An offbeat, episodic film about three friends, Paul, a shy love-seeker, Lloyd, a vibrant conspiracy nut, and Jon, an aspiring filmmaker and peeping tom. The film satirizes free-love, the ... See full summary »
Brian De Palma
Robert De Niro,
Rock opera version of The Phantom of the Opera which also serves as a dark satire of the music business. Notorious record tycoon Swan has sold his soul to the devil for eternal youth and success - 20 years ago. Swan's current scheme is to steal the music from meek and nerdy composer Winslow Leach to celebrate the opening of his rock palace, The Paradise. While trying to stop Swan, Leach was framed and convicted for drug dealing, and becomes the victim of a freak accident that leaves him horribly disfigured. He takes refuge in the cavernous Paradise, hiding his mangled face beneath an eerie mask and planning gruesome vengeance upon Swan - and everyone else who has hurt him. Written by
Max Davison <RockyHexorcist2785>
The closing credits feature a series of montages of the cast members, identifying each by name, starting with the musical trio (Oblong, Hahn, Comanor) and concluding with William Finley as Winslow/The Phantom. These montages are made up of shots ostensibly from the movie, and most of them are, but there are also numerous outtakes. See more »
Belongs in The Unnamable Top-Ten List with "This is Spinal Tap"
My father wouldn't let me see this in 1974 (I was 11) and I recall him reporting a coworker's opinion that the film should have been rated "R."
So finally, in 2005, I see the film at age 42.
The film is disturbing on a variety of levels. First and foremost, I realized that most of the players are now in their late 50's and 60's. Disturbing, why? Well, because there's a band out there called "the Undead" (Bobby Steele, ex-Misfits) who, turns out, stole (or did he?) his name from Phantom of the Paradise's "the Undeads" Likewise, the Undeads in this film were doing in 1974 what Scandinavian death metal bands _started_ doing in the early 1990's. Furthermore, did the Damned's Dave Vanian rip off the Undead's gimmick?
I felt uneasy realizing that, had I seen the movie when it came out, I probably wouldn't have gotten any of the jokes; I wouldn't have laughed out loud at Beef, the lesbian jokes, the parody of self-important wimpy rockers. And I wouldn't have appreciated the successful composite of Phantom of the Opera, Faust, Picture of Dorian Gray, etc.
The acting is top-notch - the only way "camp" gets laughs. Paul Williams's Swan is the most black-hearted villain I've seen.
The wait was worth it for me on this one.
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