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|“||He won't hurt me. Insects never hurt me. I love them.||„|
|~ Jennifer Corvino|
Jennifer Corvino is the main protagonist of the 1985 film Phenomena. Jennifer attends a Swiss boarding school, which is being stalked by a serial killer, who kills many young teenage girls attending the school. With the help of Dr. John McGregor, a local entomologist, she discovers she has a special power: she can communicate with insects. To finally put the killer to an end, she must use these powers to pursue and catch the killer.
The film begins with a lost Danish tourist, Vera Brandt being stalked an unseen killer. She meets her fate as she is stabbed with a pair of scissors and decapitated. Her head is soon found, and is brought to entomologist Dr. John McGregor by Inspector Rudolf Geiger and his assistant Kurt. He explains that the maggots on the skull can predict the time of when Vera was murdered, which is estimated at around 8 months prior to finding the head.
Jennifer Corvino, the insect-loving daughter to a famous Hollywood movie star, arrives at the Richard Wagner Academy for Girls, a Swiss boarding school, chaperoned by Frau Brückner. She is placed with her new roommate, Sophie, and the two girls befriend. Late the same night, Jennifer sleepwalks out of the school and onto the roof of the academy, and she witnesses a student, Gisela Sulzer, being murdered. She falls off the roof, flees into the small town village, and later becomes lost in the woods. She is later found by
McGregor's chimpanzee assistant Inga, and she brings Jennifer back to McGregor's house. McGregor witnesses her having interactions with the insects, and he suspects that she has a special power to communicate telepathically with insects. She stays overnight at McGregor's, and arrives back at the academy early in the morning. The headmistress has Jennifer take a brain scan by the school doctor in order to cure her sleep walking disability.
Meeting Dr. McGregor
The following night, Sophie is murdered by the killer after leaving the academy to see her boyfriend. Shortly before Sophie is killed, Jennifer has another sleep walking incident, but awakens and hears Sophie screaming. She goes outside and follows a firefly to a black, maggot-infested glove. The next day, she brings the glove to McGregor's house to inspect it. Back at the school, the other girls attending the school begin to taunt and bully Jennifer for her being able to communicate with insects. Jennifer then summons a swarm of flies to cover the school, scaring the students, Brückner and the headmistress. Jennifer then faints. The headmistress believes that Jennifer is insane, and that she is responsible for the recent murders of her fellow students and other teenage girls around the area, and that she arranges Jennifer to be sent to a mental hospital for the criminally insane. Jennifer flees the school and heads back to McGregor's house before the ambulance arrives to have her transferred.
When she arrives at McGregor's house, he explains that he identified the maggots from the glove as the Great Sarcophagus Fly, and that this species of flies attracts to decaying human flesh. He then gives one of his own to Jennifer in a glass case and tells her that the fly can trace the whereabouts of the killer. She then leaves on a bus and arrives at an abandoned house where Vera was attacked before she was murdered. The fly attempts to lead Jennifer to a decaying, severed hand. But before she finds it, she is frightened off by a real estate agent. Moments after Jennifer flees the abandoned house, and Inspector Geiger arrives. He finds out the house was abandoned 8 months ago, which was around the same time Vera was murdered.
Later that night, Inga spots someone entering McGregor's house, and while being locked outside, Inga tries to warn him. Before Inga is able to break the window and get inside, John McGregor is murdered by the killer. Inga then goes outside and finds a straight-razor in a garbage can. She takes it and walks off. Jennifer arrives at McGregor's house as the ambulance and police have already arrives, and then sees his body being carried out on a stretcher. With nowhere to go, she heads to a local bank and calls Morris Shapiro for help and asks him to send her money for a plane ticket back home. Frau Brückner finds Jennifer at the
bank, explaining that Shapiro has called her, and that she will head on a plane home the next day and that Jennifer will stay with her at her house in the mean time.
Countering with the Killer
Jennifer and Brückner arrive at her house, and she explains that all of the mirrors in the house are covered because they upset her son, who is mentally disabled and has a disease. Brückner forces Jennifer to take anti-fever pills, since she believes Jennifer may have a fever. Jennifer locks herself in the bathroom, then
finds that it is infested with maggots. She then realizes the pills may be poisoned, so she vomits them right away. Jennifer tries to call for her, but Brückner knocks her out with a piece of lumber and imprisons her in the house as she leaves the house to talk to Inspector Geiger, who just arrived.
Geiger finds out that the abandoned house had belonged to Brückner. She takes him inside, and then the scene cuts to Jennifer waking up, she hears Geiger screaming escapes the room and heads down a tunnel, leading to a large basement. She is then grabbed by Geiger, who is chained to the wall, and Jennifer pushes him back, but stumbles back and falls into a pool full of decaying corpses infested with maggots. Brückner returns to the room and tries to kill them both, but Geiger breaks him thumb as she his torturing Jennifer, to get one of the chains off of his hand. He then grabs Brückner and beats her long enough for Jennifer to escape. Off screen, Geiger escapes as well.
Jennifer then finds Brückner's son, who has been affected with Patua syndrome, resulting with him having a deformed face. Jennifer runs out of the house and attempts to escape on a motorboat, but Brückner's son manages to get aboard of the boat and try to kill Jennifer. She then summons another swarm of flies to attack him, and he falls into the lake and drowns. Attempting to start the motorboat again, the engine explodes and bursts into flames, though Jennifer manages to jump out, and knocks over a can of gasoline over. The can explodes and sets a large ring of fire in the lake. As she tries to swim away from the fire, Brückner's son grabs Jennifer. Jennifer flees from him and emerges from underwater at a safe distance from the fire. Brückner's son also emerges, but is caught in the fire, and is burned alive, and his body sinks to the bottom of the lake. Swimming towards shore, Jennifer makes it out of the lake and sees car headlights emerge, and Shapiro greets her. Before he could rescue Jennifer, Brückner then decapitates Shaprio, and tries to kill Jennifer again. Just before she could kill her, Inga emerges with the straight-razor and kills Frau Brückner. Jennifer and Inga then find themselves safe from the horror.
|“||I am not schizophrenic, epileptic, or stoned!||„|
|~ Jennifer Corvino|
- Jennifer Simpson from Clock Tower has the name and appearance were inspired by Jennifer Connelly's character, Jennifer Corvino, in the 1985 movie Phenomena.
- Both of the main characters are named Jennifer and they have very similar appearances. Jennifer Corvino mentions she is vegetarian, while Jennifer Simpson refused to eat red meat.
- Jennifer Connelly said in an interview that she was bitten by the chimp in this film. Apparently during one scene the chimp kept turning around and Dario Argento, not wanting to film her behind, asked Connelly to place her hand on the animal to stop her from turning. But when she attempted to do so, the chimp became enraged and bit her; and then became very hostile toward Connelly for the rest of the film.
- The story Jennifer tells about her mother abandoning her was an actual story from Dario Argento's own childhood.