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After her snobby schoolmates accidentally send her into a coma, poor little Kathy has only one way to get even--with her mind! Eva, another schoolgirl, falls under the spell of Kathy's vengeful psyche, which is capable of horrible destruction using telekinesis and even killer snails to do her bidding. Soon the hallways at St. Mary's School are filled with screaming, and there's no way to escape. In the tradition of Carrie, this psychic shocker from legendary Italian horror maestro Lucio Fulci, the man behind such outrageous cult favorites as The Beyond and Zombie, is filled with the visual style and gruesome madness his fans have come to expect. Available for the first time in America, this eerie look at the dark side of adolescence proves that girls might be made of sugar and spice, but they're not always nice!
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Lucio Fulci (Zombie, The Beyond) brings us this obscure classic that serves as proof that all 80s teenagers were either the fornicating drug-using victims of serial killers (e.g., Friday the 13th, I Know What You Did Last Summer), heinous bullies who torture their awkward classmates (e.g., The Toxic Avenger), or the tortured awkward classmates that exact their horrible revenge on their tormentors (e.g., Sleepaway Camp, Carrie). When the spirit of a comatose teenage girl possesses the body of a young woman to enact bloody revenge against the snobby lingerie-clad coeds responsible for her life-threatening condition, we find that the teenagers herein apply to all three categories--which is often the case.
Our victim (Kathy) psychically possesses Eva Gordon (Lara Lamberti; Red Sonja, A Blade in the Dark), a newcomer to the sorority that houses Kathy's bitchy perpetrators. Fulci makes no effort to explain Kathy's psychic power to posses Eva or her link to Eva or how she even knew about Eva! She informs her new roommate Jenny (Ulli Reinthaler; Zombi 3) that her goal is to "get with" as many cute boys as possible. It seems that our spiritually under cover Kathy is trying to blend in by being promiscuous. She starts with her misogynistic aerobics instructor--because sorority sisters are known for their attendance at handsy male-instructed aerobics classes. Then the little harlot makes a pass at her doctor. Not sure why. After all, he is treating Kathy's comatose body. None of this makes any sense.
This flick comes with its share of random. A guy gets strangled by his own reflection, Eva literally attacks her bedroom with a pair of yellow jeans and then has a spectral orgasm writhing about in her bed to celebrate the assault, and there's an en masses snail attack (a la Slugs). Really, nothing makes any sense in this big hot mess. Why does someone who wakes up covered in snails quiver a little and then just die? Why didn't the chick struggle at all? Do snails have a paralyzing venomous bite? Do snails bite now in this farce of a movie? Do they know some MMA hold that she couldn't counter?
Like many of Fulci's nearly incoherent films, the writing and acting leaves a lot to be desired. There's no sense of pacing. In fact, the third act--which is often the most watchable or even the only watchable portion of any horror movie--is actually by far the most boring portion of the film. There is also no suspense whatsoever (not even in the finale) and the actors all play forgettable characters with no personality and no one would lament their loss. Normally, what Fulci lacks in storytelling and casting direction he makes up for with glorious gore. Sadly, this movie failed to deliver even that.
With that, I am giving one of my very rare recommendations to skip this film. Skip this if you like the occasional horror movie. Skip this if you're a die hard, watch-everything horror hound. Skip this even if you're a Fulci fan trying to round out his entire body of work.
Just skip it.
This is set in a girl's school in Boston; the daughter of the housemaid is also a student. She's bullied for that reason. She's set up by the other students, and she's injured badly while running from her perpetrators. She goes in a coma, but she's able to infect the psyche of the students from her hospital bed. They start to die in mysterious ways. One has a heart attack in reality, but we see his reflection leave a mirror and choke him to death, followed by its eerie return and disappearance into the mirror. One suffocates herself with a pillow in her sleep in reality, but we see her smothered in snails. One has a giant sculpture fall onto her in a museum, but we see her killed by the sculpture come to life. One is pushed out of a window taken over by macabre visions, but we actually see her jump. Now, there's also another student that seems to be overtaken by the girl in a coma, but she appears only tangentially involved in the action until the end. Other than being a facilitator (like when she lures the museum victim to the museum), it's not perfectly clear what her involvement is in the story. I would need to watch the movie again to see how these pieces fit together, if in fact they do. I don't believe this student is a direct instrument of revenge, but she acts more like an assistant; it's open to interpretation.
There's been a lot of focus on this movie about things like "it's just not believable that she would lie there without moving when covered by snails" but that misses the point. The victims are entranced and paralyzed by fear; she's not really being suffocated by snails. To that end, Fulci effectively communicates that point.
The disc is viewable, but it's certainly not up to the quality of recent releases and it needs to be remastered. Also the sound is bad; I had to turn the sound system way up to hear it. English language, no subtitles; no special features. It's a lot of work to watch this movie, but for Fulci fans it's worth it.
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