Monday, January 12, 2015

Still Slamming Evil!

I loved The Phantom movie from the very beginning. It was not the most propitious time for a superhero movie in the mid 90's, but better then than never. Of all the comic book movies I've seen, this one as much as any captured the essence of the hero.

While it might've not been as successful in other respects as ideally one would want, it did offer up a bold and positive hero who fought hard and skillfully to save people and battle the criminals and pirates who prey upon them. Billy Zane was physically convincing for the most part and his broad smile was ideal for a hero who has no real superpower save his willpower and utter confidence.

Here is an article I stumbled across from this past summer which describes how this lovely movie came to be.

For all its limitations, I still find this raucous and free-wheeling adventure a pleasure to watch.

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  1. Most people think Zane shaved his head so his "Phantom" cowl would fit better.
    In fact, he shaved it for Demon Knight, shot the year before Phantom!
    He shaved his head a few years ago for the "Tales From the Crypt" film "Demon Knight" and kept it that way through this spring, causing him to wear a wig while shooting "Only You."
    "It tends to irk people, but I like it," Zane says of the bald look. "I kind of feel like Mr. Potato Head, a neutral face which you can build from."
    The Phantom costume's skull cap fit more snugly thanks to Zane's smooth dome, although he had to wear a hairpiece for his scenes as the hero's alter identity, Kit.

    1. Great info. Thanks for the link.

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  2. I'm so pleased to discover that I'm not the only one who really dug this movie. I saw it in the cinema when it was first released & bought it on VHS (gee, remember those?) so much was I enamored of it. As you say, Zane hits all the right queues as the perfect dashing hero, & those (seemingly) long barrel twin 45 automatics with just the right air of righteous fury. Also, Treat Williams is perfect as a real "boo, hiss" villain.

    "..your dog is a wolf!!"
    "I know..."


    1. Remember VHS? I still have scores and scores of them. Sheesh!

      Treat Williams sadly was an off note in the movie for me, though I've come to appreciate him more over the years. He seemed a bit too zany, and I kept thinking of the Joker from the then-not-that-long-ago Batman movie.

      Patrick McGoohan was strange as the ghost father, but harmless enough.

      But the action was superb, and I will never forget how upbeat Zane's portrayal of the Phantom is. He nails the character.

    2. Treat normally plays sympathetic/heroic characters, so Drax was an attempt to "broaden" his range.
      Didn't work.
      My favorite Williams flick (where he really shows his action-hero chops) is 1998's Deep Rising, a silly, but extremely-entertaining flick with a great cast and wonderfully-tacky early CGI monsters!

    3. Deep Rising is a favorite monster movie of mine. It has some (but not all) of the charm of Tremors, rich characters and a properly paced plot.

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