Two thoughts immediately come to mind after watching this. One: Who thought a gory version of The Phantom of the Opera was a good idea in 1989? And two: What was Robert Englund thinking? Around this time he already had Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child. I know it sure as hell wasn’t because of money. Did he want to try to get out of being typecast…by playing another deformed, psychotic killer? I think the best part about all of this is just how Englund plays the Phantom. I think of it as Freddy Krueger if he existed in 1881, and instead of being murdered just opted to sell his soul to the devil. I might be harping on Englund the most, but I think we can be honest and say the only reason anyone would watch this is because of him.
First there’s the special effects makeup that looks suspiciously like another one of his characters.
I still can’t figure out if that was on purpose or not. I also don’t understand why he’s a burn victim if his skin is only deteriorating from being immortal. My all time favorite look for him has to be during the masquerade scene.
You can’t tell me he doesn’t look like a pimp that’s going to a 70s Halloween party. Keep in mind this is supposed to be based in London in 1881. Everyone talks and acts like every bit of 1989, so it’s a good chunk of unintentional comedy. I’ll be honest and say I can’t really say anything about the performances from the rest of the cast. Even back in the day, Englund manages to outshine every person that shares a scene with him. It’s actually pretty impressive.
As comical as this is, I’m only giving it 2/5. The Phantom of the Opera is just one of those classics that doesn’t need yet another interpretation. Or if someone absolutely feels the need to put their own spin on it, it has to be done in a way that makes sense. You can’t take out the iconic parts from Phantom just to add mediocre gore. It was an interesting idea, but it might have been a little too ahead of its time.