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Phenomena (1985)

Jennifer Connelly , Donald Pleasence , Dario Argento  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)

Price: $39.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Jennifer Connelly, Donald Pleasence, Daria Nicolodi, Fiore Argento, Federica Mastroianni
  • Directors: Dario Argento
  • Writers: Dario Argento, Franco Ferrini
  • Producers: Dario Argento, Angelo Iacono
  • Format: Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: March 16, 1999
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000IBRI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,177 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Phenomena" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Behind-the-scenes segment
  • Music video by Claudio Simonetti
  • Music video by 'Bill Wyman'
  • Interview with Dario Argento by Joe Franklin

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Argento's neglected masterpiece January 22, 2000

(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.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Argentos` best ! May 3, 2001
Dario Argento throws in all his trademarks in this horror/fantasy extravaganza.A plain crime story mixed with dream sequences, gore, state of the art camerawork, maggots, fireflies, broken glass, running water, beautiful young girls and a brilliant soundtrack. You name it, it`s all here !
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."
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very wacky, but entertaining October 10, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Simply put, this film is pretty messed up. I don't know quite how seriously we are supposed to take all this, as the various plot elements and twists are just so bizarre and/or silly. Part of me would like to believe that this is supposed to be a whole lot more light-hearted than Argento's other fare, but I don't really believe this is the case. (I certainly could be wrong, though) So, in the end, I suspect this was just a severe misstep on Argento's part, but it's an entertaining misstep, at least.

This film combines Giallo with supernatural elements, to odd effect. The basic setup is that a 14 or so year old American girl, Jennifer Corvino, is sent off to a fancy private girls-school in Switzerland, whereabouts a maniac killer is slaughtering young girls. Also, Jennifer sleepwalks, and has a telepathic connection with insects.(!) Naturally, she and Scottish entomoloigist, Dr. Somethingorother, who just happens to be in the area, determine that they must catch the killer, with the help of the insects.(!) This may sound a bit more complicated than most of Argento's other fare, and it is, which leads to the main problem with the film- too much plot, not enough killing. The acting is something of a mixed-bag, as it tends to be in Argento's films. Donald Pleasance, as the entomologist, gives the best performance in the film. He's likable, and quite restrained by his standards. Sadly, he has a smaller part than I'd imagined. A very young Jennifer Connelly (Dark City, A Beautiful Mind) plays the lead, and suffice to say she is a much better actress now than she was then. She's not terrible, but pretty flat and bored much of the time. (It's interesting to note that she was 14 at the time, approximately the same age as the character she was playing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
First of all, I'd like to start off with how I came to know this film. Ever heard of a videogame called Clock Tower? It's about a serial murderer, and has a Japanese prequal which I've also played.. Having liked that so well, I found on the internet that it was originally inspired by an Italian made, but English language, film called Phenomena.. I ordered it very eagerly,and couldn't wait for it to come in. When I finally got it, I watched it, of course...and loved every minute of it. It had everything I think a scary film should have! The characters, I believe, were developed enough, and I don't understand why so many people say Argento can't write them well. Maybe that's the case with his other films, but this one has quite well developed characters. We even learn the past of the most important characters, and I was actually sad whenever one of the more involved characters would die (The mark of good character development in horror) which is rare (In most of them, I'm alright just so that the main character lives). The plot was perfect, in my opinion. I didn't see any of the alleged plotholes. Sure, there were some things I wanted to know more about (Such as who exactly assaulted a certain person in a mental hospital) but very few, and nothing contradicted anything else in the plot: Jennifer Corvino, daughter of a famous actor, must stay in a Switzerland Boarding School for girls. Only there's a murderer around, killing girls around her age. She finds that she can communicate with insects, and has actually witnessed one of the murders while sleep walking. Along the way, she meets a crippled professor who believes her ability could help to solve the murders. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars What is going on in this movie?
Wow. There's way too much going on towards the end. This movie isn't great by any means so don't read too much into my okay rating. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Michael Halverson
4.0 out of 5 stars Dario's Favorite Amongst His Own Works: Insane Killer, Ape Nurse, and...
A classic slasher with lots of not-so-classic elements: insane killer, paraplegic entomology professor, ape nurse, and insect telepathy to name a few, all set to a hard rock... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Smug_Grinch
2.0 out of 5 stars I'm a fan of ARGENTO, but, this is bat guano crazy
In which Dario Argento apparently writes a whole bunch of ideas on individual scraps of paper, throws the bunch of them up in the air and attempts to construct a story out of the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by W Mianecke
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Amazing!
Prior to my purchase, I had never seen Phenomena. If it hadn't been for the fact that I got a Phenomena t-shirt as a mystery tee from Fright-Rags for Christmas, then I doubt I... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jessica Ureste
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 Reviews for Desert Island Films DVD and Arrow BD
Do not waste time buying the Desert Island Films DVD it's standard format and apparently copied from VHS like some of the rip off early DVD scams that came out over a decade ago. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Fred
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Blu-Ray, typically insane movie
This is a review of the Arrow Blu-Ray edition of Phenomena.

Given the age and obscurity of this movie, it's hard to believe that anyone would pick it up without knowing... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mike From Chicago
4.0 out of 5 stars i just dig it!
this is my first Argento film so i really cant compare it to his other great works. but i just enjoyed the strange story as a whole. Read more
Published 7 months ago by racquel madrid
4.0 out of 5 stars Night of Terror
Argento seems to have lost his complete touch on films after the 1980's but his horror films are still worth watching and above average, almost filled with an artistic intent. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Bartok Kinski
1.0 out of 5 stars PAINFUL, juvenile and scareless in Switzerland.
Plot: Very thin; disjointed; juvenile and scary for thirteen year old girls.
Acting: Jennifer Connelly, a nice actress, today she is around my age 40, and I can say I am... Read more
Published 9 months ago by M.J. Vaughn Oloffson
1.0 out of 5 stars A wasted 30 minutes of my life.
A girl that controls insects. I should have known better. Put it together with a killer and I don't know what you have cause I got so bored and lost at the plot I had to quit... Read more
Published 10 months ago by concerned one
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