Horror Movie Review: Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge (1989)

Movie Review: Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge (1989)

Some of the most entertaining movies around are also the most ineptly made. One such flick was the 1989 exercise in attempted horror known as Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge. Despite its sheer entertainment value, this was also a box office bomb that ruined what was left of Morgan Fairchild’s career as a star actress. This really was not a bad outcome since Fairchild was a good looking gal with zero acting talent. People like her have no business in movies.

As the title implies, this movie is a takeoff on the classic 1907 novel The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux that has been made into numerous different movies. This 1989 movie is a poorly thought out project. A shopping mall simply does not make for a suitable substitute for an opera house.

The plot of Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge involves a decent guy named Eric Matthews (Derek Rydell) who owns a huge, but beautiful, house. There are sinister business types who want to tear down Eric’s house so they can build a shopping mall in its place. Chief among the plotters is the voluptuous but diabolical Mayor Karen Wilton (Morgan Fairchild). When Eric turns down their offer to buy the house, the real estate culprits decide to burn it down.

Naturally, the bad developers do not care if Eric Matthews were to die in the fire. And just as naturally, Eric survives the sabotage of his beloved home, albeit badly burned. Of course, Eric lusts for revenge against the beautiful but deadly mayor and all the others who are responsible for his predicament. As dreadfully hokey as all this sounds, the way that this is executed on the screen is even worse. This back story is told not by straight narrative, but by flashbacks. These flashbacks are not well done which can lead to some confusion on the part of the audience.

As you can expect, the remainder of the movie concerns the desire of Eric for revenge and the methods that he uses for his cruel exactions. Eric is most resourceful since he has managed to create a secret apartment for himself in the basement complete with electricity that he has managed to keep a secret. He is helped in his endeavors by the fact that this mall evidently has an explosives store where he can get the bomb that he needs for the surprisingly dull finale.

Movies like Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge can be awfully hard to grade. On the one hand, it is a tremendously entertaining movie. On the other hand, that entertainment comes from the fact that it is so poorly made. This is especially true for the woeful special effects. To sum things up, if you want to see a really entertaining flick regardless of its artistic merits, then this is a good movie to check out. However, if you want to see a well made movie, then this is a flick to avoid.