Tuesday, July 22, 2008

snail of the century.

Aenigma (AKA Daemonia, Internado diabolico, L’enigme. 1987).
Dir: Lucio Fulci
Cast: Jared Martin, Lara Naszinski, Ulli Reinthaler, Sophie d'Aulan, Jennifer Naud, Milijana Zirojevic, Ricardo Acerbi, Lijlijana Blagojevic.


"I may have a fat ass, but if you slap it one more time, I’ll slap your face!"

Pug eyed Cherie Blair alike Kathy (Zirojevic - bless you) is the friendless class freak at the bizarrely European Saint Mary’s College in Boston. With her scary Lego hair, permanently surprised expression and ickle thin legs Kathy spends her days dreaming about the studly gym teacher Fred Vernon (slick quiffed sex god Acerbi).

"(Pop) eyed son!"

One day completely out of the blue Fred asks lil ms. mousy out on a date (to the 'dancing' no less) and, stunned by her new found good luck gets ready for the night of her life with the knight of her dreams (to the funky sound of the Euro-pop hit 'Head over Meels' I kid you not).

Pulling his Jeep over on a secluded wooded path, Fred starts to work his manly magic on Kathy, whispering sweet nothings and working the poor lass into a wild unbridled frenzy of naughty thoughts and sweaty thighs.

Unbeknown to Kathy tho', the couple are surrounded by her evil classmates, their cars parked just out of sight and all tuned into the secret two way radio in Fred's car.

The swine.

Giggling happily to themselves as Kathy's breathing gets deeper and Fred's dialogue gets far cheesier than you would think possible the band of baddies flash their headlights with a whoop just as Kathy thinks she's about to do the dirty with the vile Vernon.

Understandibly humiliated (and not a wee bit affronted by the turn of events) she leaps from the car and legs it back to the college with her cruel classmates in hot pursuit.

Chased onto a main road unlucky Kathy is hit by an oncoming motorist, bouncing across the bonnet and ending up comatose and in intensive care.


"Tubes in mah mooth!"

Confusingly cutting back to the school for no apparent reason, new girl Eva Gordon (Naszinsky; star of A Blade in the Dark and cousin of Nastassja Kinski no less) has just arrived at Saint Mary's ready to settle in for a hard term of studying (or as she puts it "...a successful year means making out with as many boys as possible”).

Saucy minx.

But there's something very strange about Eva, not just the fact that the film keeps cutting to shots of Kathy as the new girl walks up some stairs but things like her not knowing where she was born and finding lighters hidden in drawers.

Spooky biscuits.

Luckily for Eva her roommate Jenny (square jawed Reinthaler from Zombi 3 or is that Zombi 4?) thinks nothing of it and welcomes the new girl into the local bitch squad whilst Eva sets her lustful sights on Fred and his kick flared, stay-press jeans.

"Then I saw her face...now I'm a mad Eva!"

Being a Fulci film tho' it's not long before some bizarre (and badly plotted) shit starts 'going down' as the youngsters say.

Fred is the first to fall foul to the strangeness when, after an argument about buckets with hairy Mary the college janitor (and mother of Kathy) he's chocked to death by his own reflection before he's even had a chance to touch Eva's hemline, poor sod (him not her).

The local police led by what looks like MTV's Zane Lowe (and director Fulci in a cameo as an old man in a tramps coat) decide that he died of a heart attack and leave it at that.

"Can you show me where he
touched you on this picture son?"

Everything continues as normal, the girls bitch, smoke and wear frighteningly short hotpants whilst the Super Nanny like headmistress Ms. Jones (Blagojevic) wanders around the corridors in a disappointingly none lesbian manner unaware that there's a pretty good chance that Kathy's spirit has returned for revenge.

Could she be controlling Eva?

Things come to a head after Eva viciously beats Jenny with a stuffed Giraffe before collapsing onto her bed in a sweatily unconscious state whilst pulling what can only be termed her best cum face.

Enter the sexy neurologist cum crime fighter and ex Blow Monkeys frontman Doctor Robert (pubed headed US teevee heart throb and star of Fantastic Journey and that 80's War of The Worlds series Martin) who appears to be the only character in the movie with any idea that something maybe, oh so slightly amiss.

You see he's noticed that there are rather alarming changes in Kathy's brainwaves during (and after) each mysterious death.

That's not all he's noticed tho' seeing as he appears to have a thing for underage totty, Eva being a case in point.

Dr. Robert: diggin' your scene.

Before long Dr. Robert has entered (oooeeerrr) a full blow affair with Eva and Kathy is making the hospital machines bleep whilst her old classmates start dying in even more ludicrous ways – including naked suffocation by snails (featuring some fantastically inappropriate shots of said shelled beasties sliming across an erect plastic nipple) and being hugged to death by a paper mache statue of what looks like Brian Blessed.

Snails in mah...well snails everywhere really.

Whilst all this is happening Dr. Robert starts imagining the glisteningly ample arsed Eva and himself in sweaty sex scenes that culminate in her biting off his nipples and tongue to a sub Goblin rock soundtrack.

Suffice to say that Rob is fairly relieved when Eva's folk decide to kidnap her from the school and lock her up in a mental asylum, for one thing it means he can now starting shagging the class whore Grace (the slightly stocky Naud) without fear of losing his nips, bladder control etc and for another it means he can spend much more valuable screen time wandering aimlessly in and out of Kathy's room whilst tutting at the monitors.

Dr. Robert: funnel or tunnel?

All seems well till late one night Eva escapes from Shady Nook with the idea of being re-united with her true love.

Oh and to commit some more murders.....

Fulci's little seen psycho-babbling B-movie opus Aenigma, whilst not being one of his best works is nowhere near the shocking nadir his career would reach with the likes of Cat in The Brain.

Obviously influenced (at least visually) by Argento's Inferno, Fulci delivers his trademark oppressive atmosphere, over the top gore and cheap and nasty sleaze but unfortunately also features the inane dialogue and muddy plotting that is the signature of much of Fulci's later work.

"Come sleep in mah bed".

But there's still much to enjoy; from the aforementioned slug scene to the scary Tom Cruise poster adorning the wall of Grace's room via the bizarre (and cheap) use of the same beheading scene to show the whole college campus being murdered and possibly cinema's sweatiest and most unnecessary greased arse sex scene.

Totally bonkers and infinitely watchable, Aenigma is the best of the worst of Italian horror, you can almost imagine the opening lyrics being written about Fulci himself: “Put on your make-up, your eyes are blue enough, tonight is special for you... You’re gonna see that dream come true..."

Or maybe not.

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