Sunday, November 21, 2021

Review: Phantom of the Mall: Eric's Revenge (1989)

What is immediately unusual about this 1989 horror flick is that it plays as though it is a sequel to another film - perhaps called Phantom of the Mall? - but it isn't. This is a standalone film which riffs on The Phantom of the Opera, transplanting the action to an LA Mall, with the Phantom being Eric (Derek Rydall), a young chap disfigured in a house fire a year before, who is now stalking his girlfriend Melody (Playboy centrefold in February 1988, Kari Whitman) (who survived the fire) and her friends as they visit and work in the Mall, which has been built on the site of his old home.

It's a predictable setup, with one of the Mall guards (Gregory Scott Cummins) being the person responsible for the original fire ... and everyone who meets or tries to date or interfere with the girls gets killed by the Phantom ... Another security guard (Terrence Evans) who spies on the girls in the dressing rooms is electrocuted; the pianist (Dante D'Andre) turns out to be another stalker who tries to molest the girls in the carpark - he is shot with a crossbow and then bitten by a cobra introduced into the toilet system - and the Mall owner's son (Tom Fridley) tries to molest Melody only to have his head crushed in a trash compactor!

It's enjoyable hokum as the bodycount rises and Eric plants a bomb in the basement, intending to kill everyone, including the Mall owner (Jonathan Goldsmith) and the Mayor (Morgan Fairchild), both of whom were complicit in the fire.

There are some daft elements along the way, and the film seems to have half an eye on the humour of this sort of film ... an eyeball popped from a head ends up unseen in a tub of icecream! And there's a lot of chasing up and down Mall escalators and passageways!

If you're a fan of eighties horror hocum then this is for you. It's well made and nicely put together, the acting is OK, and there's even some boobies on show ... all in all a typical teens in peril horror film!

As always, the Arrow package is superb, with two disks of entertainment!

  • Three versions of the feature: Original Theatrical Cut, TV Cut and bonus composite “Phan Cut”! 
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original uncompressed mono audio on all cuts
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing on all cuts
  • 60-page fully-illustrated perfect-bound book featuring new writing on the film by Brad Henderson and original press kit extracts 
  • Large fold-out double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Justin Osbourn
  • Six postcard-sized lobby card reproductions
  • Limited edition packaging with reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Justin Osbourn

Disc One – The Theatrical Cut (Blu-ray)

  • Brand new 2K restoration of the Original Theatrical Cut from original film elements (90 mins)
  • Brand new audio commentary with director Richard Friedman, moderated by filmmaker Michael Felsher 
  • Brand new audio commentary with disc producer Ewan Cant and film historian/author Amanda Reyes 
  • Shop Til’ You Drop!: The Making of Phantom of the Mall – brand new making-of documentary featuring interviews with director Richard Friedman, screenwriters Scott Schneid and Tony Michelman, actors Derek Rydall and Gregory Scott Cummins, filmmaker Tony Kayden and special make-up effects creator Matthew Mungle
  • Alternate and Deleted Scenes from the TV Cut 
  • Domestic and International Trailers
  • Image Gallery 

Disc Two – The Tv & Phan Cuts (Blu-ray)

  • Brand new 2K restoration of the TV Cut with Standard Definition inserts for the footage unique to this version (89 mins)
  • Composite “Phan Cut” combining footage from both the Original Theatrical and TV Cuts for the ultimate Phantom of the Mall experience! (96 mins)

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