The other night, I caught this early Brian de Palma movie on late-night television. I had forgotten how dark and twisted it was. And it is definitely a product of the 70s. It came out before Rocky Horror, and yet that show gets all the credit for being groundbreaking and subversive.
Quick quiz. Is this from Rocky Horror or Phantom...
However, Phantom of the Paradise has a badder, more twisted protagonist, a man with half a face who flies in the face of the system.
And like Rocky Horror, it has its own queer overtones...
Is it offensive? Maybe. Seriously, you tell me. Is it offensive? I honestly can’t tell.
The actors are, for the most part, better singers. Especially the glorious female lead, who coincidentally replaced Susan Sarandon in Shock Treatment, the Rocky Horror sequel that no one seems to appreciate.
And while this film does not have a moment quite like the Time Warp, all of the extravagant musical numbers are, top-to-bottom, more enjoyable and over-the-top.
Hard core musical fans out there have probably already seen and enjoyed this film. But if not, check it out. For real. And that’s the hell of it.