An American expatriate in Rome witnesses an attempted murder. He learns later that it's connected to an ongoing murder spree in the city, and decides to do his own investigation, despite being personally targeted by the killer.
Enrico Maria Salerno
A newspaper reporter and a retired, blind journalist try to solve a series of killings connected to a pharmaceutical company's experimental, top-secret research projects and in so doing, both become targets of the killer.
A young man tries to help a teenage European girl who escaped from a clinic hospital after witnessing the murder of her parents by a serial killer and they try to find the killer before the killer finds them.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The trained chimpanzee that plays Inga escaped into the woods at one point during shooting. After a few hours of searching she was found and returned to the set. See more »
(at around 45 mins) The professor's comments about the hyperactive behavior of his insects are accompanied by close-ups of different bugs moving around in their cages very quickly. However, in close-ups of Jennifer listening to him, many of the same bugs can be seen in their cages behind her, and they are completely still. See more »
[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]
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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 »
Original version, released in Italy and other parts of Europe, includes a number of scenes left out of the American version, mostly of key dialogue including:
Jennifer tells her roommate how her mother left with her lover on Christmas when she was eight;
Jennifer eats baby food and explains that she is a vegetarian;
John McGregor shows his book on communicating with insects and explains how insects can be used to help solve crimes;
Andi Sexgang is shown on Sophie's television performing "The Quick and the Dead";
Motorhead's "Locomotive" continues to play in the background during the scene where Inspector Geiger visits the asylum;
Iron Maiden's "Flash of the Blade" continues to play as Diezla Sulzer is pursued by the killer in a suspense sequence cut from the U.S. version;
Morris Shapiro's unavalability is played like a horror cliche in the U.S. version; here Jennifer is told he is with his family for Passover.
Jennifer is given an electroencephalogram after her first sleepwalking attack.
This movie seems to be either loved or hated. Those that love it seems to be Argento fans that have succumbed to the style and imagination. Those that hate it seems to get annoyed at script flaws, soundtrack, actors etc.
Most of the criticizers seems to have missed the point. Dario Argentos movies is supposed to be watched and experienced, not dissected looking for flaws etc. which is true for most movies. I have the ability to turn the criticizer off when I watch movies, especially when it comes to horror/fantasy/scifi. They're movies, not documentaries, and they're not supposed to reflect your reality. Think of them as dreams, and we all know that dreams are most often illogical, strange and wonderful. That's the frame of mind I have when I watch Argento movies. And Phenomena is great in that aspect since it builds upon imagination.
Phenomena was the first Argento movie I watched, and it turned me into a big fan of his work. Donald Pleasance is great as useful, and Jennifer Connelly made many of us aware of how much we all want to meet her (at least the male audience). I watch this movie in much the same way as I did Suspiria (masterpiece), as a fantasy horror, a sweet nightmare. The first scene, where the Danish girl misses the bus and looks for help is unforgettable. The fact that the rest of the cast is a bunch of young and inexperienced teenagers is something most of the viewers familiar with Italian horror are used to.
Would I recommend this? Absolutely, it's one of the better Argento movies. Who would like it? Anybody with an open mind and interested in prime italian fantasy/horror.
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