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Italy 1985
produced by
Dario Argento for Dacfilm
directed by Dario Argento
starring Jennifer Connelly, Daria Nicolodi, Donald Pleasence, Dalila di Lazzaro, Patrick Bauchau, Federica Mastroianni, Mario Donatone, Fausta Avelli, Marta Biuiso, Fiore Argento, Sophie Bourchier, Paolo Gropper, Ninke Hielkema, Tanga (the chimp), Mitzy Orsini, Fiorenza Tessari, Geraldine Thomas, Francescha Ottaviani, Michele Soavi, Franco Trevisi
written by Dario Argento, Franco Ferrini, special effects by Sergio Stivaletti, special optical effects by Luigi Cozzi, assistant director: Michele Soavi, music by Goblin, Bill Wyman & Terry Taylor, Iron Maiden, Motörhead, Andy Sex Gang, Simon Boswell, Claudio Simonetti, Fabio Pignatelli

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Jennifer (Jennifer Connelly), the neglected kid of a movieactor father, is shipped to one boarding school after the other for her education, & this time it's ... the Richard Wagner institute in Switzerland. But right from the beginning she has problems to fit in: on one hand she has the tendency to sleepwalk, on the other she can telepathically communicate with insects & eventually control them, which gives her a rather witchlike quality - all qualities to make her the perfect outsider. But what's even worse, there's a killer on the loose on the school's grounds, & he soon thinks she has seen him (her?) killing a girl ...

'Jennifer's only friend at school is her roommate, Sophie (Federica Mastroianni), but of course, she fallsprey to the killer before long. & when the headmistress (Dalila Di Lazzaro) soon thereafter wants Jennifer committed to a mental asylum, she runs away, to her only other friend in Switzerland, entomologist doc Mac Gregor (Donald Pleasence), who soon comes up with the brilliantly stupid idea that they have to find the killer, & with the even more stupid idea that they can do it by using Jennifer's telepathic link to insects & a Sarcophagus fly, a fly that only lives from human remains & can smell them for miles ... & wouldn't you know it, it almost works ...

But while jennifer & Sarcophagus are out corpsehunting, the killer has found out McGegor & brutally steps him, before the eyes of his beloved chimpanzee, Inga ...

Learning that McGregor is dead, Jennifer calls her father's agent Shapiro (Mario Donatone) to get her away, but instead of just sending her the money for an airplane ticket he asks Miss Brucker (Daria Nicolodi), one of the school's teachers, to give her a room for the night in her private home & fetch her the next morning herself.

What Shapiro doesn't know though is that Miss Bruckner has a deformed, derangecd son which she conceived when being raped in a sanitorium 15 years ago, & little sonny does like to murder around ab bit & keep bodyparts as memorabilia ... & mum Bruckner does everything to keep her son from being found out, even if that means chaining up a policeman (Patrick Bauchau) in her cellar or throwing Jennifer intop a pit flooded with bodyparts & maggots.

Somehow Jennifer gets away though, & learns Miss Bruckner's son is no saint either, & eventually the 2 have to fight it out in a lake covered with burning oil. Only a timely intervention of her friends, the insects, can decide the fight in jennifer's favour.

& when she gets out of the water, her friend Shapiro is already waiting for her ... only to be decapitated by Miss Bruckner, hwo hasn't in the least been calmed by the cdemise of her son (& can you blame her). But when she wants to kill Jennifer too, she is stabbed down by wandering vengeful chimp Inga ...

This time around, diretor Dario Argento applied some fairytale motives to his tried & true giallo formula, & created some cheesy images to go with it. So it comes as little surprise that this is one of his least liked films, by fans & critics alike.

But is it a bad film ? By no means, beneath its rather silly story (& are not most giallos a bit silly) the film features some strong images, great atmospheric shots (sometimes reminiscent of Argento's earlier somewhat similar themed Suspiria), gore effects at precisely the right moments, a wonderfully unhealthy fascination with ugly insects, & a very young Jennifer Connelly in an unusually strong leading performance.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD



Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...


Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!


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