- Behind-the-scenes segment
- Music video by Claudio Simonetti
- Music video by 'Bill Wyman'
- Interview with Dario Argento by Joe Franklin
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(Italy - 1984)
Aspect ratio: 1.66:1
Theatrical soundtrack: Dolby Stereo
Originally edited for US consumption and released under the title CREEPERS, the full-length version of Dario Argento's masterwork reveals the method in his madness. Whereas the edited version was a fast-moving collage of half-baked themes which evoked nothing of any significance, PHENOMENA reinstates the crazy-quilt pacing, whereby dream-like passages surrender abruptly to episodes of screaming hysteria, all of which is essential to any appreciation of the film's dark ambitions.
Romano Albani's sumptuous cinematography transforms the breathtaking Swiss locations into a fairy-tale landscape where monstrous eruptions of violence disturb the illusion of tranquility, and Jennifer Connelly drifts through the narrative in a state of near-hypnotic grace, allowing herself to become ensnared by the machinations of a deformed killer and his/her equally psychotic 'guardian'. True, the longer version is bogged down at times by lengthy dialogue scenes which hold up the plot, and the involvement of Donald Pleasence's chimp is no less misguided than before (its final act of retribution crosses the line into absurdity), but the set-pieces are magnificently realised, and the final 20 minutes are as hair-raising as anything in Argento's ouevre.
Argento has made a lot of mediocre movies the recent years, but this 1984 movie is a true classic.
The film is presented in 1.66:1 with a DD 5.1 soundtrack. Both picture and sound is good, but nothing spesial.Anchor bay has also thrown in some extras, but nothing very interesting in my opinion. There is a dull commentary with Argento and three of his collaborators in very broken english, a trailer, two music videos,a lousy behind the scenes segment, and a ridiculous Argento interview from a Joe Franklin show. And don`t be fooled to believe that the 28 minutes that is restored in this UNCUT and UNCENSORED version is gore.It is simply the full european version, and all 28 minutes are plain story and character building.No doubt that this cut is much better than the "Creepers" cut, though.
It is the feature itself that makes this disc a must-have.They simply don`t make movies like this anymore ! (Neither does Argento, unfortunately !)
Now I can hardly wait for Anchor Bay to release "Opera" and " Suspiria."
Connelly is disliked by the girls at the school, but is able to turn the tables by summoning her insect friends in a wonderful scene, which is my favorite in the film. After several murders Pleasence and Connelly agree on a strategy in which Connelly will use her insect ESP to detect the murderer. It's a given that this leads to no end of problems for her and Pleasence both. The plot has an interesting twist as the real murderer is unveiled. You may not be surprised, but the revelation is still traumatic and very creepy. The film then has multiple false endings that involve a motorboat, a mutant, an insect swarm, a highly improbable fire, a tearful reunion, and a vengeful chimp (not necessarily in the order in which you would expect).
The film is gross, particularly at the very beginning and very end, and suffers from some bad heavy metal music in inappropriate places, but while it is largely predictable (and Donald Pleasence is his usual hammy self), it is a decent combination of psychological and physical horror that will be pleasing to fans of the genre.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the US version of the much better Phenomena by D. Argento and one of his best. The edits left gaps best explained by viewing the original, longer version. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jim in NM
I love this flick! I was very happy to find a dvd copy under $50, and i was very happy with the prompt delivery. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jake Davis
Perfect time capsule of mid-Eighties Argento horror. I was ten when I first watched this film on Betamax and the streaming quality was about the same. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Jeremy B.
Great movie. Definitely worth a watch if your a fan of Dario Argento's films. One issue. This release is described as an all region dvd, but did not play on my DVD player. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Paul G. Haapanen