Pretty Packaging: We Raise Our Hats To The Strange PHENOMENA

Associate Editor, Features; Rotterdam, The Netherlands (@ardvark23)
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British distributor Arrow Video UK is no stranger to re-releasing their older catalogue titles, and this month sees the re-release of Dario Argento's 1985 horror thriller Phenomena. Like many of his films, it is a decidedly weird affair, with atmosphere taking precedence over a logical plot. The story is about a schoolgirl who can telepathically communicate with insects, and she uses this power to solve a gruesome string of murders. It stars a 15-year old Jennifer Connelly, a year before her breakthrough in Labyrinth.

Several different cuts of Phenomena exist, with the worst among these probably being the R-rated US version known as Creepers, which is cut (or gutted, rather) by a full 30 minutes. Yet in all its forms the film has earned itself a big number of fans over the years, and Dario himself often refers to it as his favorite work.

Arrow Video's new Limited Edition boasts the longest cuts in Italian and English, and as part of many extras they've put in Creepers as well for good measure, and the soundtrack CD. Oo-er!

On top of that, the boxset is quite pretty, so here is a gallery of shots of it. Click on the edge of the pictures to scroll through them, or at the centre of each to see a bigger version.

And here it is: a dark box.

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Unflinching_EyeMay 15, 2017 6:43 AM

Want. But Creepers? Why bother? It's like the inclusion of the R-rated cut of Crash on the Warner Archives dvd. Who's gonna watch it?

Ard VijnMay 15, 2017 7:13 AM

Well... to make the 30-minute cut make some sort of sense, tiny pieces of additional footage from other takes were added. So for fanatics there are bits and pieces to sort out in CREEPERS.

And there's the whole nostalgia thing of course, where people want to see the film they loved on their old VHS. Some think PHENOMENA is bloated, too long, and prefer the shorter cut.

Unflinching_EyeMay 15, 2017 8:32 AM

Ah gotcha, thanks.