Reviews

The Phantom of the Opera (1925) IMDb

Commentary

Unlike the original story, and more enduring interpretations of it, this version of the phantom is genuinely and only an evil monster, not a romantic outsider or bad boy. In 2012, there is something almost refreshing about the superficiality and intolerance of this ludicrous plot, but the craftsmanship seemed mediocre in the terribly degraded copy I saw.

fiction moving picture

Same source material:

Phantom of the Paradise (1974) IMDb

Extent

Seen in 2019.

Categorization

Horror comedy.

Subject

A composer is snubbed, defanged and bricked up by the evil music industry.

Commentary

It’s not just a version of The Phantom of the Opera (1909); it’s also The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890) with a bit of Frankenstein (1818) and its movie versions, along with a few quick homages to Touch of Evil (1958), The Manchurian Candidate (1962) etc. At the same time it’s a literate and profane rock-opera pastiche about the evils of the music industry, prefiguring Joe’s Garage (1979). Gerrit Graham is magnificent as Beef.

References here: The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), Network (1976), Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad (2004), Carole & Tuesday (2019), “Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too” (2019).

fiction moving picture