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  • Writer's pictureMikeSlash


Talk about a trip….PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE is an early effort from Brian ‘Scarface’ De Palma and its what might have happened had Phantom of the Opera mated with Rocky Horror Picture Show…while on acid. This one concerns a songwriter who is approached by a producer to use his music at an upcoming show. Unbeknownst to the songwriter, as in many of these tales, the producer has nefarious plans and steals the work for himself and to top it off, has the writer, Winslow, framed and thrown in prison for his efforts. While in prison, Winslow is involuntarily subjected to some experimental program, escapes from prison after hearing through the grapevine his songs will soon be on the air, becomes disfigured once breaking into the record studio to try and destroy them…and finally evades police…and this is all just in the opening part of the story. Along the way we get a ‘phantom’ looking to extract revenge, double crosses, double loves, and a flamboyant appearance by the always underrated Gerrit Graham. Is it too late to have a spinoff with his character in present day times? This whole affair doesn’t seem like typical De Palma but for a mid 70s effort by any director, it’s going to have crazy flash and substance which wouldn’t be seen today in any capacity. Crazy characters, crazy set pieces, and a retro style that makes flicks like this one seem like a unique sub-genre. Don’t go in expecting Phantom of the Opera. Go in expecting to say to your friends afterwards…wtf was that? Compliment of the highest order.

SLASH SCENE: Gerrit Graham


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