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With a run time of just 78 minutes, THE PHANTOM OF HOLLYWOOD was a made-for-TV movie about a Phantom haunting the movie backlots of Hollywood, who starts killing the people trying to treat the backlot down, and even taking one of the studio executiveís smokiní hot daughter hostage. On the one hand, it plays sort of like a slasher flick, as this dark, masked figure goes around taking out people one by one, all the while the studioís PR rep (and filmís main lead) trying to solve the mystery of who this crazy guy is and stop him from doing any more harm to the folks hanging around one of Hollywoodís biggest studios. And at first it almost tricks you into thinking itís a slasher flick from the era that essentially invented the slasher genre, but noÖ itís not. For better or worse, itís a take on PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, though the killer isnít much of a phantom at all.
A flick as unaffecting as THE PHANTOM OF HOLLYWOOD is hard to review because it was on and it was relatively entertaining in a so-bad-itís-good kind of way, and then it was over and I moved on with my life and never really looked back. For the most part, itís a harmless flick that is straight to the point of itís story and doesnít waste any time getting though it as fast as possibleówhich is great, because if it were any longer, I would have probably been tearing my hair out. At the same time, I canít really say it was a good movie nor would I ever recommend to anyone to check this flick out. Itís forgettable, it offers nothing to the genre, and because it was made for TV, thereís absolutely no blood, gore, boobs, or even bad language. Itís about as G rated as they get, and yet itís quite obviously aimed at adults (and not children), so itís kind of whack.
For those who are big PHANTOM OF THE OPERA fans, youíd probably get a kick out of seeing this take of the story, set in the backlot of an old Hollywood studio. The Phantomís medieval garb is more hilarious than it is haunting, and the idea of this guy being a stealthy killing machine is quite funny considering heís such a clumsy f*cker and when using his trusty bow-and-arrow, is the worse shot ever. But somewhere in here thereís a glimpse of charm and character that you canít help but like, and thatís something thatís worth mentioning and taking note of, because thereís a lot of crap made these days that lacks charm and likeability.
Video: Presented in fullscreen 1.66:1, the flick is perfect for those who have one of those square TVs. For the rest of us with widescreen TVs, itíll either stretch itself out to fill the void, or give you a couple of black bars on the side. Either way, itís pretty weaksauce, but againÖ itís how they rolled 30 years in the made-for-TV department. That said, the transfer and video quality is actually pretty damn good, or at least way better than I was expecting.