This movie, are you kidding me? 100 percent awesome. Sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, split screens, mobile long takes and a shower scene with a knife. It could only be Brian DePalma’s parody-tribute to Phantom of the Opera.
Winslow Leach is writing a rock cantata of Faust and auditions it for Swan, the hugest most important record producer in the industry. Swan steals Leach’s cantata and adapts it for his new theater (Paradise), auditions some girls (Leach meets one briefly, Phoenix, falls in love, thinks she has a perfect voice for his songs, etc), then gets Leach falsely arrested and sent to prison, where his teeth are removed and replaced with metal ones for some reason I forget.
Leach escapes, returns as the Phantom of the Paradise, and kills the dude hired to sing his stuff (“Beef”). But Swan finds Leach and signs a lifetime deal with him to keep writing stuff that Swan will produce… a bad deal for both of them, I guess. After a life/death struggle for creative control and the love of the girl, they both end up dead dead dead.
Good music, good story, great movie. What in the world happened? Why have I never heard of this before? Why haven’t my coworkers heard of it?
Best part: the phantom stabs himself in the heart, but can’t die because he’s still under contract.