Monday, May 29, 2023


Perhaps the only “insect detective” movie out there on the shelves, featuring a very young Jennifer Connelly (released one year before Labyrinth) as the daughter of a famous American movie star sent away to study at an exclusive Swiss girl’s academy, whose students just happen to be falling victim to a homicidal killer. But as this is an Argento movie, things are hardly what they seem.

Those familiar with Donald Pleasance primarily for his increasingly loony portrayals of Dr. Loomis in the Halloween series should check out his fine, subdued work here as a wheelchair-bound entomologist with a wavering Scottish accent, while Deep Red’s Daria Nicolodi adds another winning portrayal to her CV as the troubled Frau Bruckner.

The strong opening half hour is followed by a middle section riddled with kinetic fits and starts, with a bizarre, gory ending that has “kitchen sink” writ large upon it. (All eyes on the monkey.) Usually one with a fine ear for musical accents, Argento elects for a song score comprised of outside recording artists (including Bill Wyman, Motorhead, and Goblin), and while much of it works, it often calls attention to itself rather than complementing the onscreen action (particularly with Iron Maiden’s offerings).

Potentially a bit much for the uninitiated, but those accustomed to Argento’s lack of narrative logic and flair for the unexpected will enjoy the ride.

In honor of the new UHD release from Synapse Films, we have a full house (of horrors) for this week's episode! In addition to veteran Jon Kitley (Kitley's Krypt, Discover the Horror), we have Bryan Martinez (The Giallo Room), Adam Rockoff (Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film, The Horror of It All), and Lawrence P. Raffel and Carl Lyon (Monsters at Play, FEARNet) sharing reminiscences about bootleg tape trading, early internet message boards and usernames, and, of course, their first encounters with PHENOMENA and how their feelings have changed (or not) over the years.

What are YOUR favorite Dario Argento or Italian Horror films? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below. We love hearing from you!

If you enjoyed tonight's episode, make sure to LIKE and SUBSCRIBE, because we have plenty more good stuff coming your way.

Keep Searching, Keep Exploring, and, most of all, Keep Sharing the Scare!


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