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Phantom of the Paradise

Give us this camped-up Faust over Rocky Horror any day. Paul ‘Evergreen’ Williams performs copyright theft on William ‘Eaten Alive’ Finlay, who tries to blow him up, gets disfigured, then lures Williams into a devilish contract to pen a glammed-up musical for love interest Jessica ‘Suspiria’ Harper. Then a deranged Gerrit Graham turns up, and things go a bit bizarre. Fantastic foil and plastic sets from Jack ‘man pulling levers in Eraserhead’ Fisk (abetted by Sissy ‘Carrie’ Spacek), and for once Brian De Palma’s ‘trademark’ split screen obsession is bang on the money and actually aids the storytelling, especially in the brilliant bomb countdown double tracking shot.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Sidney Balmoral James

    January 27, 2021 at 10:41 pm

    This film is so flamboyant, it makes your head ache. The sadly under-used Gerrit Graham is very funny in this, and strangely similar to Jobriath who was briefly making a name for himself about the same time – was either aware of the other? Hard to credit that the same man made this, Mission Impossible, and Scarface!

  2. Droogie

    January 28, 2021 at 9:17 am

    Love this film. It’s a much better movie than the overrated Rocky Horror Picture Show IMHO. Regarding the Gerritt Graham / Jobriath crossover, I also wonder if KISS as we know them were in existence when this film was made. The band The Undead in this film look uncannily like them, but surely KISS weren’t that big enough or well known back then to warrant a parody?

    • Glenn Aylett

      January 28, 2021 at 8:47 pm

      I had to attend a Rocky Horror tribute night with an ex girlfriend that left me with a huge dislike of the film, especially as I had no costume and felt about as welcome in the cinema as a dead rat. Also the pre film meet up was in a pub that was of the Sky Sports Shown Here variety and the football fans weren’t exactly welcoming to Frank N Furter impersonators. Yet Phantom Of The Paradise sounds more fun and is more exclusive and different than Rocky Horror.

  3. Droogie

    January 28, 2021 at 10:44 pm

    @Glenn Aylett. I share your dislike. Phantom beats Rocky Horror for the fab Paul Williams soundtrack alone.( it’s even better than his work on Bugsy Malone IMHO.) This short French trailer for the Blu-ray reissue is very good and a great introduction to this fab film.

    https://youtu.be/JN14b-W6BZM

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