Seriously, I cannot recommend this film highly enough as a magical journey into the glam world of the 1970s. It’s kind of amazing. Phantom of the Paradise is a glorious witches’ brew of Phantom of the Opera, Faust, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Rocky Horror, glam rock, surf rock, cynical bitterness about the music industry, the genius of Paul Williams’ songwriting, the trashy glory of Brian de Palma’s glitter gore direction and so much 70s glam fashion that I think I am going to die of satin and leather and feathered hair overload. Seriously, it’s a wonder of the ages.

Interestingly enough, the film bombed pretty much everywhere else in the world it was released save for one brave and beautiful and ahead of its time Canadian city: Winnipeg. It was a SMASH hit in Winnipeg when it was released on Boxing Day 1974 and it ran there continuously in theaters for over a year. In fact, two fan conventions for the film, Phantompalooza 1 and 2, took place in Winnipeg in 2005 and 2006, and included a cast reunion and a concert by Paul Williams himself.  I begin to wonder if it had any effect on Guy Maddin, famous cinematic scion of Wonderful Winnipeg. I can tell you that it definitely influenced a very famous French electronic music duo, Daft Punk, whose publicly helmeted heads are an homage to the Phantom’s owl mask.