Phenomena (1985) (3 of 5)

All girls school… Scary mansion… Swarms of flesh eating insects… Off camera killers… Decapitations… Gruesome makeshift charnel houses… Multiple slo mo shots of victims’ heads going through plate glass… Rotting body parts… Weird mutant children…

Scalpel wielding chimps… Torture victims… A teenage female Dr. Doolittle with ESP… Weirdly dubbed actors… The Phenomenon known as Goblin… A little Iron Maiden thrown in… Yeah, it’s an Argento flick.

Wow.This could have been a bigger disaster, but the gory silliness in the last 20 minutes saved it for me. It was kind of slow up until that point.

I think Connelly just radiated innocence at this age and you want to run in and rescue her from the dire situation she gets herself into. It’s a good thing she’s plucky.

Definitely not like the Kill All Teenager movie characters of today where the smarmy, cynical brats in the film are victims waiting to be slaughtered and you don’t really care one way or another. You pull for Connelly.

And Donald Pleasance is always fun in horror flicks; here, with an Irish accent no less.

This is a mediocre horror film to be sure, but it’s a really FUN mediocre horror film, definitely elevated by Connelly, Pleasance and some pretty disgusting rotten corpses.

Especially worth watching if you’ve already seen Suspiria a hundred times and are looking for something by Dario Argento that’s tolerable. Worked about as well as Argento’s Trauma.


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