The LikeTelevision movie channel presents a delightful Dario Argento horror classic from 1985 called Phenomena, or Creepers - which was the name of the USA release. Jennifer Connelly stars as a young American school girl (she was 15 when she made the movie) named Jennifer Corvino, who is the daughter of a famous actor and off in Switzerland attending the Richard Wagner School for Girls. But oh my, not all is well at the school - there's a psychopathic killer on the loose. Weirder still, Jennifer Connelly has a knack for telepathically communicating with insects. She does a great job of protecting herself by using this gift and getting the insects to get the bad guy instead of her. The story is filled with countless twists and turns - and I bet you won't know who the killer is till part 6, and boy what a surprise that is! Filled with lots of bloody FX and folks, this one is creepy, scary and just plain - out there. Imagine Buffalo Bill meets Mommie Dearest Meets Chuckie. Say no more.
Directed by - Dario Argento
(1985) - Color - 111 min
Donald Pleasence plays a wheelchair bound entomologist named John McGregor - who befriends Jennifer and then gets creepy when he gets a little too friendly in a bizarre scene with insects at McGregor's Lab. If you like over the top horror movies with lots of gruesome scenes, scored with fast paced music and plenty of disturbing imagery and cinematography - this film is a classic. For many Argento fans - this is their favorite, or second favorite after Suspiria.
Intro, Color, credits, etc - the story opens with a gruesome scene - a young girl who becomes one of the psycho killer's victims. Next, we jump to the future, where entomologist Dr. John McGregor (Donald Pleasence) is assisting police to determine the time of death based on the presence of maggots that are found on the decaying corpse. Not far from there, a young girl named Jennifer Corvino (Jennifer Connelly) arrives at the Richard Wagner School for Girls in Switzerland.
Jennifer Connelly stars as Jennifer Corvino, a girl who can communicates with bugs
Dalila Di Lazzaro as the headmistress at the Richard Wagner School for Girls in Switzerland
Jennifer learns that she has a special relationship with insects. She loves them and the insects respond in kind. Jennifer is also a somnambulist or a sleep walker. In a dream, sleepwalking - she witnesses a brutal murder by the killer. And is saved by Prof. John McGregor's chimp, who is also his private nurse. Jennifer learns more about her power over insects and Donald Pleasence gives a great performance as a very weird guy.
Tanga as the chimp, owned and trained by Daniel Berquiny
Jennifer has another episode of wandering out in her sleep while Sophie is off to meet her boyfriend for a kiss. Really scary scene with signature Argento music howling in the background. Another meeting with Professor McGregor where he encourages Jennifer to use the insects to help find the killer. The final scene where Jennifer conjures up a few billion flies is very memorable.
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Donald Pleasence stars as Dr. John McGregor, noted entomologist and author
The headmistress of the school tries to lock Jennifer away in the loony bin - but she manages to escape. She runs off to see Professor McGregor, who gives her a special variety of fly and tells her to be a detective, with the help of the fly. So she gets on a bus with the fly, and ends up finding the place where the killer has stashed many of his victims. But the only guy there now is the real estate agent.
Daria Nicolodi as Frau Bruckner
And now you are wondering - who is the killer? It must be this guy, or that girl or - come on, who is it? And so, in an effort to not spoil the ending, you are on your own from here. Enjoy the amazing and way too scary ending.
I know it's just a doll Frau Bruckner screams
Sorry - we're not going to spoil it for you. You'll have to watch the end for yourself. Find out who the real diabolical fiend.
Here come the scissors - cut, cut yells the director