by Dwight H. little, the man who brought us Halloween 4,
Phantom of the Opera offers a unique perspective on Gaston
Leroux's tale of a madman haunting the catacombs of a famed opera
house- the classic horror drama as slasher movie.
on Kevin Yagher's patented 80's gore makeup, this version of the
tale (set in London, not Paris) gives us a Christine (a surprisingly
endearing Jill Schoelen) who transports back in time after an
on-stage mishap and comes face to face with Erik Dessler- a psychotic
serial killer/composer who was driven mad when he sold his soul
to have his music heard, only to have his face disfigured in the
star here is Robert Englund, and despite the fact that the production
seems determined to evoke memories of that other character Englund
is immediately recognized for, the man does deliver a memorably
dramatic twist on the famed horror icon.
this film doesn't have the pageantry (or even the chandelier sequence)
of other incarnations, it does capture the feel of the original
story quite well, and Englund really does step outside of his
dream killer status to deliver a genuinely effective performance.
He's quite simply superb in the role, obviously relishing every
grandiose gesture and line.
Hyde White rounds things off nicely as a suitor who proves to
be no match for the monstrous maestro, and Little's direction
is solid, keeping the story flowing at a brisk pace. Particularly
effective is his handling of the masquerade ball sequence, wherein
Englund easily commands every moment of screen time in a costume
evoking the Red Death.
in all, fans of splattery 80's horror and Robert Englund will
want to spend an hour and a half seeing what lies behind this
review refers to the VHS edition. The Phantom of the Opera
(1989)is also available in a widescreen dvd format.
out of Ten Macabre Makeup Applications.