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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
  Subtitles
    English - Hearing Impaired
  Extras
  • Theatrical trailer

Phantom of the Paradise

20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox . R4 . COLOR . 87 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

They seek him here
They seek him there,
They seek that dastardly Phantom everywhere.
Is he in The Paradise?
Or is he in Hell?,
The Phantom wants his music back
'cause only he can sing it well.

Swan stole the music for himself
To open up his club,
Then had the Phantom sent to jail,
Hoping he'd shut up.
But silenced the Phantom wouldn't be
For revenge he wished to seek,
Upon those who stole his precious works
And deprived him of his teeth.

Now this Swan was a shifty negotiator
Yet was a victim of his own pride,
So he tricked the Phantom once again
To save his own backside.
But his Faustian plot would prove his undoing
And Phantom knew this well,
So Phantom took the chance to set it straight
And sent Swan back to Hell.

If a lesson were to be learnt here,
It would be a simple one.
That Brian DePalma is a bizarre filmmaker
But his films they sure are fun.
He borrows and steals and pays homage
To filmmakers who came before him.
And puts it all up on the screen
And asks us to adore him.

Of course the acting's hammy,
And the story a little contrived.
But the songs Paul Williams wrote for De Palma
Prove the short-arse really could jive.
In the end I came away with a smile
A wagging tail from my cat, Rover.
Two thumbs up it does get from me,
I recommend you check it over.

  Video
Contract

The film looks slightly more vibrant than I would have guessed for one made in 1974. Expecting slightly dulled colours, instead they look just fine. The contrast is also good, with nice definition, allowing the night and the stage/crowd scenes not to descend into a mess. As expected it's not overly detailed, and has a few lapses where the image seems a tad soft or blurred, but don't blame the transfer as it looks to have been in the source, and some closeups are satisfying in their clarity.

  Audio
Contract

This probably would have benefited greatly from a 5.1 remix, and not just for the hell of it, either. This is one case where the atmosphere and music would really have come to life in your room, but unfortunately all we get is a perfectly reasonable sounding stereo mix instead. It's not an overly dynamic or active mix, with no real separation or panning activity to speak of, but it's always clear, even with the Phantom's metallic slurred voice. Musically, the songs all sound fine within the restrictions of the audio quality, with only a few harsher moments, and this also applies to to a few instances of the dialogue.

  Extras
Contract

Just a Theatrical Trailer to sit through.

  Overall  
Contract

Just in case my so-called poetry was a little indecipherable to you, or just so bad that you couldn’t bear to finish it, essentially it says that the film is a quirky and interesting tale that borrows from a few different sources to good final effect. What’s more, for a devotee of The Twilight Zone like me, the little touch of having Rod Serling do a voiceover at the beginning is a touch of minor genius. Another surprise is Paul Williams, who both stars as Swan the musical entrepreneur and actually wrote all the music. It’s worth listening closely to many of the songs, as the lyrics can be very clever parodies, not to mention quite catchy.


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=1754
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      And I quote...
    "This is about as bizarre as they come - Brian De Palma was clearly out of his mind when he made this. Not a brilliant disc by a long shot, but still worth checking out..."
    - Vince Carrozza
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DVP-525
    • Receiver:
          Sony STR-DB1070
    • Speakers:
          Wharfedale s500
    • Centre Speaker:
          Polk Audio CS245
    • Surrounds:
          Wharfedale s500
    • Subwoofer:
          DB Dynamics TITAN
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
      Recent Reviews:
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    "What, indeed, was the point of this film, and why did they write a part for a bloody rooster?"

    Santana - Down Under Live at Sydney's Hordern Pavilion
    "Fans can look beyond the flaws though and just revel in the Gold FM hits without the annoying ads."

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    "It’s your typical ‘lovesick masked psycho meets girl, girl unmasks psycho, psycho goes on rampage” story."

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