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Phantom of the Paradise (1974)

Music | 92 minutes
3,05 128 votes

Genre: Music / Horror

Duration: 92 minuten

Country: United States

Directed by: Brian De Palma

Stars: Paul Williams, William Finley and Jessica Harper

IMDb score: 7,3 (22.593)

Releasedate: 31 October 1974

Phantom of the Paradise plot

"He sold his soul for rock n’roll!"

The young composer Winslow Leach has written a rock musical based on the legend of Faust. He presents his work to record magnate Swan, who immediately notices that he has a genius composition in his hands. He wants to use the work at the opening of his new rock palace The Paradise and decides to betray Leach and steal his work. In an attempt to stop Swan, Leach is horribly disfigured. He takes refuge in the catacombs of The Paradise and devises a plan to exact revenge on Swan. Leach becomes the "Phantom of the Paradise".

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avatar van bladonis


  • 245 messages
  • 3762 votes

De Palma's rock musical/comedy/horror pastiche is so gruesomely entertaining, it ALMOST rivals the Rocky Horror Picture Show (released a year later)!

A modern update of Phantom of the Opera, starring William Finley as Winslow Leach, a geeky, out-of-work composer. But when evil record mogul Swan (part-time troll Paul Williams, who pulls off a perfect sleazebag!) hears his rock-opera adaptation of "Faust," he steals Leach's tunes, has him thrown in jail, and becomes a guinea pig. participate in an experimental teeth replacement program ("Teeth are a source of disease...")!

Even worse, when poor Winslow escapes from the slammer, and sets out to destroy Swan's record empire, his face is horribly mutilated by a record press machine! He is forced to wear a grotesque mask and leather outfit and carry out his revenge plans. Unfortunately, he unconditionally falls head over heels for singer Phoenix (the enchanting Jessica Harper), and becomes a pawn in Swan's mind games.

De Palma's material is as outrageous as his sledgehammer technique, as Brian goes on a rampage with split screens, Hitchcock homages, a wealth of parodies, an ass-black sense of humor, and prescient satires of music trends (beach pop ballades, do-wop, goth rock !).

An honorable mention to the uber-cool Gerrit Graham (best known for his expressive role as 'Bud' in CHUD2 - Bud the CHUD!) as Beef - the sniggering glam weirdo who incurs the Phantom's wrath when he takes over Poenix's role on stage !

Paul Williams' songs are great. This is one of De Palma's best films. A rock opera about a rock opera, what a concept! A true spectacle, a cross between Faust, Rocky Horror, Alice Cooper and Tommy!

For Gerrit Graham's glam rock tribute and Paul William's record producer from Hell, 4 sulfur-smelling stars!

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avatar van Woland


  • 4179 messages
  • 3436 votes

Not much horror, but a lot of fun. It's a nice cheesy glam rock variant of the Phantom of the Opera, where a troubled and revenge-hungry songwriter gets his revenge. It's a bit like the Rocky Horror Picture Show, if a little less extravagant - but that only speaks in favor of Phantom of the Paradise over that horrible cheesefest. This is also cheesy, but I still had a great time, with music that can be heard and a nice light-hearted story where a masked idiot can go wild. With his vocoder voice.

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avatar van Shadowed


  • 8904 messages
  • 5552 votes

Unfortunately, this former work by iconic director De Palma made little impression on me. Nevertheless, performing a horror musical somewhere always remains an original idea. They've been made before, but you don't see them appearing on the assembly line. That is why it is a pity that this horror musical, as far as I can call it, leaves little impression. What is especially disappointing are the mediocre costumes. Especially The Phantom's costume looks cheap and rickety. It doesn't seem like they've even tried at all. The other crew members also act poorly and even Harper, who really can act, drowns in the bombast of the film. However, criticisms such as the costumes would not have been a nuisance if the musical numbers were more fun, but after the relatively short period that I have seen the film, I can not name a single song that has stayed with me a bit. For example, the pace of the film trudges on and forgets to leave a memorable impression. It may be said that it is all colorful and filled. I may not remember much, but the 92 minutes were definitely not an exhausting session. However, most of the postive has been treated with that for me.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original