Brian De Palma’s Phantom of the Paradise came hot on the heels of his early horror film Sisters. De Palma planned both films at the same time but the complex production design and sets forced Phantom into second place due to budgetary constraints. For those who foundSisters to be too much of a Hitchcock rip-off Phantom of the Paradise is a very different film and finds De Palma working with his most wicked sense of humour in this gothic masterpiece.
Phantom’s devoted fans not only claim this to be De Palma’s best film but also far superior to the Rocky Horror Picture Show for cult musical madness. Phantom of the Paradise also claims many celebrity fans including Edgar Wright, Guillermo del Toro and Quentin Tarantino.
Brian De Palma’s inspired rock ’n’ roll fusion of Faust, The Phantom of the Opera and The Picture of Dorian Gray boasts an Oscar-nominated score by Paul Williams, who also stars as an evil record producer who not only steals the work of composer/performer Winslow Leach (William Finley) but gets him locked up in Sing Sing – and that’s not the worst that happens to him along the way.
Few revenge scenarios have ever been so amply justified, but the film is also constantly aware of the satirical possibilities offered by the 1970s music industry, exemplified by Gerrit Graham’s hilariously camp glam-rock star. Jessica Harper (Suspiria) appears in her first major role as the naïve but ambitious singer, on whom Winslow secretly dotes.
Prodigiously inventive both musically and visually, this is one of De Palma’s most entertaining romps, not least because it was so clearly a labour of love.
The super-deluxe package, which is available both as a standard Blu-ray and as a limited edition Blu-ray SteelBook, is full of special features and bonus material.