Sunday, December 30, 2012

Phantom of the Paradise (1974)

Phantom of the Paradise (1974)
Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Jessica Harper, Paul Williams, William Finley

Naive songwriter Winslow Leach allows superstar record producer Swam (Williams) to look at his music. After not hearing back for a month Leach takes a trip to Death Records, Swan's label, to talk to him.

Now what do you think happens?

A) Swan apologizes about the mixup and they talk business
B) The receptionist says he's busy, so Winslow makes and appointment and they discuss it then
C) Winslow is framed for drugs, sent to prison, has all his teeth taken out and is mutilated by a record press

If you guessed A or B, then get out of here. Just get the hell right on out!

Are they gone? Good.

So a deformed Winslow hides away in Swan's new club The Paradise, makes a deal with the devil himself, and has a snazzy new outfit. He also has time to fall in love with sultry Jessica Harper, writing his masterpiece for her. But Swan has other plans.

Six Things I've Learned from Phantom of the Paradise

1. I REALLY hate 50's nostalgia bands. Fuck you Sha Na Na...the only real Bowser likes to kidnap princesses, not look like the Fonz in a funhouse mirror.

2.  The bands onstage only kill for fun, but boy do they die for real.

3. When attacked with bathroom products, is it better to be attacked with a plunger or a scrub brush?

4. Even if you don't like the film, the music in this is fantastic. Paul Williams is a great songwriter, and Jessica Harper's voice is one in a million.

5. Paul Williams looks way too much like a young Silver Spoons era Ricky Schroeder. I was hoping to see Swam ride in on a train.

6. Beef looks an awful lot like Frank N Furter (although that movie was still a year away), and I'm convinced that the Phantom's voice box was ripped off for Darth Vader. Not like De Palma and Lucas didn't know each other.

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