Saturday, February 9, 2019

snail of the century.

So I've obviously given up on that whole let's review every film set in 2019 thing for now (tho' it's not like anyone was reading it) and decided to just (re) watch whatever random movie I find when tidying the boys bedroom.


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 and 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) who -surprisingly - one day actually asks lil ms. mousy out on a date.

A date to the 'dancing' no less.

Stunned by this turn of events - and forgetting that she's in a horror movie - Kathy excitedly 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 Heels' by top popster Douglas Meakin no less) unaware of what is about to occur.

"(Pop) eyed son!"

After a night of funky frugging Fred offers to take Kathy home but on the way
pulls his Jeep over on a secluded wooded path, where he almost immediately - well it is a short film -  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.

What a rotter.

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.

Understandably humiliated (and 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 other reason than to introduce us to our lead actress for the evening, new girl Eva Gordon (Naszinsky; star of A Blade in the Dark and cousin of Nastassja Kinski no less) a button nosed blonde who has just arrived at Saint Mary's and is 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 and not just the fact that the film keeps abruptly cutting to shots of Kathy as the new girl does something really normal like walking up some stairs but bizarre stuff like her not knowing where she was born, being unable to convincingly walk and talk at the same time and finding random lighters hidden in her underwear drawer.

Spooky biscuits.

Luckily for Eva her roommate Jenny (lantern 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 I'm a mad Eva!"

Being a Fulci film tho' it's not long before some totally bizarre (but gorgeously shot) 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 choked to death by his own reflection.

And that's even before he's had a chance to even think about touching Eva's hemline, poor sod.

Him that is, not her.

The local police led by what looks like a council estate Zane Lowe (alongside director Fulci in a cameo) 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?"

Bizarrely, everything on campus continues as normal, the girls bitch, smoke and wear frighteningly short hotpants whilst the Super Nanny like headmistress Ms. Jones (Scrabble triple word scoring Blagojevic) wanders around the corridors in a disappointingly non-lesbian like manner unaware that there's a pretty good chance that Kathy's spirit has returned for revenge.

Could she be controlling Eva?


And thusly the weirdness continues, only coming to a head when 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.

Which is nice.

Enter (roughly and from behind whilst engaged in a crafty reacharound) 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.

Mysterious brainwaves aren't the only thing of interest to the Lothario Doc tho' as he also seems keen on sampling a wee bit of underage totty, Eva being a case in point.

Dr. Robert: diggin' your scene.

No surprises then that before long Dr. Robert has entered (shit, I've already done that joke, just imagine it again but without the reachround bit) a full blow affair with Eva with tasteful sexy scenes intercut with Kathy making the hospital machines bleep loudly as her old classmates start dying in even more bizarre ways – including naked sex-based suffocation by snails and being hugged to death by a paper mache statue of Brian Blessed.

Obviously Eva is the main suspect.

Snails in mah...well snails everywhere really.

Whilst all this deadly death is occurring, Dr. Robert begins to suffer from nightmarish dreams where the glisteningly ample arsed Eva and himself indulge in sweaty sex that culminate in her biting off his nipples and tongue to a sub Goblin rock soundtrack courtesy of Carlo Maria Cordio, the man behind the soundtracks of Troll 2 and Shocking Dark.

But nobodies perfect.

Suffice to say that Rob is fairly relieved when Eva's folk decide to take her out of 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.

Everyone's a winner then.

Tunnel or funnel?

Until that is late one night when Eva escapes from Shady Nook with the idea of being re-united with her true love.

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

Fulci's little seen - and scarily little loved - psycho-babbling B-movie opus Aenigma, whilst not being his best works is at once totally bonkers and infinitely watchable; from the aforementioned slug scene (featuring as it does some fantastically kinky shots of said shelled beasties sliming across an erect nipple) to the scary Tom Cruise poster adorning the wall of Grace's room via the bizarre (and budget helping) use of the same beheading scene to show the whole college campus being murdered to quite possibly cinema's sweatiest and most unnecessary greased arse sex ever filmed there's so much here to enjoy.

The cast - in the main a mix of Italian and Yugoslavian actors - play everything straight and to the point, not only playing the whole thing deadly serious but also managing to convince us that they're actually in the good old US of A and not the city of Pristina in Yugoslavia where it was (probably) shot*.

I mean almost everyone on screen sports a St. Mary’s Boston T-shirt at some point whilst the girls’ dormitory rooms are choc full of posters featuring everything from an American flag (with a bald eagle on it obviously), Snoopy, Yoda and even Tom Cruise.

This poster seems to be a favourite of everyone involved tho' as it appears on screen almost as often as Jared Martin's arse.

Tom Cruise, the most effectual
Tom Cruise, whose intellectual
Close friends get to call him T.C.
Providing they don't mention Scientology!

Obviously influenced by Carrie and (at least visually) by Argento's Inferno, Fulci delivers his trademark oppressive atmosphere, over the top gore and saucy sleaze which makes up for the inane dialogue and muddy plotting that plagues the production at times but let's be honest as none of the negatives really matter seeing as Aenigma is - like the great man himself - a joy from start to finish.

And if that's not enough to convince you then just imagine - like I do - that the opening lyrics were actually written in tribute to Fulci himself:

“Put on your make-up, your eyes are blue enough, tonight is special for you... You’re true...” .

*I'm taking a wild geographical stab here seeing as Yugoslavia doesn't actually exist anymore** and more importantly I can't be arsed looking it up.

**A wee bit like your parents love for you doesn't.

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