As a staunch atheist, it's a challenge to my lack of faith when a release like this appears, because if there was ever proof that God exists, it's the fact that Arrow Video is releasing Brian DePalma's masterpiece, Phantom of the Paradise, on Blu-ray.
This film, long ignored on US home video, has only been released on Blu-ray in France, so this release is more than welcome. DePalma's horror-tinged ode to Gaston LeRoux's oft-adapted Phantom of the Opera is a wonderland of craziness and blood, unlike anything that I've ever seen. If this world were a just one, Phantom of the Paradisewould have the kind of midnight-movie success that The Rocky Horror Picture Show has enjoyed. Here's the synopsis from Arrow Video:
Brian De Palma’s inspired rock’n’roll fusion of Faust, The Phantom of the Opera and The Picture of Dorian Gray boasts an Oscar-nominated score by Paul Williams, who also stars as an evil record producer who not only steals the work of composer/performer Winslow Leach (William Finley) but gets him locked up in Sing Sing - and that’s not the worst that happens to him along the way.
Few revenge scenarios have ever been so amply justified, but the film is also constantly aware of the satirical possibilities offered by the 1970s music industry, exemplified by Gerrit Graham’s hilariously camp glam-rock star. Jessica Harper (Suspiria) appears in her first major role as the naïve but ambitious singer, on whom Winslow secretly dotes.
Prodigiously inventive both musically and visually, this is one of De Palma’s most entertaining romps, not least because it was so clearly a labour of love.