AENIGMA (1987) – The Dungeon Review!
This 1987 entry from Lucio Fulci is pretty damn bad, but in a goodish sort of way.
Kathy is an awkward, unpopular girl whose mom is St. Mary’s cleaning lady. Kathy accepts a date with Fred, the school’s dance instructor. The two get hot and heavy in Fred’s car and when Kathy begins vocalizing her pleasure the headlights from another car illuminate the two. In the other car, a group of snooty girls from St. Mary’s laugh gleefully at the success of their cruel prank. As they taunt and tease Kathy she runs from the car humiliated and into the road where she is hit by a car. When Kathy is taken to the hospital, they are initially unable to save her. But the camera moves up and clear through the roof where we are shown a hilarious shot of the town, which looks like the winner of the grade eight diorama contest! Attractive new student Eva is arriving at St. Mary’s at the exact moment that Kathy’s soul falls back into her body. The humourless Miss Jones greets Eva and it is immediately established that Eva suffered some manner of breakdown in the recent past. Eva is shown to her room and is introduced to new bunkmate Jenny. Soon Eva is cavorting with the popular girls and flirting with Fred the dance teacher. It is the charming Fred that is the first to feel Kathy’s wrath. Yes! Kathy is able to exact terrible revenge whilst in a coma and she uses Eva as her tool!
This is certainly not the first film to use the menace from a coma scenario and it probably won’t be the last. So we have this goofy supernatural premise and each victim dies in a unique manner. There are some pretty damn funny scenes here although they certainly aren’t going to scare anyone! If you enjoy a good amount of cheese with your kills you won’t be disappointed. It was a bit of a let down that none of it was very gory though. There is death by snails, a sculpture, a character is killed by his own reflection and they throw a classic decapitation in there for good measure!
The film is fairly lively and there isn’t much downtime. This in an extra good thing because if I had to listen to much more of these hideous girls chatter it might have lost some of its so good it’s bad appeal. At one point the gals gather to smoke a joint and have the audacity to still mock and criticize coma-girl Kathy. They even goof on her mom laughing at what kind of man would have sex with a retard like her! No remorse whatsoever, which makes it that much more enjoyable when they meet their end. Obnoxious characters are pretty standard fare in this type of film. The male characters are equally ridiculous. The aforementioned Fred the dance teacher who was in on the Kathy prank has apparently banged more than his share of the schools young ladies. A real stand up guy you want teaching your daughters! Some of the gals even get emotional when they hear of Fred’s death which I found pretty entertaining. Then we have Dr. Robert Anderson, the doctor attending to Kathy. When new girl Eva goes nutzoid and starts busting up her room and then falls on the bed and begins twitching out, the good doctor is called in to examine her. (Of course we know what Eva needs is an exorcist not a doctor!) Eva is all over Dr. Anderson and it isn’t long before the two start having sex. But like our friend Fred, Anderson can’t seem to help himself around the ladies. He is distracted by the first girl who makes eyes at him much to obsessive Eva’s chagrin (let us not forget that Eva is possessed by Kathy). It is all so damn wacky! In the end it is Kathy’s mom that puts a stop to all the madness!
The version I watched was dubbed which would usually inspire a complaint from me, but I don’t think subtitles would have made a lick of difference improving this one. This film is dumb as hell but did entertain me at times. This one definitely qualifies for the so bad it’s goodish category. I recommend this one to those who can find some fun in absolute nonsense! I think you’ve been suitably warned…rent at your own risk!
Dungeon Rating: 2.5/5
Directed By: Lucio Fulci
Starring: Jared Martin, Lara Lamberti, Ulli Reinthaler, Sophie d’Aulan, Jennifer Naud, Riccardo Acerbi, Kathi Wise, Milijana Zirojevic