Phenomena

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Ribs
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Phenomena

#1 Post by Ribs » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:20 am

From master of horror Dario Argento (Suspiria, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage) comes Phenomena – one of his most eccentric and unique thrillers, featuring telepathic insects, maggots galore, and even a razor-wielding chimp!

Jennifer Corvino (Jennifer Connelly, Labyrinth), daughter of a world-renowned movie star, arrives in the so-called “Swiss Transylvania” to attend an exclusive girls’ school. However, a vicious killer is targeting the pupils, and sleepwalker Jennifer finds herself in the assassin’s headlights when her nocturnal wanderings cause her to witness the death of a fellow pupil. Aided by paraplegic etymologist John McGregor (Donald Pleasence, Halloween) and her own uncanny ability to communicate telepathically with insects, Jennifer sets out to track down the killer before she herself becomes the latest victim…

Released in 1985, towards the end of Argento’s decade-long golden age as a director, Phenomena co-stars Dalila Di Lazarro (Flesh for Frankenstein), Patrick Bauchau (Clear and Present Danger) and Daria Nicolodi (Tenebrae), and features lush cinematography by Romano Albani (Inferno) and a pounding prog rock score by Goblin (Deep Red, Suspiria). Presented here in a sumptuous new 4K restoration of the film and a newly created “hybrid” English/Italian audio track on the full length 116-minute Italian version, this is the definitive release of Argento’s creepy classic.

LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS:

Brand new 4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative produced by Arrow Video exclusively for this release
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations of all three versions of the film: the 116-minute Italian, 110-minute international and 83-minute “Creepers” cuts
New 5.1 surround mixes of the Italian (116-minute) and English (110-minute) soundtracks in lossless DTS-HD Master Audio, derived from the original 4-channel Dolby Stereo elements
New hybrid English/Italian soundtrack for the 116-minute version in lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and PCM 2.0 stereo*
Italian soundtrack for the 116-minute version in lossless PCM 2.0 stereo
English soundtrack for the 110-minute version in lossless PCM 2.0 stereo
English soundtrack for the 83-minute version in lossless PCM 1.0 mono
Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
New audio commentary by Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films
The Three Sarcophagi, a new visual essay by Michael Mackenzie comparing the different cuts of Phenomena
New feature-length documentary including exclusive interviews with co-writer/producer/director Dario Argento, actors Fiorenza Tessari and Davide Marotta, co-writer Franco Ferrini, production manager Angelo Jacono, special optical effects artist Luigi Cozzi, makeup artist Pier Antonio Mecacci and composers Claudio Simonetti and Simon Boswell
Original Italian and English theatrical trailers
Limited edition 60-page booklet containing new writing by Mikel J. Koven, Rachael Nisbet and Leonard Jacobs
Limited edition packaging featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Candice Tripp

* The 116-minute Italian cut features approximately six minutes of footage for which English audio does not exist. In these instances, the hybrid track reverts to Italian audio with English subtitles.

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swo17
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Re: Phenomena

#2 Post by swo17 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:31 am

You'd think this was Suspiria!

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Banasa
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Re: Phenomena

#3 Post by Banasa » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:29 pm

Probably time I looked into this one. I've always been curious about films, but when I hear about multiple cuts and multiple reviews of these kind of genre films I have trouble understanding the general reputation of these films as its hard enough to tell which version any reviewer has seen.

Looking forward to it!

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Re: Phenomena

#4 Post by kidc85 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:10 pm

Banasa wrote:Probably time I looked into this one. I've always been curious about films, but when I hear about multiple cuts and multiple reviews of these kind of genre films I have trouble understanding the general reputation of these films as its hard enough to tell which version any reviewer has seen.

Looking forward to it!
What good critical reputation the film has nowadays is solely based on the 110/6 minute versions. I've never read anybody say that Creepers is worth choosing to watch over the longer versions; there's an audience for it, but more from a curio or nostalgic viewpoint. Michael Mackenzie's visual essay on the different edits is sure to scratch the minimal itch I have over this cut.

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Banasa
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Re: Phenomena

#5 Post by Banasa » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:15 pm

That's what I gathered. I always like to see what gets edited down or changed up regardless. I know <em>Deep Red</em> still seems to get mixed reactions of which cut is superior from Arrow's previous box, so I'm dabbling into this as the next logical follow-up. Not maybe as the next "must-see" Argento but the next one to pick up from Arrow anyhow.

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Re: Phenomena

#6 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:29 pm

This is one of those films that I very much enjoy, although the lack of a bespoke Goblin soundtrack is felt a little. I love a lot of the music, and especially the Bill Wyman "Valley" piece over the first scene (which is perhaps my favourite scene in any Argento film, which ends with a spectacular slo-mo version of the 'head smashing backwards through glass' image from Tenebrae, all backed by a waterfall! Its so good that the rest of the film struggles to match it!), but this is also the point at which murder scenes start getting scored to Motörhead and Iron Maiden too, which I found a little jarring!

I just love the cast of this film. I doubt we'll ever hear from her on this but I'd be fascinated to find out what Jennifer Connelly made of the whole experience of spending most of the film either sleepwalking or following the path of insects through a scene (the whole 'embracing nature' aspect of this gets even more strangely played with in the seemingly PTSD'd idyllic hill rolling climax of Opera! That itself almost anticipates The Stendahl Syndrome!). Or getting to replay a certain scene in a muddy pool with skeletons that seems to have come straight from Poltergeist! Not to mention the whole climax! (It makes acting in the surprisingly dark Jim Henson film Labyrinth after this seem downright tame! Or perhaps good preparation!)

It also has a strange supporting role for Patrick Bauchau, who has had a fascinating career from his lead role in Eric Rohmer's La Collectioneuse to briefly popping up in David Fincher's Panic Room as the ex-husband who seems as if he is going to be the person who'll turn up and save the day but who immediately gets brutally beaten up by the home invaders! He doesn't fare much better in this film either!
Last edited by colinr0380 on Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Phenomena

#7 Post by rapta » Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:39 pm

Was a little sad I missed out on the old release as I got to Argento later than most - and am interested to see what Donald Pleasence and Jennifer Connelly are like in a film like this - so will pick this up. However, I'm not a rabid fan of Argento nor giallo, so happy to get a slimmed-down edition of this one.

It's not particularly clear what is exclusive to this set, other than the booklet. I wonder if there will be a 3-disc version in a single Amaray case announced at a later date (similar to Donnie Darko)? Or do we think Creepers will get an entirely separate release?

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Re: Phenomena

#8 Post by Rupert Pupkin » Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:06 am

sorry I'm a little slow... :oops: I had bought several years ago on blu-ray "Phenomena" by Arrow. Beside the bonus, they have redone completely the transfer (a new x4 transfer ?)
because on the back of the Arrow release I have they say "High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations of all three versions of the film: the 116-minute Italian" (this is the longer cut (I believe)
and with the new announcement, I can't figure which version/cut will be a fresh new x4 transfer... so?

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Re: Phenomena

#9 Post by Ribs » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:19 am

Full specs, new additions in bold:

• Brand new 4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative produced by Arrow Video exclusively for this release
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations of all three versions of the film: the 116-minute Italian, 110-minute international and 83-minute “Creepers” cuts
• New 5.1 surround mixes of the Italian (116-minute) and English (110-minute) soundtracks in lossless DTS-HD Master Audio, derived from the original 4-channel Dolby Stereo elements
• New hybrid English/Italian soundtrack for the 116-minute version in lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and PCM 2.0 stereo*
• Italian soundtrack for the 116-minute version in lossless PCM 2.0 stereo
• English soundtrack for the 110-minute version in lossless PCM 2.0 stereo
• English soundtrack for the 83-minute version in lossless PCM 1.0 mono
• English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
• New audio commentary by Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films
• The Three Sarcophagi, a new visual essay by Michael Mackenzie comparing the different cuts of Phenomena
• Of Flies and Maggots, a new feature-length documentary including interviews with co-writer/producer/director Dario Argento, actors Fiore Argento, Davide Marotta, Daria Nicolodi and Fiorenza Tessari, co-writer Franco Ferrini, cinematographer Romano Albani, production manager Angelo Jacono, assistant director Michele Soavi, special optical effects artist Luigi Cozzi, special makeup effects artist Sergio Stivaletti, makeup artist Pier Antonio Mecacci, underwater camera operator Gianlorenzo Battaglia, and composers Claudio Simonetti and Simon Boswell
• Original Italian and English theatrical trailers
• “Jennifer” music video, directed by Dario Argento
• Rare Japanese vintage pressbook
• Remastered soundtrack CD featuring the complete Goblin instrumental soundtrack, plus four bonus tracks by Simon Boswell and Andi Sex Gang
• Limited edition 60-page booklet containing new writing by Mikel J. Koven, Rachael Nisbet and Leonard Jacobs
• Limited edition packaging featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Candice Tripp
Last edited by Ribs on Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Phenomena

#10 Post by Banasa » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:25 am

[Edit: Beaten to the new content]

Basically if you walked by Argento unknowingly during the filming of Phenomena you are invited to take part in the making-of documentary.

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Re: Phenomena

#11 Post by MichaelB » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:04 pm

I proofed the subtitles for the doc - it's exhaustively thorough, and it's actually longer than the main feature.

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Ribs
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Re: Phenomena

#12 Post by Ribs » Tue May 02, 2017 10:46 pm


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TMDaines
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Re: Phenomena

#13 Post by TMDaines » Thu May 04, 2017 11:45 am

What are the extras on the older Arrow release like? Shame none were ported over?

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Re: Phenomena

#14 Post by perkizitore » Thu May 11, 2017 9:30 am

Which version should I watch first, I guess the English one?

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Re: Phenomena

#15 Post by dwk » Thu May 11, 2017 11:04 am

The 110-minute cut is probably the best version of the film.

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Re: Phenomena

#16 Post by Glowingwabbit » Thu May 11, 2017 10:34 pm

Just got my copy in the mail today. The packaging is gorgeous!!! I really wish Criterion would put as much effort into their releases of classics as Arrow does for these "lesser" works.

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Re: Phenomena

#17 Post by Askew » Fri May 12, 2017 6:51 am

Is there going to be a non-limited edition of this new restoration coming out?

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Re: Phenomena

#18 Post by MichaelB » Fri May 12, 2017 8:47 am

Based on precedent, I'd assume so, but I don't think Arrow has confirmed anything.

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Re: Phenomena

#19 Post by Ribs » Fri May 12, 2017 8:50 am

I'd say it has a pretty good chance of being announced today for release in August, given the LE has all but sold out.

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Re: Phenomena

#20 Post by M Sanderson » Sun May 14, 2017 12:46 pm

Very impressive, world class transfer here.

Well worth rereleasing in a better version.

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TMDaines
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Re: Phenomena

#21 Post by TMDaines » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:23 pm

How come these new Argentos are not carrying over any of the extras from the previous releases? So people hold onto them and don't flood the market with second hand copies?

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Re: Phenomena

#22 Post by Banasa » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:30 pm

I'm leaning towards that they were made by Calum's High Rise Productions or that the new new features have overlapping information from the previous content. Usually Arrow doesn't like to repeat itself twice with their features.

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Re: Phenomena

#23 Post by MichaelB » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:41 pm

Banasa wrote:I'm leaning towards that they were made by Calum's High Rise Productions or that the new new features have overlapping information from the previous content. Usually Arrow doesn't like to repeat itself twice with their features.
Both statements are true.

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Re: Phenomena

#24 Post by jsteffe » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:13 pm

M Sanderson wrote:Very impressive, world class transfer here.

Well worth rereleasing in a better version.
I want to second this. I purchased the Synapse version earlier, and it was excellent as one would expect with them. But this new restoration is even better--it should be definitive for some time to come. The image is very rich and film-like. The set's wealth of special features further makes it worth picking up even if you have other versions on Blu-ray.

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Re: Phenomena

#25 Post by M Sanderson » Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:52 pm

First time I've truly enjoyed the film.

I've seen it with new eyes after the Arrow release.

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