A back-stage accident knocks New Yorker Jill Schoelen out and into her earlier incarnationas a 19th-Century opera singer in London. Madly in love with her is the Phantom (RobertEnglund), a composer who sold his soul (and his face) to the Devil in exchange for musicalimmortality. Englund coaches Schoelen and eliminates anyone who interferes with her career. Hewill also stop at nothing to ensure that he and Schoelen are united forever.
We’re a long way from Andrew Llo…d Webber, thank God. This is return to the out-and-outhorror of the 1925 film. No cute little mask covering a teeny patch of a matinee idol face here.Instead, this Phantom sews the flesh of his victims onto his blasted features, temporarily adoptinga face that can be seen in public (and the result is that Englund looks and sounds rather like awaxy Jack Palance). Gruesome and filled with murders, the film is like a particularly goryHammer flick, with very atmospheric photography and a great, gothic feel. The rather classy lookis surprising, given that the producer is veteran exploitationer Harry Alan Towers.
This is a very bare-bones disc, right down to the audio, which is only 2.0. The track is veryatmospheric, however. The surround effects have a continuous presence, leading to a veryeffective environment, even if the efforts in this area are perhaps a little bit too enthusiastic attimes.
The transfer does very well by the colours, which are very rich, and the blacks are very deep.The often very striking cinematography comes across very well, then, generally speaking. Thereis no real grain or edge enhancement to deal with, and my only reservation is an occasional slightsoftness to the image. The picture comes in both 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and fullscreenaspects.
Nothing but the trailer.
While not a patch on the Lon Chaney film, this version needn’t hang its head in shame,either, and I’ll wager that it will look even better in the wake of the new film — the combinedtalents of Webber and director Joel Schumacher make for gloomy prospects indeed.
Special Features List
- Theatrical Trailer