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Phenomena (film)

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Phenomena
Phenomena-poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster by Enzo Sciotti[2]
Directed byDario Argento
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Franco Ferrini
  • Dario Argento
Produced byDario Argento
Starring
CinematographyRomano Albani
Edited byFranco Fraticelli
Production
company
DAC Film
Distributed byTitanus[3]
Release date
  • 31 January 1985 (1985-01-31) (Italy)
Running time
116 minutes
CountryItaly[1]
LanguageEnglish[4]

Phenomena is a 1985 Italian supernatural horror giallo film directed by Dario Argento and starring Jennifer Connelly, Daria Nicolodi, and Donald Pleasence. The plot concerns an American girl at a remote Swiss boarding school who discovers she has psychic powers that allow her to communicate with insects, and uses them to pursue a serial killer who is butchering young women at and around the school.

After its release in Italy, Phenomena was purchased for distribution in the United States by New Line Cinema, who excised over 20 minutes of the original cut, releasing it under the alternate title Creepers. This shortened version was also released in the United Kingdom the following year in the spring of 1986.

Discover more about Phenomena (film) related topics

Dario Argento

Dario Argento

Dario Argento is an Italian film director, producer, screenwriter, actor and critic. His influential work in the horror genre during the 1970s and 1980s, particularly in the subgenre known as giallo, has led him to being referred to as the "Master of the Thrill" and the "Master of Horror".

Jennifer Connelly

Jennifer Connelly

Jennifer Lynn Connelly is an American actress. She began her career as a child model before making her acting debut in the 1984 crime film Once Upon a Time in America. After having worked as a model for several years, she began to concentrate on acting, starring in a variety of films including the horror film Phenomena (1985), the musical fantasy film Labyrinth (1986), the romantic comedy Career Opportunities (1991), and the period superhero film The Rocketeer (1991). She received praise for her performance in the science fiction film Dark City (1998) and playing a drug addict in Darren Aronofsky's drama film Requiem for a Dream (2000).

Daria Nicolodi

Daria Nicolodi

Daria Nicolodi was an Italian television and film actress and screenwriter.

Donald Pleasence

Donald Pleasence

Donald Henry Pleasence was an English actor. He began his career on stage in the West End before transitioning into a screen career, where he played numerous supporting and character roles including RAF Flight Lieutenant Colin Blythe in The Great Escape (1963), the villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the James Bond film You Only Live Twice (1967), SEN 5241 in THX 1138 (1971), and the deranged Clarence "Doc" Tydon in Wake in Fright (1971).

Switzerland

Switzerland

Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation;, is a landlocked country located at the confluence of Western, Central and Southern Europe. It is a federal republic composed of 26 cantons, with federal authorities based in Bern.

Boarding school

Boarding school

A boarding school is a school where pupils live within premises while being given formal instruction. The word "boarding" is used in the sense of "room and board", i.e. lodging and meals. As they have existed for many centuries, and now extend across many countries, their functioning, codes of conduct and ethos vary greatly. Children in boarding schools study and live during the school year with their fellow students and possibly teachers or administrators. Some boarding schools also have day students who attend the institution by day and return off-campus to their families in the evenings.

Serial killer

Serial killer

A serial killer is typically a person who murders three or more persons, with the murders taking place over more than a month and including a significant period of time between them. While most authorities set a threshold of three murders, others extend it to four or lessen it to two.

New Line Cinema

New Line Cinema

New Line Cinema is an American film production studio owned by Warner Bros. Discovery and is a film label of Warner Bros. It was founded in 1967 by Robert Shaye as an independent film distribution company; later becoming a film studio. It was acquired by Turner Broadcasting System in 1994; Turner later merged with Time Warner in 1996, and New Line was merged with Warner Bros. Pictures in 2008. The studio has been nicknamed, "The House that Freddy Built" due to the success of the Nightmare on Elm Street film series.

Plot

After missing a bus in the Swiss countryside, a 14-year-old Danish tourist, Vera Brandt, tries looking for help. She comes across a cottage and is attacked and beheaded by a stranger. Eight months later, her case is being inspected by forensic entomologist John McGregor and Inspector Rudolf Geiger of the Kantonpolizei, who note that Brandt is but the first of a series of murders against young girls, including McGregor's former assistant.

Meanwhile, Jennifer Corvino, the daughter of a famous American actor, arrives at the Swiss Richard Wagner Academy for Girls, chaperoned by Frau Brückner, who places her with roommate Sophie. While sleepwalking through the academy and out onto the roof, Jennifer witnesses a student being murdered. She awakens and flees into the woods, where McGregor's chimpanzee, Inga, finds her and leads her to him. Upon noticing the affection his captive insects have for Jennifer, McGregor comes to believe that she has a telepathic link with them. Back at the academy, the headmistress has Jennifer medically tested via EEG for her sleepwalking. The procedure makes Jennifer uneasy when she gets brief visions of the previous night's events.

The following night, the murderer kills Sophie, mistaking her for Jennifer as she is wearing the same sweater she wore when she witnessed the prior murder. Jennifer sleepwalks again and is led by a firefly to the scene of Sophie's death, where she finds a maggot-infested glove. She shows it to McGregor, who identifies the maggots as the larvae of Great Sarcophagus flies, which are drawn to decaying human flesh. He theorises that the killer is a necrophile who has been keeping his victims close to him post-mortem, unintentionally collecting the maggots on himself.

Later, when the other students taunt Jennifer over her connection to insects, she summons a swarm of flies that covers the entire building, then faints. Convinced that Jennifer is "diabolic" and possibly responsible for the killings, the headmistress arranges for her to be transferred to a mental hospital. Jennifer flees to McGregor's home, where the entomologist gives her a glass case with a Great Sarcophagus fly, suggesting she use it to find the murderer's lair. The fly leads her to the same cottage Brandt had found earlier and Inspector Geiger talks to the real estate agent in order to learn the identity of the house's previous occupant.

That night, McGregor is murdered in his home. With nowhere left to go, Jennifer calls her father's lawyer Morris Shapiro to take her back to America. He alerts Brückner, who offers to let the girl stay at her house overnight. Meanwhile, Geiger's investigation leads him to a mental hospital in Basel where he learns that a former staff member had been attacked 15 years before by one of the male inmates.

Upon arriving at Brückner's house, Jennifer notices that all the mirrors are covered, with Brückner explaining that she has a son who cannot stand to see his own reflection. Brückner insists that Jennifer take pills before she goes to bed; when she does so, she becomes sick and, assuming that the pills are poisonous, coughs them up. She attempts to call Morris but is knocked unconscious by Brückner. Geiger arrives and questions Brückner, who confirms that she had worked at the Basel mental hospital and been raped. She leads him to the basement and imprisons him.

After waking, Jennifer engineers her escape through the basement. There, she finds Geiger and falls into a pool filled with maggot-infested corpses. Brückner taunts Jennifer, but Geiger frees himself and furiously beats Brückner long enough to let Jennifer escape.

Jennifer finds Brückner's son, who has a hideously deformed face. He chases Jennifer onto a motorboat and tries to kill her with a spear, which perforates the boat's fuel tank and causes a leak. Jennifer summons a swarm of flies that attack the killer, causing him to fall into the water. Jennifer is also forced to jump into the water as the leaking petrol ignites, whereupon the child grabs her, but he is immolated by the flames.

Jennifer reaches the shore just as Morris appears. A severely injured and disfigured Brückner decapitates him from behind with a metal sheet and confesses that she murdered McGregor and Geiger to protect her son. Before she can murder Jennifer, a wrathful Inga attacks Brückner and kills her with a straight-razor in retribution for McGregor's death. With the ordeal over, Jennifer and Inga embrace.

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Denmark

Denmark

Denmark is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It is the most populous and politically central constituent of the Kingdom of Denmark, a constitutionally unitary state that includes the autonomous territories of the Faroe Islands and Greenland in the North Atlantic Ocean. European Denmark is the southernmost of the Scandinavian countries, lying southwest of Sweden, south of Norway, and north of Germany.

Kantonspolizei Zürich

Kantonspolizei Zürich

The Kantonspolizei Zürich is the police department of the canton of Zürich in Switzerland. The Kantonspolizei Zürich exists within the cantonal legal structure to enforce criminal, security, and traffic law on behalf of the government of the canton of Zürich. It is empowered with the executive authority of the Direktion der Justiz und des Innern, the Department of Justice and Home Affairs of the Canton of Zürich.

Richard Wagner

Richard Wagner

Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who is chiefly known for his operas. Unlike most opera composers, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his stage works. Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works in the romantic vein of Carl Maria von Weber and Giacomo Meyerbeer, Wagner revolutionised opera through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk, by which he sought to synthesise the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, with music subsidiary to drama. He described this vision in a series of essays published between 1849 and 1852. Wagner realised these ideas most fully in the first half of the four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen.

Chimpanzee

Chimpanzee

The chimpanzee, also known as simply the chimp, is a species of great ape native to the forest and savannah of tropical Africa. It has four confirmed subspecies and a fifth proposed subspecies. When its close relative the bonobo was more commonly known as the pygmy chimpanzee, this species was often called the common chimpanzee or the robust chimpanzee. The chimpanzee and the bonobo are the only species in the genus Pan. Evidence from fossils and DNA sequencing shows that Pan is a sister taxon to the human lineage and is humans' closest living relative. The chimpanzee is covered in coarse black hair, but has a bare face, fingers, toes, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet. It is larger and more robust than the bonobo, weighing 40–70 kg (88–154 lb) for males and 27–50 kg (60–110 lb) for females and standing 120 to 150 cm.

Telepathy

Telepathy

Telepathy is the purported vicarious transmission of information from one person's mind to another's without using any known human sensory channels or physical interaction. The term was first coined in 1882 by the classical scholar Frederic W. H. Myers, a founder of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), and has remained more popular than the earlier expression thought-transference.

Firefly

Firefly

The Lampyridae are a family of elateroid beetles with more than 2,000 described species, many of which are light-emitting. They are soft-bodied beetles commonly called fireflies, lightning bugs, or glowworms for their conspicuous production of light, mainly during twilight, to attract mates. Light production in the Lampyridae is thought to have originated as an honest warning signal that the larvae were distasteful; this was co-opted in evolution as a mating signal in the adults. In a further development, female fireflies of the genus Photuris mimic the flash pattern of Photinus species to trap their males as prey.

Flesh fly

Flesh fly

Sarcophagidae are a family of flies commonly known as flesh flies. They differ from most flies in that they are ovoviviparous, opportunistically depositing hatched or hatching maggots instead of eggs on carrion, dung, decaying material, or open wounds of mammals, hence their common name. Some flesh fly larvae are internal parasites of other insects such as Orthoptera, and some, in particular the Miltogramminae, are kleptoparasites of solitary Hymenoptera. The adults mostly feed on fluids from animal bodies, nectar, sweet foods, fluids from animal waste and other organic substances. Juveniles need protein to develop and may be laid on carrion, dung or sweet plant foods.

Necrophilia

Necrophilia

Necrophilia, also known as necrophilism, necrolagnia, necrocoitus, necrochlesis, and thanatophilia, is sexual attraction towards or a sexual act involving corpses. It is classified as a paraphilia by the World Health Organization (WHO) in its International Classification of Diseases (ICD) diagnostic manual, as well as by the American Psychiatric Association in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM).

Basel

Basel

Basel, also known as Basle, is a city in northwestern Switzerland on the river Rhine. Basel is Switzerland's third-most-populous city with about 175,000 inhabitants. The official language of Basel is German, but the main spoken language is the local Basel German dialect.

Cast

Discover more about Cast related topics

Jennifer Connelly

Jennifer Connelly

Jennifer Lynn Connelly is an American actress. She began her career as a child model before making her acting debut in the 1984 crime film Once Upon a Time in America. After having worked as a model for several years, she began to concentrate on acting, starring in a variety of films including the horror film Phenomena (1985), the musical fantasy film Labyrinth (1986), the romantic comedy Career Opportunities (1991), and the period superhero film The Rocketeer (1991). She received praise for her performance in the science fiction film Dark City (1998) and playing a drug addict in Darren Aronofsky's drama film Requiem for a Dream (2000).

Daria Nicolodi

Daria Nicolodi

Daria Nicolodi was an Italian television and film actress and screenwriter.

Dalila Di Lazzaro

Dalila Di Lazzaro

Dalila Di Lazzaro is an Italian model, actress and writer.

Patrick Bauchau

Patrick Bauchau

Patrick Nicolas Jean Sixte Ghislain Bauchau is a Belgian actor best known for his role as Scarpine in the 1985 James Bond movie, A View to a Kill; Sydney in the TV series The Pretender; and Doctor Rowan Chase, Doctor Robert Chase's estranged father in the TV series, House.

Donald Pleasence

Donald Pleasence

Donald Henry Pleasence was an English actor. He began his career on stage in the West End before transitioning into a screen career, where he played numerous supporting and character roles including RAF Flight Lieutenant Colin Blythe in The Great Escape (1963), the villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the James Bond film You Only Live Twice (1967), SEN 5241 in THX 1138 (1971), and the deranged Clarence "Doc" Tydon in Wake in Fright (1971).

Kaspar Capparoni

Kaspar Capparoni

Gaspare "Kaspar" Capparoni is an Italian actor.

Michele Soavi

Michele Soavi

Michele Soavi, sometimes known as Michael Soavi is an Italian filmmaker, actor, and screenwriter best known for his work in the horror film genre, working alongside directors like Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci.

Production

When I was thinking of Phenomena, I imagined that between 1940 and 1945 there had been a very serious incident, the war, and that the Nazis had won. After thirty-forty years, the people had wiped this drammatic event from their memories and didn't talk about it anymore. In reality though, the Nazis won the war, and life therefore has a totally different vibe, it's a world where the Nazi order won. If the movie is watched attentively, then it is obvious that, from that perspective, whoever made it was working from this principle.

Dario Argento[5]

Argento became inspired to write and direct Phenomena after hearing a French radio broadcast detailing a murder case that had been solved thanks to the study of insects present on the corpse.[6] In an interview with La Stampa, Argento said he saw the film as a personal challenge to American cinema.[7] Screenwriter Franco Ferrini stated that, visually, Argento was inspired by Caspar David Friedrich paintings, noting the artist's purely Romantic portrayal of people and nature.[8] Argento later stated that he imagined the movie taking place in a world where Nazism had triumped during the Second World War.[5]

The film's budget went in excess of six million lire, largely on account of the insects and arachnids used. Spiders, including black widows, and scorpions were imported from Africa, while flies, grasshoppers and wasps were raised in various parts of Rome.[9] For the scene where Jennifer follows the fly, Argento, recalling a trick learned from his childhood, had a real fly leashed with a nylon string.[10]

Originally, Argento wanted Connelly's character to be portrayed as the daughter of Al Pacino, and planned to have photos and video clips of him included in the film. Pacino, however, refused to allow this, as, according to Argento, he "didn't appreciate telling the story of a daughter he doesn't have".[11]

The chimpanzee, Tanga, who had previously starred in Bingo Bongo,[12] proved difficult to direct, as Argento wanted to avoid its performance seeming comical.[9] During the film's climax, the hand wielding the straight razor hitting Daria Nicolodi was in fact Tanga's own, which managed to scar her despite the object being blunted. It then proceeded to attack Jennifer Connelly and bit off part of one of her fingers.[13] Connelly stated on Late Night with Conan O'Brien that Tanga continued to act aggressively toward her from that point on,[14] thus necessitating a body double for some scenes.[15] Further problems arose when Tanga escaped during an outdoor scene and did not return for three days until forest rangers attracted it with food.[15]

As with his previous slasher films, Argento's own gloved hands were used during murder scenes.[9]

Special effects

For the swarming scenes, special effects artist Sergio Stivaletti superimposed slowed-down footage of coffee granules floating down a fish tank over the film shot.[16] Stivaletti also created a mechanical firefly prop for close up shots, but it was rejected by Argento.[17]

For Frau Brückner's son, Stivaletti drew inspiration from photographs he saw of sufferers of Patau syndrome.[18] In a 2015 interview, actor Davide Marotta, who played Brückner's son, recalled the lengthy process of making a mold of his head, and stated that his death scene involved being smeared in glucose before having 40 million insects released on him.[19]

Soundtrack

Unlike Argento's previous films, Phenomena adopts a mid-1980s trend of containing popular songs in the soundtrack.[20] This includes original compositions from artists such as Bill Wyman and Claudio Simonetti, with the solo soprano voice of Pina Magri, heavy metal music by artists like Iron Maiden as well as goth favorites such as Sex Gang Children. [20] The band Goblin is credited as contributing to the score, including two cues from their score from Dawn of the Dead, which are faintly heard when the character Sophie watches television in the film[21] as well as a handful of original themes recorded for the film and credited to the group.[22]

Cinevox released the soundtrack to the film in 1985 on vinyl, which included parts of the film's score and the rock music tracks.[23] A compact disc edition was released by Cinevox in 1987.[24] Enigma Records issued a vinyl release in 1985 bearing the Creepers title in the United States.[25]

In 2018, the complete soundtrack was released for the first time by Waxwork Records on a double LP. It included alternate, bonus, and unused tracks.[26]

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La Stampa

La Stampa

La Stampa is an Italian daily newspaper published in Turin, Italy. It is distributed in Italy and other European nations. It is one of the oldest newspapers in Italy.

Franco Ferrini

Franco Ferrini

Franco Ferrini is an Italian screenwriter. His works often fall into the genres of horror or thriller. He was one of the interviewees represented in the book Spaghetti Nightmares.

Caspar David Friedrich

Caspar David Friedrich

Caspar David Friedrich was a 19th-century German Romantic landscape painter, generally considered the most important German artist of his generation. He is best known for his mid-period allegorical landscapes, which typically feature contemplative figures silhouetted against night skies, morning mists, barren trees or Gothic ruins. His primary interest was the contemplation of nature, and his often symbolic and anti-classical work seeks to convey a subjective, emotional response to the natural world. Friedrich's paintings characteristically set a human presence in diminished perspective amid expansive landscapes, reducing the figures to a scale that, according to the art historian Christopher John Murray, directs "the viewer's gaze towards their metaphysical dimension".

Italian lira

Italian lira

The lira was the currency of Italy between 1861 and 2002. It was first introduced by the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy in 1807 at par with the French franc, and was subsequently adopted by the different states that would eventually form the Kingdom of Italy in 1861. It was subdivided into 100 centesimi, which means "hundredths" or "cents". The lira was also the currency of the Albanian Kingdom from 1941 to 1943.

Al Pacino

Al Pacino

Alfredo James Pacino is an American actor. Considered one of the most influential actors of the 20th century, he has received numerous accolades: including an Academy Award, two Tony Awards, and two Primetime Emmy Awards, making him one of the few performers to have achieved the Triple Crown of Acting. He has also been honored with the AFI Life Achievement Award, the Cecil B. DeMille Award, and the National Medal of Arts.

Bingo Bongo

Bingo Bongo

Bingo Bongo is a 1982 Italian family comedy film directed by Pasquale Festa Campanile and starring Adriano Celentano as an Italian Tarzan character escaping across Milan.

Daria Nicolodi

Daria Nicolodi

Daria Nicolodi was an Italian television and film actress and screenwriter.

Bill Wyman

Bill Wyman

William George Wyman is an English musician who achieved international fame as the bassist for the Rolling Stones from 1962 until 1993. In 1989, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Rolling Stones. Since 1997, he has recorded and toured with his own band, Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings. He has worked producing records and films, and has scored music for films and television.

Claudio Simonetti

Claudio Simonetti

Claudio Simonetti is an Italian musician and film composer. He moved with his family from Brazil to Italy at the age of 11. The keyboardist of the progressive rock band Goblin, Simonetti has specialized in the scores for Italian and American horror films since the 1970s.

Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band formed in Leyton, East London, in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. While fluid in the early years of the band, the lineup for most of the band's history has consisted of Harris, lead vocalist Bruce Dickinson, drummer Nicko McBrain, and guitarists Dave Murray, Adrian Smith and Janick Gers. The band have released 41 albums, including 17 studio albums, 13 live albums, four EPs and seven compilations. They have also released 47 singles and 20 video albums. Two electronic games have been released with Iron Maiden soundtracks, and the band's music is featured in a number of other video games.

Goblin (band)

Goblin (band)

Goblin is an Italian progressive rock band known for their film scores. They frequently collaborate with Dario Argento, most notably creating the scores for Profondo Rosso in 1975 and Suspiria in 1977. Because their collaborator Dario Argento specializes in creating horror, suspense and slasher/giallo genre movies, scores made by Goblin in these movies often had eerie and ominous tones. CD re-releases of their scores have performed well, especially in Germany and Japan. Goblin returned with a series of live concerts in Europe in 2009 and in North America in 2013.

Dawn of the Dead (1978 film)

Dawn of the Dead (1978 film)

Dawn of the Dead is a 1978 zombie horror film written, directed, and edited by George A. Romero, and produced by Richard P. Rubinstein. An American-Italian international co-production, it is the second film in Romero's series of zombie films, and though it contains no characters or settings from the preceding film Night of the Living Dead (1968), it shows the larger-scale effects of a zombie apocalypse on society. In the film, a phenomenon of unidentified origin has caused the reanimation of the dead, who prey on human flesh. David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott Reiniger, and Gaylen Ross star as survivors of the outbreak who barricade themselves inside a suburban shopping mall amid mass hysteria.

Release

Phenomena was released theatrically in Italy on 31 January 1985 with a 116-minute running time.[27] This version of Phenomena is often referred to as the "integral cut".[27] A shorter version of the film was prepared for international release that had a 110-minute running time.[27] This version of the film only cuts out minor material from the "integral cut" with most being a few frames at the end and beginning of shots.[27] Phenomena was a big hit in Italy earning 2.7 billion lire at the box office, which had it out gross films like Gremlins, Dune and The Terminator.[28]

In the United States, the film was acquired for distribution by New Line Cinema, who released it on 30 August 1985[29] under the alternative title Creepers.[30] This version of the film was truncated to 83 minutes, with scenes cut entirely and other scenes being re-ordered.[27] Creepers also had music segue between scenes where previously they had no music and the loss of the song "Locomotive" by Motörhead.[27] Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films described Creepers as being the last of Argento's films to receive "any kind of meaningful theatrical release" in the United States.[21] The film was released in the United Kingdom in its shortened cut as Creepers in April 1986.[31]

Critical response

Jon Pareles of The New York Times reviewed the Creepers cut of the film, finding that it "creaks along for its first hour or so, failing to work up any chills" and found the acting poor, writing that "The best acting is by an expressive, resourceful chimpanzee - definitely the year's Best Supporting Primate."[32] Kim Newman (Monthly Film Bulletin) said the film contained "astonishingly awful performances" and that the dialogue contained several unintentionally humorous lines, which Newman attributed to a language problem.[1] Newman discussed the film's look and style, opining that "Argento's films have their stylishness to fall back on, but here he is experimenting with a washed-out blue look influenced by Possession that works in short scenes but becomes wearying after a few minutes".[1] Newman commented that Argento "goes for sickness after the manner of Lucio Fulci", noting gross-out scenes involving vomiting and violent deaths of actors portrayed by Argento's daughter and wife.[1] The Guardian declared that Creepers was "Argento at his most throw away" and that the film paled in comparison to earlier efforts such as The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) or Suspiria (1977).[33] Commenting on the acting, the review stated that "Pleasence does his best with the script, Jennifer Connelly doesn't even bother to do battle".[33]

The New York Daily News published a review in which they deemed Creepers "a boring, poorly told exercise in gratuitous nausea and Grand Guignol gore, padded with seemingly interminable stretches of static filler," though they conceded that it "boasts a semi-original premise for a slasher movie."[34] The Times found that the film contained traces of previous Argento films, "But the march of time and commercial success seem to have dulled the director's previous panache: Creepers just drags its feet from one absurdity to the next."[35] The Sunday Times found Creepers "only intermittently frightening" and an audience with "a taste for discreetly revealed schoolgirl thigh and/or insects will not be completely disappointed".[36]

Malcolm Johnson of the Hartford Courant criticized some of the film's special effects, but concluded: "Otherwise, Argento displays his customary skill at horror chic. He plays Old World elegance against horrific sights as electronic scoring and macabre rock songs by Bill Wyman, Iron Maiden, and others give Creepers a loud, mad buzz."[37]

In retrospective reviews, John Kenneth Muir discussed the film in his overview of horror films from the 1980s, finding Phenomena to be "unusual" as well as "strangely stirring", and that the imagery in the film is "nothing short of amazing, even if the narrative is muddled."[38]

Home media

Creepers was released in the United States on VHS and Betamax in 1986 by Media Home Entertainment.[39] This release still had the shorter theatrical run time.[40] By March 29, Creepers entered Billboard's Top Videocassettes Rentals chart. This chart was compiled from a national sample of retail store rental reports.[41] By April 5, the release was at number 29 in the charts.[42]

The film was first released on DVD in North America by Anchor Bay Entertainment as Phenomena, where it used the 110 minute version of the film.[27] Synapse Films released the film on Blu-ray in the United States on 15 November 2016, which included the shorter version titled Creepers as well as the 116 and 110 minute versions of Phenomena.[43][44] Arrow Video released Phenomena in the United Kingdom in 2017 including the integral version, the international cut and the Creepers version. Arrow's Blu-ray was among the top ten top-selling home video releases in the United Kingdom on its initial release.[45] In February 2022, Arrow reissued the film in 4K UHD Blu-ray format in three different limited editions, each featuring alternate artwork; one of the editions, available only through Arrow's online store, features artwork bearing the Creepers title.[46] Synapse Films also reissued a 4K UHD Blu-ray in North America.[47]

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Gremlins

Gremlins

Gremlins is a 1984 American black comedy horror film directed by Joe Dante, written by Chris Columbus, and starring Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton, Polly Holliday, and Frances Lee McCain, with Howie Mandel providing the voice of Gizmo, the main mogwai character. It draws on legends of folkloric mischievous creatures that cause malfunctions—"gremlins"—in the British Royal Air Force going back to World War II. The story follows a young man who receives a strange creature as a pet, which then spawns other creatures who transform into small, destructive, aggressive monsters that all wreak havoc on a whole town on Christmas Eve.

Dune (1984 film)

Dune (1984 film)

Dune is a 1984 American epic science-fiction film written and directed by David Lynch and based on the 1965 Frank Herbert novel of the same name. The film stars Kyle MacLachlan as young nobleman Paul Atreides. It was filmed at the Churubusco Studios in Mexico City and included a soundtrack by the rock band Toto, as well as by Brian Eno.

New Line Cinema

New Line Cinema

New Line Cinema is an American film production studio owned by Warner Bros. Discovery and is a film label of Warner Bros. It was founded in 1967 by Robert Shaye as an independent film distribution company; later becoming a film studio. It was acquired by Turner Broadcasting System in 1994; Turner later merged with Time Warner in 1996, and New Line was merged with Warner Bros. Pictures in 2008. The studio has been nicknamed, "The House that Freddy Built" due to the success of the Nightmare on Elm Street film series.

Alternative title

Alternative title

An alternative title is a media sales device most prominently used in film distribution. Books and films are commonly released under a different title when they are screened or sold in a different country. This can vary from small change to the title, such as the addition of The, to wholesale changes. Film titles are also often changed when they are released on DVD or VHS.

Motörhead

Motörhead

Motörhead were an English rock band formed in London in 1975 by Lemmy, Larry Wallis (guitar) and Lucas Fox (drums). Lemmy was also the primary songwriter and only constant member. The band are often considered a precursor to the new wave of British heavy metal, which re-energised heavy metal in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Though several guitarists and drummers have played in Motörhead, most of their best-selling albums and singles feature drummer Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor and guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke.

Jon Pareles

Jon Pareles

Jon Pareles is an American journalist who is the chief popular music critic in the arts section of The New York Times.

Kim Newman

Kim Newman

Kim James Newman is an English journalist, film critic and fiction writer. Recurring interests visible in his work include film history and horror fiction—both of which he attributes to seeing Tod Browning's Dracula at the age of eleven—and alternative fictional versions of history. He has won the Bram Stoker Award, the International Horror Guild Award, and the BSFA award.

Possession (1981 film)

Possession (1981 film)

Possession is a 1981 psychological horror drama film directed by Andrzej Żuławski, and written by Żuławski and Frederic Tuten. The plot obliquely follows the relationship between an international spy and his wife, who begins exhibiting increasingly disturbing behavior after asking for a divorce.

Lucio Fulci

Lucio Fulci

Lucio Fulci was an Italian film director, screenwriter, and actor. Although he worked in a wide array of genres through a career spanning nearly five decades, including comedies and Spaghetti Westerns, he garnered an international cult following for his giallo and horror films.

New York Daily News

New York Daily News

The New York Daily News, officially titled the Daily News, is an American newspaper based in Jersey City, NJ. It was founded in 1919 by Joseph Medill Patterson as the Illustrated Daily News. It was the first U.S. daily printed in tabloid format. It reached its peak circulation in 1947, at 2.4 million copies a day. As of 2019 it was the eleventh-highest circulated newspaper in the United States. Today's Daily News is not connected to the earlier New York Daily News, which shut down in 1906.

Grand Guignol

Grand Guignol

Le Théâtre du Grand-Guignol —known as the Grand Guignol–was a theatre in the Pigalle district of Paris. From its opening in 1897 until its closing in 1962, it specialised in naturalistic horror shows. Its name is often used as a general term for graphic, amoral horror entertainment, a genre popular from Elizabethan and Jacobean theatre, to today's splatter films.

Slasher film

Slasher film

A slasher film is a genre of crime films or horror films involving a killer stalking and murdering a group of people, usually by use of bladed or sharp tools like knife, chainsaw, scalpel, etc. Although the term "slasher" may occasionally be used informally as a generic term for any crime or horror film involving murder, film analysts cite an established set of characteristics which set slasher films apart from other crime and horror subgenres, such as splatter films and psychological horror films.

Legacy

After Phenomena, Daria Nicolodi repudiated the film, labeling it "reactionary" on account of its portrayal of handicapped people, and stated on interview that she would no longer work with Argento.[48]

Japanese video game developer Hifumi Kono created his video game Clock Tower (1995) which borrows many ideas from Phenomena.[49][50]

A novelisation of the film was written by Luigi Cozzi for the horror anthology Terrore profondo in 1997.[51]

Source: "Phenomena (film)", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenomena_(film).

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References
  1. ^ a b c d Newman, Kim (May 1986). "Phenomena (Creepers)". Monthly Film Bulletin. Vol. 53, no. 628. p. 152.
  2. ^ "Creepers Italian 2p '85 Dario Argento's Phenomena, best art of Jennifer Connelly by Sciotti". www.emovieposter.com. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Phenomena (1985)" (in Italian). Archivo del cinema Italiano. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  4. ^ Newman, Kim (May 1986). "Phenomena (Creepers)". Monthly Film Bulletin. Vol. 53, no. 628. p. 152. Phenomena is Dario Argento's first film to be shot and written in English
  5. ^ a b Giovannini, F. (1986). "Creare incubi: parla Dario Argento". In Giovannini, F.. Dario Argento. Il brivido, il sangue, il thrilling. Edizioni Dedalo. p. 164. ISBN 88-220-4516-5
  6. ^ Giovannini, F. (1986). Dario Argento. Il brivido, il sangue, il thrilling. Edizioni Dedalo. p. 120. ISBN 88-220-4516-5
  7. ^ "Sono un samurai, sfido l'America con un film" (Press release). La Stampa. 31 January 1985. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  8. ^ Pergolari, A. (2004). La fabbrica del riso: 32 sceneggiatori raccontano la storia del cinema italiano. Un mondo a parte. ISBN 8890062991
  9. ^ a b c "Dario Argento, thriller con insetti" (Press release). La Stampa. 10 January 1985. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  10. ^ Maiello 2007, p. 158.
  11. ^ Maiello 2007, p. 156-157.
  12. ^ Ad Aprilia c'è un zoo pieno di "star" del cinema, ilGiornale.it, 15 October 2008, retrieved 2022-08-31
  13. ^ Cozzi, Patrizi & Tentori 2003, p. 165.
  14. ^ Late Night with Conan O'Brien; 10 December 2008
  15. ^ a b Dario Argento on Acting for Gaspar Noé, Witchcraft, and Directing Chimpanzees, Vulture, retrieved 2022-01-10
  16. ^ Intervista A Sergio Stivaletti, Nocturno, 13 May 2015, retrieved 2022-01-10
  17. ^ Sergio Stivaletti ci racconta: "Phenomena", Mondo Spettacolo, 28 January 2014, retrieved 2022-01-10
  18. ^ Sergio Stivaletti: "Il racconto dei racconti? Resta il dubbio, come sarebbe stato se lo avessi fatto io?", Movie Player, retrieved 2022-01-10
  19. ^ Il talento non mente, la statura si. Intervista a Davide Marotta, bibliotecario "Arnaldo" nel nuovo film di Pieraccioni, The Freak, 4 December 2015, retrieved 2022-01-10
  20. ^ a b Howarth 2015, p. 121.
  21. ^ a b Howarth 2015, p. 122.
  22. ^ Phenomena Original Soundtrack (vinyl record center label and rear cover). Cinevox. 1985. MDF 33.167.
  23. ^ Phenomena (Vinyl LP). Cinevox. CIA 5062.
  24. ^ Phenomena (Compact disc). Cinevox. CD-CIA 5062.
  25. ^ Creepers (Vinyl LP). Enigma Records. SJ-73205.
  26. ^ Evangelista, Chris (5 September 2018). "Waxwork Records Releasing Three Great Dario Argento Soundtracks on Vinyl". /Film. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  27. ^ a b c d e f g "About the Versions". Dario Argento's Phenomena (book). Arrow Video. 2017. p. 55. FCD1507.
  28. ^ Curti 2022, p. 355.
  29. ^ "Movies". New York Daily News. 30 August 1985. p. 12 – via Newspapers.com.
  30. ^ "Movie Capsules". The Hackensack Record. 30 August 1985. p. 24 – via Newspapers.com.
  31. ^ Malcolm, Derek (17 April 1986). "A fistful of blood and goo". The Guardian. p. 13 – via Newspapers.com.
  32. ^ Pareles, Jon (31 August 1985). "The Screen: Horror Tale, 'Creepers'". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 29 March 2019.
  33. ^ a b Malcolm, Derek (17 April 1986). "A Fistful of Blood and Goo". The Guardian. p. 13.
  34. ^ "Spiders and maggots and flies, oh my!". New York Daily News. 11 September 1985. p. 69 – via Newspapers.com.
  35. ^ Brown, Geoff (18 April 1986). "Cinema: Russians pulling their own legs; Review of recent films". The Times. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  36. ^ Hislop, Andrew (20 April 1986). "Film Review: Sleaze and salsa on the Lower East Side". Sunday Times. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  37. ^ Johnson, Malcolm L. (29 October 1985). "Horrors Galore in 'Creepers'". Hartford Courant. p. C9 – via Newspapers.com.
  38. ^ Muir 2012, p. 432.
  39. ^ "New Releases". Billboard. Vol. 98, no. 7. 15 February 1986. p. 28. ISSN 0006-2510.
  40. ^ Stine 2003, p. 228.
  41. ^ "Top Videocassettes Rentals". Billboard. Vol. 98, no. 13. 29 March 1986. p. 48. ISSN 0006-2510.
  42. ^ "Top Videocassettes Rentals". Billboard. Vol. 98, no. 14. 5 April 1986. p. 46. ISSN 0006-2510.
  43. ^ Gingold, Michael (6 October 2016). "Dario Argento's Phenomena coming on Synapse Steelbook Blu-ray: Full info/art". Rue Morgue. Archived from the original on 9 August 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  44. ^ "Phenomena (Synapse Films Limited Edition Steelbook(R)) is now available for pre-order!". Synapse Films. 6 October 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  45. ^ "Official Blu-Ray Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  46. ^ "Phenomena - Creepers Edition - Arrow Store Exclusive". Arrow Video. Archived from the original on 27 November 2021.
  47. ^ Gingold, Michael (26 November 2021). "Dario Argento's Phenomena Coming to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Synapse Films". Rue Morgue. Archived from the original on 27 November 2021.
  48. ^ "Il dopo Argento della Nicolodi" (Press release). La Stampa. 24 March 1985. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  49. ^ Pinsof, Allistair (20 October 2011). "It Came from Japan! Clock Tower". Destructoid. Archived from the original on 2 July 2016. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  50. ^ McWhertor, Michael (2 March 2016). "Clock Tower spiritual successor NightCry coming to PC this spring". Polygon. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  51. ^ "Terrore profondo". Fantascienza.com. Retrieved 18 August 2022.
Sources
  • Curti, Roberto (2022). Italian Giallo in Film and Television. McFarland. ISBN 978-1-4766-8248-8.
  • Cozzi, Luigi; Patrizi, Federico; Tentori, Antonio (2003). Profondo rosso. Tutto sul film capolavoro di Dario Argento. Mondo Ignoto s.r.l. ISBN 88-89084138.
  • Howarth, Troy (2015). So Deadly, So Perverse. Vol. 2. Midnight Marquee Press. ISBN 978-1936168583.
  • Maiello, Fabio (2007). Dario Argento. Confessioni di un maestro dell'horror. Alarán Edizioni s.r.l. ISBN 978-8889603758.
  • Muir, John Kenneth (2012). Horror Films of the 1980s. McFarland. ISBN 978-0786455010.
  • Stine, Scott Aaron (2003). The Gorehound's Guide to Splatter Films of the 1980s. McFarland. ISBN 978-1476611327.
External links

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