Phenomena (1985)

This movie was first released in North America as “Creepers” with a significant amount of its running time sliced up like one of the many bodies to hit the ground here, but even with an edited running time, there’s no hiding that this movie is batshit crazy from beginning to end. At its full 116 minute running time, it’s the kind of Dario Argento project that seems to be several movies playing at once, and all of them are nuts: There’s a serial killer stalking boarding school girls, a young girl who can control insects, and a deformed borderline-mutant cannibal of sorts (among others), all of it set to a mixture of heavy metal and synth music indiscriminately sequenced into the narrative almost independently the movie’s goings on. Add to this a very young Jennifer Connelly in her first leading role, and the finished product is so insane it feels like someone’s fever dream come to celluloid life. It’s fascinating to watch for all those reasons, but it certainly isn’t for anyone other than adventurous movie watchers and Argento devotees.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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