42nd Street Cinema

Aenigma (1987)

It's that time again, tonight I am reviewing the late great Lucio Fulci's strange and often confusing Aenigma.

The film is set at a private all girls school, so with that in mind the cast is predominantly made up of 'teenage' girls. Some are bitchy, some are sweet and some are incredibly promiscuous with the local doctor and gym teacher.
In this interesting mix of peers, we have Kathy (Milijana Zirojevic). She's the daughter of the 'retarded' janitor and because of this it makes her different from the other girls so much so they have to pull a prank on her which lands her in a coma. Nice one.

In the comatose state...she...well I'm not sure what she does but I think she possess the new girl Eva (Lara Naszinsky, who also appeared in Lamberto Bava's A Blade In The Dark (1983)) who comes from a more privileged background. With this possession she is then able to act out her revenge upon her classmates.

Playing out like a bad version of Carrie (1976), to me Aenigma is lacking that special something which made previous Fulci films so enticing, especially musically as the scoring for this is so intolerably dull.
Visually this film is quite colourful in an Argento-esque sense, but gorehounds will be disappointed as there is surprisingly very little grue in this Fulci outing. The characters in the story are unlikable, probably due to the half assed acting.
On a plus, probably the only one, the locations for this movie are rather extravagant; marble floors and stone sculptures (which one of the unfortunate teens some how...gets attacked by).

As for the DVD release, this is as bare bones as it gets fans, I'm afraid this doesn't have any features at all. The transfer of the print is a little grainy, sound on the other hand is fine.

DVD: Image Entertainment
Running Time: 85 mins
Extras: None, which is good since the film is enough to endure.


Franco Macabro said...

This is the reason I have yet to see this one, every one who reviews it says its not one of his best, that its boring and not worth watching. Im still gonna get down to it at some point anyways cause I want to see everything that Fulci did.

Nigel M said...

Dreadful film! I may be a massive Fulci fan but find nothing good to say about Aenigma at all.

Alex B. said...

Actually, there are one or two nice shots in Aenigma, miniature shots for example.
But the dreadfully soppy "head over heels" song nullifies anything good I could possibly say about this picture.
Still it's way better than Fulci's Sodoma Ghosts

Unknown said...

Definitely Fulci at his worst. I think it had potential, but where that potential went I have no idea.

Balding Celebrities said...

Not one of his best, but probably worth seeing for the snail scene alone.

Alex B. said...

German release had the snail scene cut, as well as the "beheading by the window" and some cannibalism in the nightmare sequence

Anonymous said...

gosh scary

Post a Comment

Leave a comment...