Brian De Palma’s rock-opera revisualization of Phantom of the Opera (with nods to and inspirations from a variety of other classic narratives from Psycho to Faust), delivers a genre-defying critique of the music industry and pop culture that does a surprisingly good job of tying together many disparate elements. After singer-songwriter hopeful Winslow Leach auditions for Death Records, it’s head producer, Swan steals his music and has him wrongly incarcerated to pave the way for another band to perform them. Leach escapes jail and starts to haunt Swan’s new venue, The Paradise, sabotaging Swans efforts, while trying to protect Swan’s newest singer recruit Phoenix from falling into Swan’s pop music meat-grinder.
Content warning: depictions of violence and gore.
Appears in: Head Cleaner: Cult & Genre Oddities