23 September 2014

The Phantom of Hollywood (1974)
74 min.
Directed by Gene Levitt.
With Skye Aubrey, Jack Cassidy, Jackie Coogan, Broderick Crawford, Peter Haskell, John Ireland, Peter Lawford, Gary Barton.
A supercool TV horror near and dear to our hearts.

Worldwide Film Studios has decided to sell off its Backlot #2. Home to over 40 years of classic moviemaking, the place is stuffed to the rafters with grand sets, soundstages, invaluable props...and priceless memories.

And someone is not pleased about the sale.

Dressed as a medieval, masked executioner, and wielding a fierce morning star, an anonymous phantom stalks Lot #2 killing anyone who tries to raze his beloved castle of cinema yore.

This intelligent teleterror is thoroughly enjoyable and (for true movie buffs) benefits from a bittersweet longing for the permanence of the past that gives way to the shaky temporality of today.

It's got a fun vibe - think Phantom of the Opera transferred from opera to classic Hollywood - and it's buoyed by a few surprises (like the killer's murder of his own brother). Best of all are some neat flashbacks glimpsing everyone from Garbo to Rooney to Gable.

A sad reminder that the young must make their way in the world by eating the old...(but not without the old smashing a few youngs heads to lifeless pulp first!)

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