Mondo Cinema’s review published on Letterboxd:
Hooptober6.0 Makeup work of Lon Chaney.
Mondo Cinema is the place to go , for discussion on the essentials of horror.
Today, I'm discussing Phantom of the Opera...1920s.
Underneath the famed Paris opera house, shrouded in darkness lies a labyrinthine world of tunnels, basements, and crypts.
This is the domain of Erik the Phantom of the opera. (Lon Chaney) Deranged and disfigured, Erik obsesses over a young singer Christine. (Mary Philbin)
The phantom is determined to make her a star and possess her forever, and is willing to kill to do so.
Can he be stopped?
Within this silent film is one of the most iconic images in all of horror , the unmasking scene. The reveal of Lon Chaney's masterwork of makeup is still as striking today as it was in 1925.
There are many more moments in the film besides the unmasking, the chandelier falling, the masked ball, and my personal favorite the rooftop scene.
The problem with Phantom is there are so many diffrent versions of the movie, edited in dozens of ways.
The quality of the movie as a cohesive story and not just a collection of scenes depends on what version you watch.
Some prints litterally have characters and plots that go nowhere. Some have the tinted scenes intact, some are far longer than others, and one has added sound and dialogue.
It's really hard to criticize the movie due to this.
Is Phantom of the Opera above critique?
Possibly so, it's a matter of opinion.
It's a moot point in my book.
If you consider yourself a serious horror fan or a hardcore filmbuff, Phantom is a must watch anyways.
Its similar in nature to Birth of a Nation, I found the subject matter in that to be utterly disgusting, it was one of the hardest things to sit and watch for me ever. Just like Phantom though its place in film history must be watched.
One has to earn their stripes I suppose.
Mondo Cinema out.....