known and thoroughly hated Lucio Fulci film. Well sure, it's not a patch on his earlier work but still it remains a remotely enjoyable bloodbath with some inventive killings (the snails!!) and an appealing cast of young & sexy schoolgirls. The story, although highly unoriginal, is easy to follow, unpretentious and fast-paced. Black sheep of Catholic girl's dorm Kathy is involved in a near-fatal car accident after a prank with the school's gym teacher. Shortly after, a new and extrovert girl makes her entry in the dorm but her mind seems controlled by the comatose Kathy. Through Eva Gordon, Kathy and her spiritual mother see a chance for revenge, starting with the death of the insufferable macho gym teacher. Fulci keeps the gore under control this time and focuses more on the brooding atmosphere. "Aenigma" features some beautiful camera-work, although admittedly, the same camera angles are often re-used several times. The girls' acting is extremely hammy and it's a good thing they all all look so cute, otherwise it would have been a lot more difficult to struggle yourself through the movie. Nothing spectacular or special, but it certainly isn't terrible, neither.
In coma in the local hospital, Kathy is dying. Her spirit, seeking vengeance, reacts and takes possession of the body of a beautiful young student, Eva, new at the college. Then, begins a bloody crusade of revenge on all students that have made fun of her in the past. With the (in)famous Snail attack, that reminds a lot of "the beyond". I'd give this one 6 out of 10.
...ehr, nevermind, I guess I'm a sick puppy. And it seems that I like
tormenting myself too, 'cause last night a strange urge encouraged me
to re-watch AENIGMA. I first saw it 6 years ago, or so, and thought it
was rather bad. And now, 6 years later, guess what? It's still bad.
From the moment the opening credits come on you know it can't be good:
very bad 80's pop music and a girl that's putting make-up which makes
her look even more ugly. Anyway, the story isn't exactly original: Ugly
girl gets to be the victim of a prank by fellow-students and ends up in
a coma. But her soul roams free, occasionally possessing the new girl
in school and killing all the ones involved in the accident.
Welcome to the 80's world of college-cuties: smoking in dorm-rooms with Sylvester Stallone & Tom Cruise-posters on the wall. The acting's really bad all the time and the sound editing's rather sloppy too. But the directing isn't really too bad. There are a few nice camera-moves and two fine top-shots of the school and the hospital (which do look like miniatures, by the way, but still nice). Are there any more reasons to watch this flick? Well, ehr... maybe: the death-by-snails-scene (kinda gross), the museum-sequence, a decapitation, and... a bizarre sex-scene in a dream with our leading-girl biting chunks out of the love-doctor.
But there isn't much gore actually, considering Lucio Fulci made this. The movie itself never gets really boring due to the deaths and frequently intercut freaky shots of the creepy girl in a coma, but the ending seemed like they just (literally) pulled the plug on this movie. It really hurts me a lot to flunk a Fulci-movie, 'cause I'm a fan of some of his movies. Can't bring myself to give AENIGMA less than 4 stars though, because it still feels like a Fulci-movie. If you're only an average horror-fan, you should avoid this movie 'cause this is for Fulci-fans only.
I've seen several movies made by Fulci. And this one is the least terrifying and scary among the others I've watched. For me it was much more easier to watch "Aenigma" then, for example, "Black Cat" or "House by the Cemetery" (which are, of course, the must seen ones). Nevertheless it has everything a good horror movie should have. I really like it, especially the ending, which shows brilliant work of camera and music together. This movie is an example of Lucio Fulci remarkable capability generated from his very own vision of reality to create the unique mood and atmosphere.
A young girl called Cathy has a prank played on her by the other students at the college she attends.In fleeing from her tormentors she is knocked down by a car and in hospital subsequently falls into a deep coma.Deep in her comatose state she finds that she is able to transcend her physical body and possesses at will a new student at the school Eva.It's time for supernatural revenge on people who tormented Cathy."Aenigma" is one of the lesser-known horror flicks made by Italian Godfather of Gore Lucio Fulci.It has some creative and bizarre kill scenes including death by snails and gruesome decapitation via window.The plot of "Aenigma" rips-off "Suspiria","Carrie" and "Patrick" but the film is stylish and enjoyable.Still if you are into gore and over-the-top violence you may be a little disappointed with "Aenigma".7 pranks out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I love bad movies and foreign films and I can find redeeming qualities
in nearly ANY movie... I'm always critical of people who proclaim that
a film is 'the worst movie ever made,' but this one is almost deserving
of being on a 'worst movies' list. The camera-work and acting rescues
it from that fate... just barely. Admittedly, on a scene-by-scene
basis, there were a few effective moments -- but it feels like the
script was written in a single afternoon. Style without substance.
In a very CARRIE-like opening sequence, Kathy (Dragan Bjelogrlic) is transformed from ugly duckling to... 1930s prostitute. She's soon humiliated by her peers and winds up in an accident that results in her becoming a permanent vegetable. She then leaves her body and possesses Eva (Lara Naszinsky), a new student with daddy issues who helps (?) get revenge on the people who scorned Kathy.
Though Fulci has his patented visual flair, the film screams turkey and seems rife for a MST3K treatment. I'm not usually one to mock the screen, but I couldn't help myself with this movie. The biggest problem is that the story and dialogue (or at least the English dubbing) are laughably absurd, yet the actors are playing it straight. It reminds me of an Ed Wood film that's completely oblivious to its own badness. My condolences to the cast, who made the best of what they were given. The film is set in the USA (posters of Tom Cruise, Sly Stallone, Yoda and Snoopy adorn dorm walls), but little care was put into researching American dorm life, and absolutely no care was put into researching medical facilities and jargon. The effects are terrible almost across the board. The three exceptions are a creepy mirror scene, an erotic sex scene that takes a nasty turn and a death-by-snail sequence that's uncomfortably well played (though still ridiculous). Unfortunately, a later scene with a menacing snake wasn't as effective -- we cut from silly reaction shots to inserts of a snake slithering across the floor. Ooga-booga. Then this scene goes from dopey to unintentionally hilarious. To top it all off, it's unclear WHY Kathy possesses Eva. Eva doesn't actually kill anyone (unless she did during one of the numerous times when my mind started wandering) and Kathy never actively takes over her body. I could've choked down a specter-like out of body experience, but the possession seems completely pointless.
There are only three instances when I'd recommend this film. First, if you're gonna have a big party and are looking for a film to mock while you and your friends get hammered. Second, if you're looking for a textbook example of how NOT to write a story. And third, if you're a die-hard Fulci fan. If you're looking for a scary movie or under any other circumstances, beware. Get one of Fulci's earlier horror movies instead.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Bizarre, corny, but reasonable entertaining Fulci rip on "Carrie" takes
the premise one step further. The unfortunate victim of a college prank
gone terribly wrong when those who humiliated her caused poor
Kathy(Mijlijana Zirojevic)to walk out in front of a moving car, she
lies brain-dead in Intensive care on life-support. But, even in these
terrible conditions, the need for revenge drives Kathy's vengeful
spirit to possess the host of nervous-breakdown beauty, Eva Gordon(the
simply gorgeous Lara Naszinsky who I wished would never leave the
screen she's so easy on the eyes)into eliminating those who caused her
harm. When each murder is about to be set-up and executed, Kathy
experiences violent emotion which bewilders Dr. Robert Anderson(Jared
Martin, who many might remember from the short-lived, but great, "War
of the Worlds" series)whose in charge of her care. Kathy should not be
experiencing anything in her worsening state, so when she, all of a
sudden, shows signs of aggression after such states of silence it
doesn't make sense in a clinical way. Meanwhile, we come to understand
that the methods used against each victim stems from their own dreams,
with unusual results. The gym instructor's own reflection attacks(he's
quite an egomaniac for whom Kathy adored and the major culprit in the
dirty prank that went awry)him, one student is attacked by snails(!),
one girl is attacked by a Greek statue(!), another girl can not escape
a room where the vision of her boyfriend beheaded remains on the
bed(she falls to her doom in a state of panic from the dormroom
window), and Dr. Anderson himself experiences a grisly dream where his
new lover, student Eva, chews chunks of flesh from his torso and mouth.
When Eva is sent away after too many violent temper tantrums and rebellious-type behavior(said to perhaps effect the other female students, in a negative was, that attend the St. Mary's Boston college), her lover Anderson starts a relationship with Jenny(Ulli Reinthaler). The doc sure loves the student body..yuk, yuk. So we see the wrath of Eva/Kathy, who escapes from her asylum home, as she confronts Jenny attempting to find Anderson's office. Will Jenny escape where others failed? While I'll be the first to admit that this flick makes little sense whatsoever, it sure has the same visual energy Fulci had a talent for expressing even with the hokiest of story-lines. The bizarre nature of the crimes against the victims is enough(..although most aren't that gory)to warrant at least one viewing. Good electronic score. Hilarious dated foot-note..you'll notice lots of posters featuring popular heroes and movies at that time(Tom Cruise/Top Gun poster, Sly Stallone/Rocky III poster, etc)in the 80's, I'm guessing Fulci added to give his Italian flick a more "American feel."
Kathy's mother, the maid of St. Mary's, seems to have a red glow in her eyes and she plays a heavy role in either stopping the carnage or letting it continue. Either way, she understands that her beloved daughter is on the rampage.
OH MY GOD !! ***************
Kathy is a poor Carrie-like who gets humiliated by her "friends" and had a car accident. Her spirit possessed a new schoolgirl and gets his revenge of the bad guys !
The first 10 minutes are hilarious (especially the song "Head over Meels"...with that "Dream come true...")... The rest of the film is like a TV movie, quite boring and absolutely not scary... Don't miss the appearance of the ghost on a Tom Cruise poster... Anyway, it's a great film to watch with friends, beer, pizzas...
The french dubbing sounds to be made very quickly, Kathy's voice sounds like a man !!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Standard Fulci here, this one being a study in revenge motivation. A young girl was tormented and ultimately nearly killed by a practical joke that went awry. A new patient arrives at a school for disturbed girls, shortly after which all manner of weirdness ensues. Not the most graphic of Fulci's movies, this is more psychological (if you can believe such a thing from the master of splatter) though there is a very strange sequence with snails. It looks horrid but whole time you are just thinking "Get up and brush them off you fool" Overall, satisfyingly bizarre though it gets a little plodding towards the end. Far from Fulci's best.
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