The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

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The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

Post  IamErik771 on Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:16 pm

This one's a sentimental favorite of mine... It may not be the best in terms of writing or staying true to the novel, but I never fail to be entertained by it. And to top it off, it has my favorite version of "Don Juan Triumphant" thus far. ^_^


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Re: The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

Post  MlleMusique on Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:03 am

I've only seen this once, and I'm suitably satisfied Wink .

I loved the look of Christine, the music, the costumes, the graveyard scene and the 'unmasking' scene (gruesome, but fascinating).

I hated the time travel idea, the 'reincarnation' of the Phantom, the deal with the devil idea.

But its one of the decent Phantom remakes, I think. Just cos its daring.

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Re: The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

Post  Paula74 on Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:42 pm

There was only one thing I liked about this version...and that was the image of the mysterious musician on the street at the end. There was something beautiful and eerie about that.

But I hated the rest of the movie. I saw it during its original run in theaters and can remember the circumstances very vividly. It was barely a year after I'd discovered Phantom through the OLCR. By then, I'd read the Leroux novel, nearly worn out Perry's book, seen as many of the other films as I could (not easy in the Dark Ages before the internet and google Laughing ). I wasn't going into this expecting a filmed version of the musical I loved, but I figured it would be pretty good.

Well, the film had problems. Literally. The image on the screen started to jerk and skip...and, right around the "Tonight, your name is Christine" scene, the projector broke down completely. The movie theater gave everyone free tickets for another showing, but I already had misgivings about going back. I did...and pretty much hated the whole movie.

I suppose the fact that I don't really care much for graphic horror movies didn't help much...

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Re: The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

Post  Raphael on Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:59 pm

I'm rather lukewarm on this one, mostly because I'm not a fan of graphic horror (and I think this one qualifies). From a theoretical standpoint, I do like how they tried to blend the Faust and Phantom stories, like in DePalma's Phantom of the Paradise, but the whole time-travel gimmick throws me. Did Christine go back in time? Is she recalling a past life? I just don't get it.

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Re: The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

Post  Enjolras on Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:45 am

This is actually my favorite Phantom movie ever! I love it's dark cinematography, Gothic score, Robert Englund's performance, and RAOUL DIES! MUHAHAHA!

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Re: The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

Post  HDKingsbury on Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:26 pm

I have a copy of this version, but have not worked up the nerve to watch it yet. Like Raphael, I am not a big fan of graphic horror...and that is what's keeping me from popping this into my DVD player and watching it all the way through. I'm also not crazy about the time travel thing (and don't care much for it in fan fiction) either.

I have scanned through some scenes, and liked what I saw as regards to the costumes. I just need to get a stronger stomach for some of the more...er...grotesque scenes. Why is it that I can read this stuff...but not watch it? Laughing

I also like the film score, and got it on CD a while back.

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Re: The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

Post  LadyCDaae on Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:12 pm

I sometimes wonder if this script started out as a more legitimate retelling of Leroux, only to wind up a victim of Executive Meddling by getting the whole slasher/time-travel issue getting thrown in. Parts of it are very effective (the graveyard scene is eerily brilliant), while others...not so much.

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Re: The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

Post  HDKingsbury on Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:23 pm

That could very well be. This was made during the height of Englund's Nightmare on Elm Street series of movies. Though I haven't watched the whole movie, I have managed to sit through snippets of it. I thought the cemetery scene to be especially effective, far better than the WYWSHA again scene in the '04 movie.

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Re: The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

Post  Paula74 on Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:30 pm

I've only just realized that I have absolutely no memory of the graveyard scene. I'm wondering if, because of the projection mess, this scene was somehow skipped when I first saw it. The second time I saw it...on DVD...I couldn't sit through the entire movie and turned it off quite early.

I can't imagine why else I wouldn't remember it since it's my favorite scene in the Leroux book and the musical and since I seriously hate that it was cut from the Chaney film.

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Re: The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

Post  HDKingsbury on Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:37 pm

Here are a couple screen caps from the cemetery scene. Maybe they'll jog your memory...





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Re: The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

Post  Paula74 on Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:42 pm

Thanks...now I'm convinced I did NOT see that scene. I would've remembered something like that.

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Re: The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

Post  HDKingsbury on Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:49 pm

I designed a mug over on Zazzle using that second picture. It turned out really good, too!

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Re: The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

Post  ML6 on Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:10 am

I absolutely love this film. It's a guilty pleasure for me. Very Happy

My favourite scene has to be the graveyard. I do cringe seeing 'Day' instead of 'Daae'. Ah. But, it's cool enough just to see that violin playing! And when they are in the lair, he makes a line like, "How about some Mozart?" And if I can recall, in the book, to take Christine's mind off of 'Don Juan Triumphant', the Phantom makes a comment like that.

But that ending weirds me out. Because, now with this sequel happening, a part of me feels like I'm watching LND on the TV. :\

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Re: The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

Post  Demodiki on Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:30 pm

My 11 year old daughter loves Phantom and when she spent the night with a friend, thought to turn her friend and her family on to Phantom. They rented this move and....well, we got a phone call from the parents wondering about our daughter's love of horror.

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Re: The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

Post  ML6 on Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:39 pm

Demodiki wrote:My 11 year old daughter loves Phantom and when she spent the night with a friend, thought to turn her friend and her family on to Phantom. They rented this move and....well, we got a phone call from the parents wondering about our daughter's love of horror.

THAT is hilarious. It's so awkwardly funny. Poor family. :\

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Re: The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

Post  Scorp on Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:54 pm

LOL, I remember when I was very young I used to use my local library network to locate any Phantom video I could get my hands on, and on several occasions -- including this one -- the librarian would give me stern looks at the counter when they realised that the video they had ordered on my behalf was given a rating like "not suitable for under 18s". Embarassed I still somehow managed to borrow it anyway, lol.

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Re: The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

Post  ML6 on Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:19 pm

Scorp wrote:LOL, I remember when I was very young I used to use my local library network to locate any Phantom video I could get my hands on, and on several occasions -- including this one -- the librarian would give me stern looks at the counter when they realised that the video they had ordered on my behalf was given a rating like "not suitable for under 18s". Embarassed I still somehow managed to borrow it anyway, lol.

She must have thought some interesting things about you.

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I love This Film

Post  KarriesAngel on Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:53 pm

I love this film too, one of my favourites. I like the twist on the tale at the end where Robert Englund appears as himself a DJ.

All the best,

Catherine /KarriesAngel

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Re: The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

Post  IamErik771 on Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:01 am

A while ago, I found a really neat interview with Robert Englund himself about this film, done by a chap named Tim Sullivan. I thought it was quite interesting, and especially loved how he referred to Gaston Leroux as "the Stephen King of his generation" -- not a bad comparison, IMO. His views on the Lloyd Webber musical are also kinda neat.

That site also features equally great interviews that Sullivan did with Ron Chaney (great-grandson of the incomparable Lon Chaney) and Paul Stanley about their Phantom memories.

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Re: The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

Post  Scorp on Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:23 pm

I remember that interview, though I have no idea where Robert Englund got the idea from that Leroux's novel was at one point the most widely translated text in the world. I think he might be confusing it with Les Misérables.

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Re: The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

Post  RoseOfTransylvania on Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:28 pm

I understand King and Leroux comparison, but I think Phantom is better than anything King have ever written.
I like this version, minus gore. Gore=sleaze. However, it has gorgeous Victorian/Gothic look and feeling.

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Re: The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

Post  AlwaysChristine on Sun May 01, 2011 11:39 am

Oh, this movie is thrilling me! I love the Don Juan music, so dramatic and passionate!
Robert Englund is great! I like the new idea for the story.
The graveyard scene - wow!

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Re: The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

Post  Devon on Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:20 am

I have seen this movie a few times. I love Robert Englund but after hearing he played the Phantom thought "whoa...oh..." I KNEW going into watching this film it would be gory, just expected it. I loved Carlotta (Stephanie Lawrence from Evita). Christine was "ok." And it was so hilarious watching this movie a few years ago to notice that a young new to the screen Molly Shannon (From Saturday Night Live) played Christine's friend Meg at the beginning and end of the film! Hey, everyone has to start somewhere, right!

The costumes were nice, remember drooling over a couple of the bustle dresses. I loved the cemetery scene when the Phantom is playing the violin to entice Christine to come with him. I just loved the atmosphere of it, thought it was captured very well. I didn't enjoy the Phantom sewing fake bits of skin onto himself to basically make himself look "normal." Kinda gross...but again, knowing that Robert Englund was in it, I expected as much! I also thought the time travel thing was well...odd. Oh and the whole selling his soul to the Devil...mmmm...yeah. Not so much. I agree though with what I have read from others on here that the Don Juan Triumphant score was beautiful!!

I think it's worth a watch though for any Phantom phan (if you don't get TOO grossed out with gore). I myself don't like gore too much but just hide my face when I know the icky parts are coming up...LOL

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Re: The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

Post  AlwaysChristine on Sun Sep 04, 2011 12:46 pm

I think one of the best movies - for me!
Very moving and touching.
Don Juan - so great music!

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Re: The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

Post  Freyalise on Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:14 am

I was at Dragon*Con in Atlanta this past weekend and Robert Englund was one of the guests, so of course I had to try and pay him a visit on the Walk of Fame. I am so glad I did. Honestly, if you ever get the chance to meet him--do it. He's very friendly, talkative, animated, and it's clear that he loves what he does.

My sister and I aren't exactly horror fans, so what we really wanted to express our love for was his Phantom movie. I'm not ashamed to admit that I really like it. If you take out the gratuitous gore (I figured the filmmakers were capitalizing on his success as Freddy) I think it's actually a decent take on the story, and Robert plays it well. Not gonna lie, I was happy that his face lit up when we mentioned it. He launched into this explanation of how they wanted to make it a sort of homage to the old Hammer films (I can totally see it, now that he mentions it) and how they wanted to remind fans of the ALW musical that the original source material was actually pretty damn scary. And then he said that a script had been written for a sequel, and proceeded to describe the plot to us. It basically went like this:

Erik is now living beneath Manhattan in the old subway tunnels, primarily in an abandoned Victorian subway car. One day he hears (as Erik tends to do) a young woman singing somewhere nearby. He follows the sound of her voice and discovers this new Christine at a subway station--or whatever it is you call them--singing for money, with her father on violin. Of course, he's totally enchanted. Shortly after Christine's father is killed by a band of muggers, so Erik takes her in and starts to train her properly. The kicker here is that Christine is blind, so she has no idea that he's horribly disfigured. Time passes, as it does. One day the big opera company in town is holding a gala down in a refurbished old subway station and they hear Christine singing. So the powers that be go track her down, give her an eye operation so she can see, and make her their big star. Erik realizes they can no longer be together, because she doesn't know he's disfigured and he doesn't want her to see his face. The last scene of the movie would have shown him walking alone down a street, popping up a manhole cover, and dropping down below as it began to snow.

Personally? I'd go see it.

At the end of our conversation, he said, "Here--I can't sign it, but I want you to have this," and picked up a photograph of him from the Phantom film and handed it to us. Needless to say, we were pretty damn staggered.

I went back to the Walk of Fame the next morning for a final sweep and decided to thank him again for being so kind. He said that he'd been trying to give the fans a little extra love all weekend because the company doing the celebrity photoshoot sittings screwed up and scheduled one of his sessions for 10:00 Friday morning, when a lot of the people who'd bought tickets for it couldn't get in because they didn't have their convention badges yet. So they had to stagger those people in through his remaining sessions, and he felt bad about it because there were doubtlessly other panels or things they'd also paid for going on then that they were missing. Therefore, the free photo. He didn't have to give it to us, but he did, and it really made an impression on me.

Okay, I'm done rambling--I just thought maybe people here might be interested in what he had to say about the Phantom movie(s). Smile

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Re: The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

Post  operafantomet on Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:05 am

Awesome you both got to meet him and got to talk to him! And got a cool photo too.

As for the idea of a sequel, I don't see the need of placing the Phantom in New York at all costs. The above plot doesn't sound bad, though.

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Re: The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

Post  Freyalise on Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:51 am

Wasn't the first film set in New York during the modern day scenes? It would make sense to me to keep a sequel there, continuity-wise. (I can't remember, it's been years since I've seen it. Anyone know if it's out on DVD?)

I was so thrilled that he turned out to be just as fan-friendly as I'd heard he was. He totally seemed like the kind of guy you could spend an entire afternoon with geeking out over all and sundry. Smile

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Re: The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

Post  operafantomet on Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:40 pm

That would make a lot more sense, I agree. And I also agree about him being so nice to his fans. That's always impressive and a BIG plus in my book.

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Re: The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

Post  Blaidd_Drwg on Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:04 pm

I watched this film when I was around twelve years old as an introduction to Phantom. For a while I had been dying to see the show in New York, but nobody would take me so I used this as a substitute. I can tell you that it really turned me off to POTO for quite some time. I was a little irked that this hugely popular show centered around a man who sold his soul and went around killing people so he could use their flesh for his masks. It wasn't until I saw the 2004 film two years later and then consequently bought and listened to the OLC album that I realized how wrong I had been. Makes me laugh now though. Laughing

After I became a "phan" I went back and rewatched the Englund movie and formed a greater appreciation for it than the first time. Haven't watched it in years though. Maybe that's what I'll do tonight. Hmm...

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Re: The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

Post  Raphael on Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:38 am

Freyalise wrote:Wasn't the first film set in New York during the modern day scenes? It would make sense to me to keep a sequel there, continuity-wise. (I can't remember, it's been years since I've seen it. Anyone know if it's out on DVD?)
Yes, the film was bookended by scenes set in modern-day NYC. The movie was released on DVD several years ago. A pretty no-frills release, if I recall. Might be out of print by now, but it can't hurt to search for it.

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Re: The 1989 Film (Robert Englund / Jill Schoelen)

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