One of the more bizarre
films that Dario Argento directed was this rather odd
murder/mystery, which was set at a Swiss boarding school in the
Alps. A young Jennifer Connelly stars as an American student
named Jennifer Corvino, who's been sent to the academy by her
father, who's a well respected movie star.
Unfortunately, something is amiss at the
school and students are starting to disappear, along with some of
the local girls. With the police on the case her schoolteacher
Mrs Bruckner (Daria Nicoladi) tells the girls not to worry. But
Jennifer however has a rather bizarre gift, she is able to
communicate with insects and seeing as the police are drawing
blanks in there inquiries she hopes this will enable her to
locate the killer herself.
She befriends a wheelchair bound professor
named John McGregor, who happens to live nearby (played by Donald
Pleasance, with a rather dodgy Scottish accent). It turns out his
field of expertise is in entomology (bug specialist in other
words) and the police have been using his skills to help them
identify the time of death of some of the victims. He agrees to
help guide her in her quest to find the killer, but when he
himself becomes one of the victims, Jennifer is left alone to
confront the killer which soon becomes apparent is someone closer
to her than she first realised.
Though not Argento's greatest work (that
achievement would have to be Tenebrae in my book), it is
indisputably his most outrageous. Mutant babies, surreal
sleepwalking scenes, girls who can talk to insects, body pits,
some choice dialogue "That fly is your magic wand", a
bizarre school complex that's more like a labyrinth, and to top
it all off a razor wielding chimpanzee are all part of the norm
here. If you put all forms of logic on hold you'll undoubtedly
enjoy it, definitely one I'd recommend to fans of Argento's other
Overall Marks : 5/10.
taglines were used for the current UK and US
releases, but tag lines used from other versions
are... "Jennifer Has A Few Million Close
Friends. She's Going To Need Them All.",
"It Will Make Your Skin Crawl.",
"From Dario Argento the Master of
Terror", "Evil is alive and
killing", "A new breed of
terror.", "A nightmare ALIVE!".
Connelly also appeared in "Once upon a time
"Mullholland Falls" and "Waking
film had the distinction of actually being filmed
in English and then dubbed into Italian, as
opposed to Argento's other films, which were
usually made the other way round.
late Donald Pleasance was undoubtedly best known
for his role as Dr Loomis in the classic horror
film "Halloween". He has appeared in
over 180 films and TV movies during his 45 year
career, but sadly passed away in 1995 at the age
of 76, having just finished filming
"Halloween 6 : The Curse of Michael
former partner Daria Nicoladi turns up in a usual
co-starring role, this time playing the teacher
director Michael Soavi makes a cameo appearance
as one of the detectives at McGregor's house.
original UK and US releases were entitled
"Creepers", and were missing about 28
minutes of footage. The cuts were mostly to the
dialogue in order to speed up the plot, and
missed out most of the initial conversations
between Jennifer and her room mate when she first
arrives at the school, and shortens the
conversation between Jennifer and John MacGregor.
The scene where she gets a electroencephalogram
after her first sleepwalk was also removed, along
with the several close up gore shots of the
murder scenes. In addition the UK censors cut a
further 6 seconds from the initial Cinema release
and 17 seconds from the original UK video release
(the UK Creepers video clocks in at about 80
mins). There were also a few other minor
differences between the previous and current
releases with the length and duration of
background rock music in some of the scenes.
original Italian print was of the full, complete,
uncut version and clocked in at about 112
minutes. The current US release by Anchor Bay is
virtually the same as the Italian print, but
omits a scene on the bus where an old woman asks
Jennifer to close the window, and shortens the
scene where Mrs. Bruckner is arguing with Jennifer about taking
the pills, omitting the line where she says she is not allowed to
use her phone to call Mr. Shapiro. These cuts were apparently done
at directors request.
special edition DVD by "Dragon" in
Germany has these two omitted scenes intact, but
they appear in Italian. As this film was
originally made in English, it would suggest that
they used the directors cut but edited in the two
extra scenes from the Italian print.
general rule of thumb, the prints entitled
"Creepers" are cut, but the versions
released as "Phenomena" are generally
uncut. However the Australian release entitled
"Creepers" is the same as the current
UK and US directors cuts.
Cast & Crew.