Composer Winslow Leach (William Finley) is framed, robbed and mutilated by an evil music producer Swan (Paul Williams) who then dupes Winslow into signing away his soul in order to finish his Faust rock opera for the woman he loves, aspiring singer Phoenix (Jessica Harper). But when the evil Swan replaces Phoenix with a glam rocker, Winslow begins terrorising the impresario’s new rock palace, The Paradise…
Director Brian De Palma’s rock opera puts a 1970s spin on Phantom of the Opera, the Faust legend and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. The visuals are exciting, and the sly record-industry jabs are frighteningly prescient (Swan’s like a cross between Phil Spector and Simon Cowell). But it’s the film’s rocking score by Paul Williams, which was nominated for both an Oscar and a Golden Globe, that dominates and stays with you long after the phinal curtain call.
Phantom of the Paradise is a film that’s dated and undated over the past 40 years, but you really don’t need to know all the cinematic references to get it. And when you think that director Guillermo del Toro is its ultimate fan (he even named his daughter after Jessica Harper’s character in the movie), then you know it’s a bona fide cult that’s a must see, as is this release from Arrow Video, which is packed with extras and boasts a gorgeous HD Blu-ray presentation of the feature, a first for the UK.
If you want to know more about the film and a full list of specs on the Arrow release, check out Pete’s review (just click here).
Phantom of the Paradise is released on Blu-ray on Monday 24 February from Arrow Video