Phantom of the Paradise
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"He sold his soul for rock-n-roll," read the tagline for Brian De Palma's satirical Phantom of the Opera for the '70s rock scene. After hearing Winslow Leach (William Finley) perform a song from his Faust rock opera, Phil Spector-ish impresario Swan (Paul Williams) decides that Winslow's opera would be the perfect debut attraction for his new rock palace, the Paradise. Swan steals the music and has Winslow imprisoned -- but not before Winslow meets aspiring songbird Phoenix (Jessica Harper). Jumping prison, Winslow breaks into Swan's Death Records factory to ruin the… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A very good horror comedy-drama about a disfigured musician haunting a rock palace. Brian De Palma's direction and script makes for one of the very rare 'backstage' rock story pix, catching the garishness of the glitter scene in its own time."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"An elaborate disaster, full of the kind of facetious humor you might find on bumper stickers and cocktail coasters."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"The film has everything a cult classic needs: eccentric plotting, weird characters (watch out for Gerrit Graham as Beef), bizarre costumes and a rocking soundtrack."
‑ Henry Northmore, The List
"A fairly entertaining, but only sporadically successful, horror-musical comedy."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Better than it has any right to be."
‑ Eric Lurio, Greenwich Village Gazette
"This was one of De Palma's early efforts, and its excesses can be chalked up to youthful enthusiasm -- the ideas seem appealingly audacious even when they misfire."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"While Phantom of the Paradise is a mess, it's an extremely interesting mess."
‑ Austin Trunick, Under the Radar
"If you don't love it, I have to wonder what brings you to movies in the first place."
‑ Rob Humanick, Projection Booth
"As in that other great musical spoof, The Girl Can't Help It, Phantom of the Paradise draws withering links between product and consumer."
‑ Fernando F. Croce, Slant Magazine
"DePalma's most fascinating explosion of montages, split screens, 360-degree tracking shots, subjective camera -- and the kitchen sink is probably in there somewhere, too."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"Nothing that remarkable about the plot in itself, but De Palma employs his love of gadgetry to imaginative effect, and casts a satirically beady eye upon the money-hungry foibles of the music industry."
‑ Derek Adams, Time Out
"With its climactic assassination attempt of a lovely songstress, this sardonic skewering of the music industry-as-America may be nothing less than a more rollicking, less sniffy predecessor to Altman's 'Nashville.'"
‑ John Beifuss, Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
"Does a slasher's job in cutting up the greedy music business moguls with its sharp satire."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Filled with bizarre colors, vintage 70s-era rock and truly imaginative ideas, it's still a thrill."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"De Palma's goth-goth-glam horror satire hasn't aged too well, but it's still a hoot."
‑ Scott Weinberg, Apollo Guide
More reviews for Phantom of the Paradise on Rotten Tomatoes