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Phenomena (1985)
Movie Review by The Mortician

Phenomena (1985) Another master work from Italian horror maestro Dario Argento. Always have loved this one and revisiting it, I couldn't get enough! Watched it twice in a row. Stunningly beautiful Jennifer Connelly plays an American student arriving at a Swiss Boarding School, placed there by her indifferent movie star father. Turns out there are murders happening in the area, and the targets are all girls her age, 14-17 years old. (Eerie opening sequence highlights the gruesome murder of a sexy young school girl.) Jennifer has a strange psychic connection to bugs (especially flies) and is able to use them to help track down the killer, with the able assistance of genre favorite Donald Pleasance, playing a wheelchair bound bug expert helping the police solve the sickening homicides. Again, style and tone overwhelm story in this one. It's not the tale as much as how it's told, and in this case, Argento rules the day. The wind, the Swiss mountains and landscape, the school, the wild soundtrack score (a mix of Goblin members and heavy metal, to name a few), stylistic lighting and the CARRIE predicament of the young protagonist (she also has some kind of psychic abilities) all merge into a fascinating journey. Love the ending of this film, harking back to DEEP RED with TWO killers once again, not to mention a malformed Jason Vorhees looking kid that goes on a full rampage at the end, including an underwater bit that will put a smile on any FRIDAY THE 13TH fan's face. There's also a Mrs. Vorhees style decapitation and other FRIDAY homages, so lap it up, you wastrels! It's Darto channeling Sean Cunningham and Stpehen King with another great score by Goblin and a wild mix-mash of heavy metal (which I love but doesn't fit many of the sequences too well), including Iron Maiden and Motorhead...They sure don't make em like this anymore, sadly...

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