Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge [Limited Ed.]
(Derek Rydall, Pauly Shore, Ken Foree, Rob Estes, Morgan Fairchild, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (1989) 2021 / Arrow Films - MVD Visual)
Overview: With numerous interpretations of Gaston Leroux’s classic novel The Phantom of the Opera having been turned out over the years, it was only a matter of time before the slasher genre decided to take a stab at the tale – step forward 1989’s Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge!
High school sweethearts Eric Matthews and Melody Austin are so in love, but their youthful romance is cut tragically short when Eric apparently dies in a fire that engulfs his family home.
One year later and Melody is trying to move on with her life, taking up a job at the newly built Midwood Mall along with her friends. But the mall, which stands on the very site of Eric’s former home, has an uninvited guest – a shadowy, scarred figure which haunts its airducts and subterranean passageways, hellbent on exacting vengeance on the mall’s crooked developers.
Directed by Richard Friedman (Scared Stiff, Doom Asylum), and featuring star turns from Pauly Shore and Morgan Fairchild, Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge swoops onto Blu-ray in an extras-packed edition which proves that Arrow Video’s love for ’80s slasher fare never dies!
Blu-ray Verdict: As either hinted at, or downright admitted, Gaston Leroux’s classic tale is updated to the late ’80s, with a mall replacing the opera house as home to its disfigured titular character.
Hideously disfigured and presumed dead after unscrupulous developers torch his home to make way for a modern shopping complex, Eric now lurks in the tunnels and vents of the mall, planning to wreak revenge on those responsible while also keeping a watchful eye on his girlfriend Melody (Kari Whitman).
With a smattering of gore (extra points for the eye-popping scene), some gratuitous nudity (a pervy security guard spies on girls in the changing rooms and Melody gets topless for a flashback sex scene), and an early, not-too-irritating role for Pauly Shore, this is a dumb but fun version of the oft-told tale.
Phantom Eric does some martial arts moves against the mall’s security guards, there’s death by escalator, hydraulic door, and air vent fan, and we get a whole load of impressive stunts, including a guy being flipped through the air by a car, a high dive (onto a spike) ... oh, and a full body burn!
In closing, Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge is blatantly cheesy movie throughout with some interesting kills - like a cobra in a bathroom stall, a head pushed into a fan, a security guard electrocuted until his aforementioned eyeballs pop out and a woman is thrown through a window and lands on a spike - and with a very sexy Morgan Fairchild chewing the scenery (and yet still meeting a very sticky ending), it ends up being a well paced and a decently made slasher.
I mean, sure, there are plenty of action packed, OTT, blood splattering scenes that smack of pure unadulterated cinematic overkill, but at least the movie never gets boring; even if it does drift aimlessly into slapstick silly a lot of the time! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Three versions of the feature: Original Theatrical Cut, TV Cut and bonus Integral Fan 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 by Daniel Budnik and Amanda Reyes
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
The Vandals Go to the Mall – an interview with Joe Escalante of The Vandals on the creation of the Phantom of the Mall theme song
Alternate and Deleted Scenes from the TV Cut
Domestic and International Trailers
Scott J. Schneid and Tony Michelman’s original script and associated special effects storyboards by Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr. [BD-ROM Content]
DISC TWO – THE TV & INTEGRAL FAN CUTS (BLU-RAY)
Brand new 2K restoration of the TV Cut with Standard Definition inserts for the footage unique to this version (89 mins)
Integral Fan Cut combining footage from both the Original Theatrical and TV Cuts for the ultimate Phantom of the Mall experience! (96 mins)