The Phantom of the Opera (1989) Film Review

Posted: November 10, 2014 in Horrendous Horror Movies
Tags: , , , , ,

When Gerard Butler was the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera (2004), I fell in love. But when Robert Englund played Erik Destler/The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera (1989), I shrank away from my television screen in fear and disgust.

The Phantom of the Opera, directed by Dwight H. Little, begins when Christine (Jill Schoelen) sings a mysterious musical piece written by Erik Destler for an audition. After a stage accident, Christine is transported back in time to 19th century London, where she meets the Phantom, her “angel.” But her angel turns out to be an obsessed serial killer with a talent for music, seeing as he sold his soul to the devil. Will Christine escape, or will she perish under the streets of London?

And I must say that Little brilliantly related the Phantom’s background story, which involved meeting the Devil and selling his soul, through flashbacks and having Faust performed on-stage. Bravo, Little. Bravo.

Once Erik sells his soul, the Devil disfigures him, stating, “People will love you for your music. But that is all they will love you for.” Because of his mutilated face, and because he doesn’t want to scare Christine, he must reconstruct his face using skin that has been skinned off his victims. (Gross, right?)

And I will admit that Erik does an absolutely fabulous job with his face. One minute, his face is covered with unsightly stiches holding each skin piece together, but the next minute, no stiches. Instead, his face is pristine and smooth. Damn, I wish I could take make-up lessons from him!

Yes, I know I am focusing on Erik’s face, but I must mention one more thing: it was so disturbing when Erik had to peel his face off! It was so gooey and gross! And I can only imagine how horrible it must have felt to have Christine rip it off! Ow!

The Phantom of the Opera focused heavily upon two songs: “The Jewel Song” from Faust and “Don Juan Triumphant.” The aria, composed by Misha Segal, is hauntingly beautiful. Listen to it, and I think you’ll agree.

Once Christine awakens in present-time, she realizes she’s not alone; the Phantom has followed her. According to legend, the “only way to kill the Phantom is to destroy his music.” So, in order to destroy him, Christine steals one floppy disk of music and prints off one page of sheet music. Once she rips the sheet music and hurls the floppy disk down a sewer grate, the Phantom falls down dead.

What…? The Phantom still possesses dozens of floppy disks, and his sheet music was saved onto his computer. In order to destroy him, shouldn’t Christine have, I don’t know, set fire to his computer? Because of this ending, The Phantom of the Opera wouldn’t receive a standing ovation.

Overall, The Phantom of the Opera was a fascinating movie, and yes, Robert Englund truly frightened me.

To watch this trailer, click here.

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