Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Aenigma (1987)
Directed by: Lucio Fulci
Written by: Lucio Fulci and Giorgio Mariuzzo
Starring:  Jared Martin, Lara Lamberti, Ulli Reinthaler
Review by: "Machine Gun" Kristin
"Aenigma" is Lucio Fulci's contribution to the what should be a "college sorority massacre" sub-genre like "Sorority-ploitation" for instance. There's certainly enough decent and ridiculous horror films that fall under that criteria such as "The Initiation" and one of my favorite Lifetime Made For TV movies, "Dying To Belong". It's always interesting to see Fulci trying to portray American (here in Boston) teenagers (or here 18-22 year olds) because they are so obviously European (mostly Serbian) from the overdubs, to the acronym like actor's names in the credits. "Aenigma" is more or less a young adult melodrama, but it happens to be written and directed by a guy known for the most sick and twisted Italian horror films. 

Before I watched this, I unfortunately saw a short description saying that is most often compared to "Carrie". I try not to read or research ahead of time on films, so I can watch them with a clear head. The "Carrie" comparison is a little weak, because its only based on the "unattractive" girl, Kathy (Milijana Zirojevic) seeking revenge on those who humiliated her. This resulted in her death by an accidental car wreck. Throughout the film, she avenges her death through the possession of Eva (a cross between Brooke Shields and Kelly LeBrock), a new student who has shown up at St. Mary's College (if you forget the name of the school, you can see it plastered on every girl's chest!) mid semester after suffering her own nervous breakdown.

As far as death scenes in Fulci films, this is slightly more tame than his earlier films, but they're still quite effective. From the gym teacher being killed by a double of himself, a girl being suffocated to death by snails, or a surreal statue coming to life and killing another student. The kids who accidentally kill Kathy show a tiny bit of remorse, but not enough to save themselves. They're still bratty self absorbed bitches. As with any Italian horror just about, the plot doesn't totally make sense, but I think this movie is a little more coherent than others. It's funny to see Eva suddenly fall for a neurologist (American, Jared Martin, who's probably best known from the TV show "Dallas") who resembles Slim Goodbody. There's a disturbing scene where she proceeds to gnaw off his nipple and then lower lip. This is after a creepy overhead shot of the two of them writhing around with barely any light so its hard to tell which body belongs to which person.
I liked this movie, hell I even liked the terrible, obscenely dated 1980s theme song, "Head Over Heels", which is oddly credited as "Head Over Meels". It sounds like a cross between Pointer Sisters' "Slowhand" and the soundtrack from obscure 80s teen flick, "Seven Minutes In Heaven" (coincidentally starring Jennifer Connolly who is in the similar Dario Argento's "Phenomena" which would make a great double feature to  "Aenigma"). 

Cameo by Sylvester Stallone
Cameo by Tom Cruise

You can watch this HERE


  1. Hi. While I think there is a slight thematic connection with Carrie the more obvious point of reference I would have thought would be the Australian film Patrick.

  2. I'm not sure I haven't seen it yet and Kristin that last guy looks nothing like Tom Cruise!

  3. Killed by snails! talk about a slow death! I saw about half and then the DVD started skipping but I do want to finish watching it one day.

  4. haha, yeah if you see that scene in the movie, the girl Kathy appears in the girl's "Top Gun" Tom Cruise poster. I haven't seen "Patrick", at least I don't think. I'll have to look it up, I forget.

  5. Patrick is not worth checking out but that soundtrack is rad!


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