Referencing vintage horror, Alfred Hitchcock, and the '70s vogue for supernatural terror, Brian De Palma used his favorite genre to take aim at the sensation-seeking rock audience and the exploitative entertainment machine, skewering such '70s trends as '50s nostalgia and glam rock. With splitscreen effects, he underlines the cost of putting media reality before life, as fame becomes the ultimate Faustian bargain. That entertainment machine, however, failed De Palma, and Phantom of the Paradise flopped. But its clever cinephilia and over-the-top rock numbers have since acquired a cult following, though not on the level of another '70s glitter-horror fantasia, The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975).
by Lucia Bozzola review