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Phenomena (1985)

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A young girl, with an amazing ability to communicate with insects, is transferred to an exclusive Swiss boarding school, where her unusual capability might help solve a string of murders.

Director:

Dario Argento

Writers:

Dario Argento (story), Franco Ferrini (story) | 2 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jennifer Connelly ... Jennifer Corvino
Daria Nicolodi ... Frau Brückner
Fiore Argento ... Vera Brandt
Federica Mastroianni Federica Mastroianni ... Sophie
Fiorenza Tessari ... Gisela Sulzer
Dalila Di Lazzaro ... Headmistress
Patrick Bauchau ... Inspector Rudolf Geiger
Donald Pleasence ... Professor John McGregor
Alberto Cracco ... UBS Bank Teller
Kaspar Capparoni ... Karl, Sophie's Boyfriend (as Gaspare Capparoni)
Mario Donatone ... Morris Shapiro
Antonio Maimone Antonio Maimone ... EEG Doctor
Davide Marotta Davide Marotta ... Brückner Son
Fulvio Mingozzi Fulvio Mingozzi ... Mr. Sulzer
Francesca Ottaviani Francesca Ottaviani ... Nurse
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Storyline

Jennifer Corvino, the daughter of a famous actor, has had trouble with sleepwalking for some time. Her doctor said that it can develop a split personality. She discovers her alternate personality when she stays at a boarding school that was once the home a Richard Wagner. But someone has been killing the students, and it relates only indirectly to the criminal sanitorium nearby. So it's up to "the two greatest detectives the world has ever known, or should I say, unknown" Written by Scott Hutchins <scottandrewh@home.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When Insects Attack! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | Switzerland

Language:

Italian | Swiss German | Danish

Release Date:

2 August 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Creepers See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,800,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

DACFILM Rome See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (international) | (Creepers cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby | 4-Track Stereo (Cranky Sound System) (Japan theatrical release)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jennifer Connelly said in an interview that she was bitten by the chimp in this film. Apperently during one scene the chimp kept turning around and Dario Argento, not wanting to film her behind, asked Connelly to place her hand on the animal to stop her from turning. But when she attempted to do so, the chimp became enraged and bit her; and then became very hostile toward Connelly for the rest of the film. See more »

Goofs

Lots of the scenes with the larvae, the amount of the larvae changes. One good example is the 'glove', there's first only three larvae on it which she also seems to shook off, then later on when inspecting it under the microscope it seems to be filled with larvae. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Frau Brückner: [attempts to kill Jennifer with a slide] He was diseased; but he was my son! And you have... Why didn't I kill you before? I killed that no-good inspector and your professor friend, to protect him! And now... I'm gonna KILL YOU TO AVENGE HIM! Why don't you call your INSECTS! GO ON! CALL! CALL!
[Inga then attacks Frau and slashes her to death]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The English language credits claim that this film was "shot in Panavision." This film was shot with Panavision cameras and Panavision spherical lenses for the European spherical widescreen format of 1:1.66. See more »

Alternate Versions

The scenes not included in the Anchor Bay DVD release of Phenomena were supposedly omitted because this was requested by the director. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Alien Beasts (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

The Quick and the Dead
(uncredited)
Written by Simon Boswell
Performed by Andi Sex Gang
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Like an eerie, twisted fairy tale....
20 April 2003 | by BillyBCSee all my reviews

(****1/2 out of *****) My personal favorite Argento picture, this stars a young Jennifer Connelly (who would later go on to win a best supporting actress oscar for "A Beautiful Mind") as an American student in a snobby Swiss boarding school that is being terrorized by a brutal serial killer. Helping Connelly find the murderer are crippled Donald Pleasance, his intelligent primate assistant, and the entire insect world, with which Connelly has an unexplainable psychic connection. This movie may be short on sense and logic, but it more than makes up for it with outrageous style and bizarre uniqueness. It's like a twisted fairy tale, with heroic flies, disfigured killer midgets, and vengeful chimpanzees with straight razors. As in Argento's "Opera," some of the use of annoying late ‘80s metal bands (like Iron Maiden and Motorhead) doesn't work half as well as the ominously beautiful score composed by Claudio Simonetti. Argento's never been a great writer of dialogue, so some of the lines seem pretty stilted, and you also have to put up with some so-so acting from a good majority of the cast (also, unfortunately, typical of a lot of Argento's movies), but these things are easy to overlook in the midst of the nightmarish beauty and creepy atmosphere on display here. Also stars Daria Nicolodi in a more wicked role than usual and Patrick Bauchau as a police detective.

HIGHLIGHT: The plot becomes more and more freakishly surreal until Connelly finds herself, first, in an underground tunnel, following the extension cord of a telephone (a scene reminiscent of Alice in a seriously frightening Wonderland), and, later, in a filthy pool full of human bones and maggots.


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