Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Warner Archive Instant Cult Picks - THE PHANTOM OF HOLLYWOOD ""

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Warner Archive Instant Cult Picks - THE PHANTOM OF HOLLYWOOD

I absolutely miss the days of the TV Movies of the 1970s. They just had no fear of scarring kids by frightening the crap out of them. Things like DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK would never ever be made for broadcast television today. I think that obviously a big part of the reason so many people remember them has a great deal to do with these kind of formatively scary experiences that kids if the 1970s had. I think we are a bit overly protective of our children these days. We worry deeply about messing up our kids with the wrong movies and TV shows when we as kids often found our most important experiences with movies that freaked us out. Anyway, I'm a sucker for many things about this particular TV movie. First, it takes place on a studio backlot. Great location for a movie. Second, the "Phantom" of this film wears a wonderfully creepy mask. I was just saying to some friends of mine the other day that there aren't enough creepy masks used in horror films these days. YOU'RE NEXT is a recent example of a film that used disturbing masks effectively. Some things that add an excellent amount of atmosphere to an already memorable horror movie can be so simple. So, like I said, you mix thr haunted feeling of an old, decaying studio backlot with a masked phantom who carries a medieval mace as his wrapin of choice and you've got another of those movies that people tend to remember. There's something quite post-apocalyptic about this studio backlot and it's decrepit streets and buildings. There weren't nearly enough post-apocalyptic horror movies made. Beyond that, this movie feels like someone saw one too many Scooby-Doo episodes and thought they needed a bit more edge for a live-action adaptation. Even the Phantom's voice sounds like a slightly darker, more sociopathic version of an evil character from that show. I'm a big fan of FADE TO BLACK with Dennis Christopher and I think it'd make a nice double with this. Both films deal with movie obsessive but jobs and definitely come from a place of great affection for old Hollywood.
THE PHANTOM OF HOLLYWOOD is currently available on Warner Archive Instant in HD:

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I'm obsessed with 70's tv movies! Devil Dog: Hound of Hell, Snowbeast, Where Have all the People many great ones! What a great era...I'm glad I grew up in a free-range kid generation; it made me the mildly crazy person I am today!

I've not seen this one, but it's now on my list! Thanks!

Clayton @ Phantom Empires