|Nobody move, see?!|
Drax: Ha! What a cheap jungle spoiler!
From 1936 to 1999, Lee Falk created a costumed crimefighter that hailed from the far reaches of Africa as a myth or legend known only as the Phantom or the Ghost Who Walks. With control from director Simon Wincer (Homicide, D.A.R.Y.L., Lonesome Dove, Quigley Down Under, Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man and Free Willy) and scribbled by writer Jeffery Boam (The Lost Boys, Lethal Weapon 2, Lethal Weapon 3, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) starts the tale of heroism from his ancestor 400 years prior whose ship was attacked by pirates. Washed ashore on a remote African island Bengalla, the tribesmen taught the boy the ways of the jungle and to stand up again piracy and wrong doings.
|Must be the sequel to Bound.|
Where he got the fabrics and synthetics for his outfit? Eh, not relevant. 1938, Kit Walker/Phantom (Billy Zane of Back to the Future, Critters, Back to the Future II, Sniper, Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight, Titanic and Vlad) sees strangers in his adopted lands searching for an ancient power, One of the legendary Skulls of Touganda that will create a force that man is not wise enough to harness with proper intent.
Meanwhile in New York, Investigative reporter Diana Palmer (Kristy Swanson of Hot Shots!, Highway to Hell, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Chase, Silence and Living Death) on assignment for her uncle Dave Palmer (Bill Smitrovich of Bodily Harm, Nick of Time, Independence Day, Ghosts of Mississippi, Millennium, Air Force One and Futuresport) owner of the Tribune Newspaper is looking into a local "robber baron" businessman Xander Drax (Treat Williams of The Eagle Has Landed, Dead Heat, Good Advice, Deep Rising, The Devil's Own, Venomous and The Circle) and his supposed links to a piracy organization called the Sengh Brotherhood.
Travelling away on a Pan Am clipper, Diana's flight is interrupted by a sultry squadron of... well... bi-plane pirates lead by femme fatale Sala (Catherine Zeta-Jones of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, Blue Juice, Catherine the Great, The Mask of Zorro, Entrapment, Traffic, Chicago, The Terminal, Rock of Ages and RED 2). Within a moment's notice our hero listening in on the radio rushes to save his former girlfriend Diana (Yeah, I know the cliche') and brings her back to the Ghost's Lair, discovers they are on the same case and dismisses her due to her sex and frailty and blah blah blah misogynistic tendencies.
Can the Phantom stop Drax from taking over the world with his elite cadre of bumbling buffoons and mystic skulls? Will he admit his feelings for Diana? Does he have to sublet his lair if he moves to New York permanently?
Now just a few bits of trivia for you. The "Palmer Mansion" during the cocktail party of movers and shakers scene was in fact Hugh Hefner's Playboy mansion. Prior to Wincer, Both Joe Dante and Joel Schumacher were considered for the directing job. Most of the interior shots clearly have the look of a sound stage and the cameras caught the edges in a few of the shots. The motorcycle cops are riding around on Indians made in the 40's while the film takes place in the 30's. I noticed the clipper had an a/c unit in it and that would be historically inaccurate but it sure beats roasting your cast in Thailand.
A rock 'em, sock 'em action film that is fast paced, blue screened in parts and decent enough story arc overall. Still an enjoyable movie in spite of some of the cheesy dialogue but hell you adapted it from a comic strip from the 30's.
Bruce Campbell and Dolph Lundgren were also considered for the part of the Phantom and frankly "Gimme some sugar, baby" or "I will break you." coming out of that purple costume just... not instilling fear in the hearts of the cowardly or superstitious. I know this for a fact. I asked Batman.
|Your soul.. is mine!|