November 26th, 2009

THE PHANTOM (1931) **

Here’s a creaky cheapie murder mystery that’s instantly forgettable.  It’s all about The Phantom, this master criminal asshole who escapes from prison and then holes up in a mental institution.  The Thing, The Phantom’s freaky assistant kidnaps the daughter of the DA who sent him away so he can give her a lobotomy.  Luckily, her lunkhead boyfriend shows up in the nick of time to rescue her.

 

I usually like these old school mystery movies but this 50 Pack of Horror Movies I bought recently is making it tougher and tougher for me to enjoy them.  The Phantom is basically just like every other murder mystery on the pack (it features a gruff District Attorney) with a touch of the Old Dark House genre (there's a mansion that has a bunch of hidden passageways) thrown in for good measure.  Even at 61 minutes, it still gets severely bogged down. 

 

However ragged the bulk of the film is; I have to admit that I was at least partially amused.  The Phantom’s crazy ass assistant who looked like a cross between The Shadow and Mr. Hyde was pretty cool as was the final confrontation in the mental institution.  It’s still not enough for you to waste an hour of your time on.