Dwight H. Little’s (also directed Halloween 4 one of my favorite sequels of the series) Phantom Of The Opera came out in 1989. I was a snobby seventeen year old horror fan. Back then you wouldn’t catch me going to a remake of a classic and especially a musical, well of sorts. I mean it had Opera in the title. As that snobby seventeen year old I turned my nose up at it at first. But wait, it had Robert Englund in it, Freddy, playing another bad guy. And what’s this, the makeup’s being done by Freddy’s makeup artist, Kevin Yagher, my nose slowly slide downwards and my eyes popped open with enthusiasm. Next thing I knew it I went from bah humbug to Phantom Of The Opera being my most anticipated film that year.
We all know the story about a guy who sells his soul to the Devil so his music will never be forgotten. Though the 1989 version had a twist with Erik Destler kind of haunting his music, as long as his music survived so would he.
No only did the film have Little, Yagher, and Englund, but it also had the charming and beautiful Jill Schoelen, whom I had seen in The Stepfather, but it wasn’t until Phantom that I pretty much evolved a huge crush on her and thankfully she continued in the horror genre and with Popcorn and When A Stranger Calls Back.
Surprisingly the Phantom had some pretty graphic effects with Destler, sewing skin to his face, skinning stage hands, decapitating ally thugs, and the Diva of the Opera. The film itself is very entertaining, the cast is wonderful to watch, every single of of them, even the Rat chasers performance was enjoyable and gave Destler’s character even more depth.
Again, most people have forgotten about this great 80’s film and if you haven’t seen it in awhile I suggest you take another look, it will bring back some memories, and it still surpasses some of the garbage that is being released today.
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PHANTOM OF THE OPERA 1989 Retro Review: Heads Will Roll
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