A review by Shlomoh Sherman

THE PHANTOM (1996) Director: Simon Wincer
Writers: Lee Falk (characters), Jeffrey Boam
Stars: Billy Zane, Kristy Swanson, Treat Williams
Plot: The Phantom, descendent of a line of African heroes, travels to New York to thwart a criminal genius.
Taglines: The Ghost Who Walks. The Man Who Cannot Die.
Genres: Action - Adventure - Comedy
Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)
Rated PG for action/adventure violence and some mild language | See all certifications »
Country: Australia | USA
Language: English
Release Date: June 7, 1996 (USA)
Also Known As: El fantasma
Filming Locations: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Production Co: Paramount Pictures, Ladd Company, The, Village Roadshow Pictures
Runtime: 100 min
Trivia: The Skull is a dominate symbol in The Phantom's life. He lives in the Skull Cave, he wears the Skull Ring, and in the movie he was trying to find 3 Skulls. If you look closely at his costume you will even see a skull design on it.

Hey, what can I say? I just LOVE movies about 1930s comic book heros. Call it the little boy in me. They take me back to that very innocent era that was my childhood. They make me recall the thrill I used to get when my father would give me that weekly dime every Friday evening, and I could go down to the local candy store and pick up a copy of the latest CAPTAIN MARVEL, SUPERMAN, JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA and BATMAN.

Ok. Ok. Its no RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. But the producers and director of this wonderfully campy film are no Steven Speilbergs. But if you are in the mood to be entertained and see a masked and strongly virile hero fight for truth, justice, democracy, and the American way, rent this sweet little film chock full of action, stunts, and marvellous special effects.

Billy Zane is really good as The Phantom, and he is a strikingly handsome dude with a great body. The women should enjoy that aspect of the film. He is also dashingly romantic. Treat Williams makes a great campy villain. Kristy Swanson appears to be the right heroine; pretty and smart. Somehow the folks who cast these 1930s comic book movies always seem to do a great job of picking the perfect people for the roles.

I know many people are not turned on to THE SHADOW, DICK TRACY, THE FLASH, or THE ROCKETEER. But I am. So The Phantom was right up my alley.

Oh yeah, Patrick McGoohan has a cameo as The Phantom's ghost father.

Unfortuately The Phantom did not do well at the box office when it initially appeard several months ago, and went almost immediately to tape.

Cast overview, first billed only:
Billy Zane          ... The Phantom / Kit Walker
Kristy Swanson    ... Diana Palmer
Treat Williams    ... Xander Drax
Catherine Zeta-Jones  ... Sala
James Remar          ... Quill
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa  ... The Great Kabai Sengh
Bill Smitrovich    ... Uncle Dave Palmer
Casey Siemaszko    ... Morgan
David Proval    ... Charlie Zephro
Joseph Ragno    ... Ray Zephro
Samantha Eggar    ... Lily Palmer
Jon Tenney            ... Jimmy Wells
Patrick McGoohan    ... Phantom's Dad
Robert Coleby    ... Capt. Philip Horton
Al Ruscio          ... Police Commissioner Farley

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