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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Argento at his maddest, great entertainment
For me this is Dario Argento's most overlooked, underrated film. The plot skeleton - young girl adrift in a foreign school whilst a murderer wreaks havoc - is obviously Suspiria, but, incredibly, this film makes that effort look almost conventional. Some of the scenes in the final 20 minutes are genuinely unbelievable - swarms of insects, homicidal chimpanzees, an...
Published on 28 April 2010 by Now Zoltan

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3.0 out of 5 stars One of Argento's last good films
One of Argento's last good films. Let's face it: Argento had already lost his touch when he shot Phenomena, but still he could deliver a well crafted horror film with some brilliant scenes. Not as intriguing and fully appreciateable as his 70ies films (his last masterpiece being Suspiria) but hats off to Arrow movie for releasing this welldone blu ray
Published 2 days ago by Elleppi


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Argento at his maddest, great entertainment, 28 April 2010
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For me this is Dario Argento's most overlooked, underrated film. The plot skeleton - young girl adrift in a foreign school whilst a murderer wreaks havoc - is obviously Suspiria, but, incredibly, this film makes that effort look almost conventional. Some of the scenes in the final 20 minutes are genuinely unbelievable - swarms of insects, homicidal chimpanzees, an unforgettable face, Iron Maiden, extreme violence and a certain young future Oscar winner looking on with unfeigned bewilderment - whats not to love!
The Anchor Bay Region 1 disc is recommended. Check out the Bill Wyman video on the extras - bet he would shudder to see this now!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hmnn Ok Then.........., 25 Feb 2006
This review is from: Phenomena [DVD] [1986] (DVD)
First things first......the sleeve displayed above ISNT the sleeve that you get, the one you do get is TERRIBLE...its a plain white with text affair thats a real dissapointment.
The movie is none too bad though it is a 4:3 Pan & Scan print..
On the upside all/most of the deleted stuff from "Creepers" is in this print and the transfer is passable....
What else can you say about Argento movies you either like them or you dont..and this one isnt his best....leaning towards a more supernatural story than the Giallo that the sleeve proclaims.
It wont win Argento any new fans...but thats not the point....more to the point is that it`s available at all....ah well not perfect but an improvement on the version of "Creepers" that was released over here previously.
Worth getting for less than a fiver........
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A visually stunning delight, 15 Oct 2008
By 
Mr. Jonathon T. Beckett "vampire lover" (Dracula's Crypt) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Phenomena [DVD] [1986] (DVD)
Okay, I think is terribly underrated. Its certainly my favourite Argento, and given the competition thats some achievement. It is a film that can astound, delight and horrify in equal measure, and if the plot baffles at first, stick with it, as you will be rewarded.
The first scene we get is of a schoolgirl being brutally murdered by a waterfall in a forest. We quickly shift to the laboratory of wheelchair bound entomologist John McGregor(Donald Pleasence), who is assisting the police in ascertaining the age of a rotting corpse, through the type of insects feeding on it. Then the location swiftly changes again as we meet young Jennifer Corvino(Jennifer Connelly) who is on her way to an exclusive girls boarding school where her father has sent her. She is reluctant to say the least. Jennifer has an incredible power. She is able to telepathically commiunicate with the insect world, and she uses this power to assist her when being bullied, or in danger. Oh, and did I mention that girls staying at the boarding school are being murdered.
Then Jennifer runs away from the school, meets up with McGregor, and along with his simian housekeeper Inga(played by Tanga), they set about trying to solve the murders.
As I said the plot may be complex, but theres real fun to be had from unravelling the various strands. Connelly and Pleasence both give great performances, as does Tanga the chimp. Also with Argento regular Daria Nicolodi. Theres a wonderfully O.T.T gory climax that will leave you reeling, and of course another wonderful soundtrack by Goblin and Simon Boswell. Brilliant. 5 out of 5.
NB-Okay DVD release, as mentioned before has different picture than one used in product information. I thought the picture/sound quality were excellent
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars lovable if slightly lumpy, 9 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Phenomena [DVD] [1986] (DVD)
I have to say I'm not sure what to make of this film. It does have its flaws, yet I already feel an affection for it, having seen it only twice.
Flaws first - as expected with Dario, the acting isn't exactly Oscar quality, but hey, you don't watch an Argento film for the method acting. Jennifer Connolly has the right vulnerable look, but at times you want her and the other actors to put more oomph into it all. The great Donald Pleasance however is always watchable.
There is more plot than in most Argento films, but the setting of a girl's school could be spookier than we see here (see Argento's own "Suspiria" for proof). Sets are faceless, and seem like a series of unrelated buildings - we see them once for a set piece and never again. And you could at least give some victims a bit of sense - if you know there is a killer about, don't go out on your own! And why keep a girls' school open when a teenager-slaying psycho is on the loose in the area?
However - there are some neat set-pieces - the use of insects is clever and never feels twee or dumb, which it easily could. The sleepwalking effect is clever (despite some dodgy 80s rock video corridors!) The set-up for the climax lasts nearly 20 minutes, but when it does come, the pay-off is good. Sadly, at the very end it goes a bit panto.
I still enjoyed this film more than "Inferno" - "Phenomena" at least has more structure. It may be flawed, but it is still better than most horror from the 1980s, which is why I give it four stars. Just try to ignore the dire Iron Maiden song that pops up from time to time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good Blu-Ray but with one criticism, 5 Mar 2012
By 
D. Parsons (Guernsey) - See all my reviews
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I last watched Phenomena as a teenager back in the 80's when it was released on VHS under the title "Creepers" with around 30 minutes of the original film cut out of it, making it a very different movie to what we have here. The only thing I remembered about Creepers was that it was quite forgettable, so I had no interest in watching it again until recently when I bought a Blu-Ray player and discovered Arrow Films. I thought I'd try the movie again, this time in its full-length form, and I'm certainly glad I did! Although this isn't Argento's best movie by any means, it still has a lot going for it, and is more than a cut above a lot of Italian horror.

Although I'm fairly new to Blu-Ray I've already bought 7 of Arrow's releases, and can say that the picture quality on Phenomena is very good indeed. The disc has some interesting special features and at under a tenner from Amazon it is good value for money, so I would definitely recommend it to fans of the genre.

As much as I enjoyed Arrow's Blu-Ray transfer of the movie I'm going to knock off one star and rate it 4 out of 5 for this reason:

The native language of Phenomena is English. Arrow's Phenomena has been created using the Italian cut of the movie, and some small parts of the English audio track are missing. This means that when watching the film with its native English audio, there are a few brief occasions when the English voices switch to dubbed Italian with English subtitles. The plus side of this is that we don't miss out on any scenes (great for fanboys), but the negative side is that it is such an oddity to watch a movie that is 99.5% English and 0.5% Italian. It's also a bit weird when, in one of the Italian-dubbed scenes, a woman on a bus says something to Jennifer Connelly in dubbed Italian and Jennifer replies "Sorry, I don't speak German"!

I'm glad we're presented with the full length version of the film, but it would have been nice to have the option of watching a more conventional and slightly shorter English-only version, either on a second disc or as a switchable option in the disc setup menu. Personally, I got used to the ocassional bit of dubbed Italian dialogue, but if you want better continuity you can always watch the entire movie in dubbed Italian with English subtitles.

Overall, and in spite of the small gripe above, I say well done to Arrow on this Blu-Ray of Phenomena. RECOMMENDED.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lost Argento Classic, 22 Dec 2002
By 
A. Griffiths "Adrian" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Phenomena [DVD] [1986] (DVD)
This is a beautuful DVD release of one of Argento's less popular films, and one that finally restores all the footage from the severely cut "Creepers", even the missing gore.
Often confusing, and at times just plain daft, this is nonetheless a beautifully set and filmed tale, with some stunning location and effects footage. Jennifer Connelly is superb in the lead role as a girl who can communicate with insects. Donald Pleasance struggles with a rather hammy Scottish accent, but the plot moves along well, with a very exciting last twenty minutes as Jennifer attempts to escape after being captured by the villain, and there is a superb multiple-surprise climax. All in all, a great example of Argento's unique film-making skill. The violence and gruseome scenes on display are very well done, gory enough for all Italian horror buffs, and the film is released with an option to view in widescreen or full-screen, which is oddly not mentioned on the sleeve. There are no extras, but it's such a good version of the film, all fans of the director should seek this out. Well done to the distributors.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever, interesting storyline and some genuine horror moments., 19 Jan 2009
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This review is from: Phenomena [DVD] [1986] (DVD)
After only ever having seen Creepers, it was nice to finally be able to watch the full version. The story involves Jennifer, a girl who finds she can communicate with insects, arriving at a Swiss boarding school for girls. Before long she finds there is a serial killer on the loose, and it's up to her - with the help of her insect friends plus a local entomologist - to solve the crimes.

This is a brilliant film. The use of solving crime with the help of insects is an inspired one, and the sleep-walking scenes are marvellously surreal. The horror is real horror, and there's a first-rate soundtrack (which is well worth getting on CD). My only complaint was that there are a few lines of dialogue in the English language version which seemed to be in Italian(?) for no apparent reason. These include some woman trying to get Jennifer to close the window on a tram-car and some of the arguing between Jennifer and that woman with glasses. But as this doesn't really affect the film overall it's still a must-see.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great presentation of one of Argento's weirdest., 25 Feb 2012
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This is the third version of the film I've owned and compared to the previous DVD releases, this Arrow Blu-ray release easily blows them out of the water. I went back and watched my old Anchor Bay DVD for comparison after watching the Blu-ray (I hadn't viewed it in a while) and the drop in quality was pretty drastic and left me wondering how I was ever satisfied with it. The clarity is far improved even from the opening titles when the camera does a roaming aerial shot over the beautiful Swiss countryside. The amount of extra detail and clarity makes this the best home video edition currently out there and I'd be surprised if some other company manages to improve upon it as it looked pretty much perfect to me.

This is also the first version of the film I've seen with slightly prolonged scenes that switch to Italian dialogue with English subtitles at certain points since I assume no English track was ever created for these moments. The extra snippets are very brief, sometimes lasting only one second with an extra line of dialogue here and there that frankly makes no difference at all. I can understand why the lines were cut as they bear no significance to the plot, but it's still nice to have the most complete version of the film even if you randomly get one added line here and there that makes no difference. One of the differences is so minute it begs the question why the editor even bothered removing it originally.

The Blu-ray is also region-free, so if you're in the U.S. like I am and feel jealous that we don't have Phenomena on Blu yet, take comfort in knowing this Arrow release will work just fine.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of Dario Argento, 20 Sep 2010
By 
L. Cross "Leeroy Lewis" (Liverpool, U.K) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Phenomena [DVD] [1986] (DVD)
I am a huge fan of Argento's early work (before he came out with the most awful movie I've seen in a long time - Mother of Tears) and decided to purchase this to add to my little collection of films by him. I must say, that this is probably the best giallo movie I have ever seen with the most individual storyline added to it. The storyline of a young teenage girl who can communicate with insects and uses her ability to track down a local killer may sound somewhat cheesy and childish, but I assure you that you won't be disappointed. As with most Argento movies, the dialogue can get a little over-dramatic but that adds to the movie. The ending is really spectacular in my opinion, too.

The soundtrack is fantastic, one of the best movie soundtracks I've heard in a long time. This again adds to the movie.

The only critisim I have on this movie is that the DVD cover is very cheap looking. But still, this has become one of my favourite movies ever.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A terrifying and incredible movie, 24 Feb 2010
By 
Abigail M. Johnston "Bowie fan" (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Phenomena [DVD] [1986] (DVD)
Phenomena, with it's classic rock soundtrack and edgy shoots it's a DEFINITE for a night in with any horror film.
Dario Argento, one of the great directors of our time, his familiar techniques we are so accustomed still chill us to the bone.
Jennifer Connelly is a class act, one of her finest films in her teens, she plays a fantastic lead of both damsel in distress and unlikely hero with her communication to the animal world. Top DVD quality and a spine chilling evening in, this is a thoroughly and captivating film for all the horror buffs out there.
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Phenomena [DVD] [1986]
Phenomena [DVD] [1986] by Dario Argento (DVD - 2006)
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