Great Monkeys In Horror Movie History: Creepers a.k.a. Phenomena (1985)

I have a slight obsession with monkeys.  Not an unhealthy perverse kind of obsession, but an obsession nonetheless.  Why do you think my favorite commercial from the Super Bowl was ‘Puppy Monkey Baby’?  Now as I sit here and think about the usage of monkeys in horror movies in various aspects, I am reminded of one monkey who never really got much shine (subtle pun there).  Am I talking about the Sumatran rat monkey from Dead Alive? Pffft.  I wish.  No – I’m talking about the great ‘Inga The Monkey’ from Dario Argento’s underrated Italian horror movie Creepers!

I know, it’s mostly know by the original title Phenomena, but in the United States I will always know it as Creepers.  This is honestly one of my top Dario Argento films and the ending is easily one of my favorites ever (not to mention the soundtrack kicks major ass). If you haven’t seen this movie, then obviously the clip below contains major spoilers – but if you have seen it then you know that ‘Inga The Monkey’ makes a triumphant appearance in the end with a shiny razor!

Amazing how cleanly that head came flying off, huh?  Gotta love Italian horror.  Side note that doesn’t have anything to do with this clip btw:  Dario Argento loves maggots.  Ok, now onto the monkey.  Not only do I love that the monkey ends up saving Jennifer Connelly, but I half was waiting for Inga to give a thumbs up or black power fist after defeating Frau Brückner with the hand razor.  Kudos to you Inga for your loyalty and for having the know-how to toss that weapon to the side like it’s hot.  Hopefully she got rid of the fingerprints. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go befriend a monkey so I can have protection in the future in case a bunch of street toughs corner me in an alley.

When Irons Attack: Dario Argento’s ‘Opera’ (1987)

Want to see a woman get hit square in the back by an iron from a homicidal killer in an Italian horror movie?  Here ya go!

Hahaha!  That’s funny.  Until she dies a horrible death of course, which I’ll talk about in a minute.  That clip is from Dario Argento’s underrated 1987 giallo film, Opera (aka Terror At The Opera).  Soak it in folks, because this was Argento in his prime.  And Opera is full of vintage Argento, especially the scene I eluded to involving the wardrobe seamstress Giulia getting back-smacked with the iron while Betty (interesting Italian horror movie name btw) is forced to watch her die with needles taped under her eyes.  Good times!

Speaking of good times, Giulia accidentally swallows the bracelet that the killer is after while she’s dying.  Let’s just say that when he shoves the shears down her throat to try and retrieve it (all to a killer metal soundtrack I might add), I was squirming in my seat.  The good news for us, the viewer, is that he doesn’t succeed and has to cut through her throat to finally get back what he’s after, with effective sound effects to boot.  Hooray!  Watch the full scene below.  It’s in Spanish btw – so my apologies if you don’t speak Spanish.  Ay Dios Mio!

Monday Bloody Monday: ‘Dog Bites Blind Guy’ From ‘Suspiria’ (1977)

What is it with Italian horror movies killing off blind people?  In 1985’s Demons, a poor blind guy bit the dust by having his non-seeing eyes smooshed in.  The precursor to that happened in 1977’s Suspiria, when Dario Argento thought he would set the gold standard for blind people cruelty and let a guide dog take a chunk out of his sightless master’s jugular.

So, on this special edition of Monday Bloody Monday, we’re going to all gather around and watch that scene from Suspiria.  Two things come to mind when I revisit this moment by the way.  First, german shepherds are awesome dogs.  And second, what the hell happened to Dario Argento?  It’s sad to watch a fantastic movie like this and then watch his attempts at filmmaking nowadays where he has Dracula turning into a giant praying mantis.  But I digress.  Now let’s watch a blind guy get his throat ripped out by a dog.