This movie.  Guys, this movie.

The acting varies between bad and bloody atrocious, and the script is stuck pretty firmly on ‘awful’.  I know that the script was written in part by Argento, and English is not his first language.  I acknowledge this.  However, if you do not grasp the language well enough to tell what works and what doesn’t work, then you should not film in that language.

In fact, I cannot believe this film was done in English.  For the life of me.  Half of the Italian actors had accents so thick they were (badly) dubbed over by American actors.  Lines that may have worked in Italian didn’t translate well.  The only non-Italian speaking actor that I’m aware of was Julian Sands (the Phantom) so why didn’t you fucking cast an Italian?  If they’d just done the whole thing in Italian the film would be much better.

Nearly the first hour and a half of the movie were not devoted to plot development of any kind.  We know these things from that section of the movie: The Phantom is kinda an asshole, Christine can hear the Phantom’s thoughts, Christine’s in love with both Raoul and the Phantom.  There’s also a bunch of unimportant side character development that makes me want to pull my hair out by the roots.

Also: WHY IS THE PHANTOM NOT DEFORMED?  From what I understand, the whole point of the Phantom is that he cannot integrate into society because of his looks.  He is hidden because of his physical deformity.  While they were going for the whole ‘he thinks he’s a rat’ thing, clearly the Phantom in the movie can integrate.  He’s wearing human clothes in a normal manner, he has long and well groomed hair.  He could clearly integrate into a human lifestyle, and to some extent has.  Otherwise he wouldn’t be wearing clothes or combing his hair or shaving his face.

Asia Argento cannot lip-sync to save her life, and I wish they hadn’t bothered trying.  The music they picked for the film was not all that fantastic, and I think the music scenes actually dragged the film down.

I’m aware that Argento is a bit known for gore, and that’s okay, but I’m not fond of gratuitous gore.  And I don’t know what it is about this movie in particular, but the gore really squicked me, hard.  To the point where I just couldn’t bring myself to go back through and get more screen shots.  That’s what took this so long, I thought I’d be able to psych myself up for it.

The Phantom was raised by telepathic rats, and he uses the power of his mind to influence the minds of those around him.  It’s inconsistent of course- he can force a man to thrust his hand into a rat trap and force Christine to love him (maybe? I think that’s implied ish.)  But he can’t convince Carlotta that she’s sick and has to sit this show out?  I mean, I know violence is kind of his thing (he rips a man in half right at the beginning of the movie for being in the wrong place, wrong time) but he could have gotten Carlotta sick without leaving his Rat Cave.

Raoul is given a little development, but all we really know of him is that he had an opium induced vision of Christine in a pretty nice looking opium place.  Christine is a pretty one-dimensional character, we don’t know anything about her except that she thinks she’s in love with both the Phantom and Raoul.  The Phantom is the character we have the most development on, and he STILL is flat and one dimensional.  He’s violent for Christine, yes, but he’s also needlessly violent from day one on.

The last thing I want to address is the pedophile side plot.  There’s a whole part of a story arc devoted to the theater manager who carries around chocolate to give to the pretty young girls.  It’s played for laughs for a while (which I find utterly reprehensible) and then there’s a scene where the manager guy is trying to force a piece of chocolate into a child’s mouth.  It is utterly terrible, and it’s treated with such lightness in the beginning that I want to take Argento out and slap him.

/sigh

On to the tweets:

MartianBethany: This time I’m going to be breaking one of my own rules. Normally when I #bmlt I don’t watch movies I’ve seen before

MartianBethany: However this movie was so bad I had to watch it a second… time… which means… dammit, I’m the reason we can’t have nice things!

MartianBethany: Anyway, meet me here: http://tweetchat.com/room/bmlt in 20 minutes for a #bmlt of Dario Argento’s Phantom of the Opera http://imdb.to/73o7pD

MartianBethany: So, the reason I watched this movie in the first place was: I like Phantom of the Opera. I like horror movies. There are a lot of-

MartianBethany: -horror elements in PotO that could be used to make a really creepy movie. And I’d heard Argento was some horror dynamo.

MartianBethany: Netflix Blurb: though not physically disfigured this time around, the Phantom harbors internal scars, having been raised by-

MartianBethany: telepathic rats in the opera house basement. The musically talented Phantom finds his muse in a talented, young singer named Christine

Adamthemann: O_O there is a #bmlt going on that I didn’t know about

MartianBethany: @Adamthemann Just started! It was kind of a ninja one, didn’t get the word out earlier.

Adamthemann: @MartianBethany ahhh I see #hasbeenninjaed

MartianBethany: Julian Sands plays the Phantom, and Christine is played by Asia Argento. As far as I can tell, Sands is the only non-Italian cast.

MartianBethany: The movie opens on a dark and stormy night, and the infant Phantom is floating in a basket in the sewer. Ew I think it’s a doll. (Martian Note: an ugly, ugly doll.)

MartianBethany: A single rat keeps the baby basket from going over the waterfall, and now we get ON SCREEN TEXT. Isn’t that exciting?

MartianBethany: “Thus, by chance, a mysterious bond is forged between the abandoned child and the inhabitants of darkness.” And just in case you-

MartianBethany: -can’t read, some guy just read it out loud for you.

Adamthemann: On Screen Text says: We couldn’t afford a narrator so you get to put up with us typing #twitterstyle

MartianBethany: @Adamthemann That’s what I don’t get! He narrates, too! What the heck? Pick one!

MartianBethany: So the opera is going on upstairs, and we’re in a well or cistern maybe? And the guy just cracked open the wrong part of the wall and-

MartianBethany: The Phantom RIPPED HIM IN HALF. Talk about over-reacting.

MartianBethany: And now we get to witness Asia Argento lip-syncing. Also, her boobs through a very thin shift because that’s… I don’t know why.

MartianBethany: Apparently the Phantom and Christine share a psychic link. The Phantom wears no mask but has really really long hair. Which is a shame

MartianBethany: I think Julian Sands is kinda hot but the long hair is just… man it’s not a good look.

MartianBethany: The Phantom can apparently force a man to shove his hand into a rat trap, tear men in half, and talk inside Christine’s head.

Adamthemann: Because that is how the Phantom Rolls NOW PUT YOUR HAND IN A RAT TRAP BITCH. “I don’t want to angel of music” IT WILL MAKE YOU SING

MartianBethany: Ew. I think it was just implied that the managers are pedophiles, talking about luring the little girl ballet dancers with chocolate.

MartianBethany: I have to give Sands props though, I would never be able to utter any of these lines without laughing wildly.

MartianBethany: “Your perfume, your female smell, it flows through my veins like the melody of the rolling ocean.” #actualline

MartianBethany: The Psychic nonsense wouldn’t bug me so much if it weren’t clearly an excuse to do away with any tricky plot development of how she-

MartianBethany: could POSSIBLY think she loves a fucking monster like him. HE RIPPED A MAN IN HALF EARLIER.

MartianBethany: The other big problem is that this movie is really badly dubbed. They used a lot of Italian actors who say the lines in English, but-

MartianBethany: the lines have been dubbed over by American actors or (in a few cases) the original actor. What I don’t know is why they didn’t just-

MartianBethany: -cast an Italian speaking Phantom and film the whole movie in Italian. It would have at least helped along some of the clunky dialog.

MartianBethany: I’m the kind of person who would much rather watch a film in a foreign language with subtitles than even a mediocre dub.

MartianBethany: They’re keeping this pedophile plot line, which wouldn’t be upsetting if it weren’t being treated as funny.

MartianBethany: Also, Christine is wearing the weirdest clothes. I don’t think it’s even close to period and there are dead critters on her hat.

MartianBethany: Like, voles or something. Small rodentia of some kind. On her blue weird shiny hat.

Adamthemann: Christine loves to accessorize with dead rats and so should you #buyweirdshitforyourimage

MartianBethany: The Phantom forces the rat-catcher’s hand into a trap, why doesn’t he ever punish Christine for making dead rodents into fashion?

Adamthemann: @MartianBethany because you see, the rats spirits give Christine the POWER TO SING

MartianBethany: Because… because I don’t even know. #bmlt http://twitpic.com/41nczn

MartianBethany: @Adamthemann Oh god they’re carrying the Phantom’s thoughts into her BRAIN.

MartianBethany: Also, she just asked Raoul to be her brother? I think? What?

MartianBethany: “I’m not a Phantom. I’m a rat.” I’m pretty sure you’re just deranged. (Martian Note: HE ACTUALLY SAID THIS I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP.)

MartianBethany: These side characters are going to be sooooo important later on. #ohwaittheyjustdied

Adamthemann: side characters = canon-fodder

MartianBethany: What, the telepathic man who thinks he’s a rat being in love with an opera singer isn’t enough to carry a movie?

MartianBethany: There’s some side plot about the people who run the theater, and I’m not even following.

MartianBethany: Okay and now we’re inside the Phantom’s day dreaming or something? He dreams of naked men in a trap and Christine nearly naked.

MartianBethany: You know, the usual.

MartianBethany: More of Asia unconvincingly lip-syncing. I like Asia, she’s fun, but this is just not her role.

Adamthemann: O_o wait wait wait naked dudes and only a nearly naked christine……do I really have to be the one to make the intolerant joke

MartianBethany: And now we’re in a fancy bathhouse scene? Does this have any point? Does any of this have any point? (Martian Note: No.)

MartianBethany: I think Raoul just had an opium freak out for no reason I can discern.

MartianBethany: Still pursuing the pedophile plot. Including a scene with an old man attempting to force a piece of chocolate in a child’s mouth. (Martian Note: I could not express via twitter how fucking vile this scene was.  They were playing the pedophile thing for laughs, but this scene is just terrible, and made me sick to my stomach.)

MartianBethany: Oh, oh I see now. The Phantom’s one redeeming feature is he saved the little girl from the pedophile? He used his murdering for good!

MartianBethany: So that whole ‘ripped a man in half’ thing earlier is totally null and void, right?

MartianBethany: The rat-catcher has built a rat-mower, for lack of a better word. Out of copper.

Adamthemann: this movie is ruining phantom for me #howdareyoudefiletheclassics

MartianBethany: Also, Christine is now wearing a dead bird on her hat. You’d think it’d interfere with the psychic signal, but I guess not…

MartianBethany: I guess Christine’s gonna row her damn self over to the Phantom? Because he called to her, you see. And she’s in love with both of-

MartianBethany: -them of course, even though she and Raoul have had a grand total of 2 minutes worth of screen time together?

cmdrsue: @MartianBethany I’m still stuck at trying to envision the rat-mower…

MartianBethany: “I was abandoned, at birth, in a river of Time and Space.” I guess it sounds a lot better than “I was dumped in a sewer.”

Adamthemann: @MartianBethany don’t you understand it was love at first sight…….despite the dead rats and birds on her hat

cmdrsue: @Adamthemann I think the dead animals on her hat are part of what makes them perfect together. #creepy

Adamthemann: @cmdrsue I can see it now Raoul is all O_O “My word, what a lovely hat. Oh and you look nice too.” Christine “Thanks, Now I love u”

MartianBethany: I present to you: the rat-mower. #bmlt http://twitpic.com/41nt2e

cmdrsue: @MartianBethany oddly… it looks exactly as I had imagined. #ratmower

Adamthemann: also the Rat Mower is very steampunk 🙂 props

MartianBethany: @cmdrsue There’s really only one way to describe that, and it’s ‘rat mower’

MartianBethany: Why is La Carlotta wearing a fishnet shirt under her dress? #questionablestyledecisions

Adamthemann: @MartianBethany why not, you never know when you will need a fish net……or just be plain kinky *shrug*

MartianBethany: Wait, is plot happening? The Phantom just threatened Carlotta (in a sexual assaulty way) and sent a threatening note to the conductor!

MartianBethany: We are an hour 12 minutes into the movie, and we’ve finally gotten around to actual story.

MartianBethany: I think the Phantom just raped Christine? It kinda did a ‘fade to black’ thing but it was implied heavily.

MartianBethany: Way to keep it classy.

Adamthemann: this movie disappoints me

MartianBethany: The Phantom just opened his shirt and then unbuckled his pants so the rats would have better access to him. I am not. Kidding. (Martian Note: Just to clarify: we followed Christine’s implied rape by the Phantom’s implied rat-fucking.)

Adamthemann: so what your saying is……the phantom loves Christine and the rats……that is just strange

MartianBethany: @Adamthemann I think it’s possible he loves the rats quite a bit more than Christine. I’m certain he loves them more often.

cmdrsue: @MartianBethany honestly, he sounds like a Johnny Depp character… #creepyPhantom

MartianBethany: So the insane rat-catcher stumbles on stage, covered in mud and starts raving about Christine being the Phantom’s Whore and everyone-

MartianBethany: -believes him. I see.

MartianBethany: Also, she goes from screaming for Raoul to apologizing to the Phantom and kissing his hand? I guess it’s supposed to be his mental-

MartianBethany: control over her but it is just a whole lot of mood whiplash.

MartianBethany: The point of all these side characters we spent so much time on earlier was so that someone could find the hideous tableau now.

MartianBethany: Time well spent, I’m sure. #sarcasm

MartianBethany: Why has the Phantom gone from being terrifically jealous to being all ‘TAKE HER AND RUN’! Does shooting someone in the shoulder-

MartianBethany: restore sanity or something? Also, why is she screaming for him like he didn’t RAPE HER EARLIER.

MartianBethany: Oh, but it’s okay everyone, the Phantom finally killed the rat-catcher. With Christine on the boat screaming “MY LOVE!”

MartianBethany: Why hasn’t Raoul kicked her out of the boat yet?

MartianBethany: “DON’T LEAVE ME!” Technically speaking, you’re leaving him. #justsaying

MartianBethany: So that was the end. Her screaming wildly for the Phantom as he’s killed, while Raoul saves her from the men who are going to shoot-

MartianBethany: -her on the word of a half-crazed man covered in mud who’s been missing for days.

Adamthemann: they completely F&$#ed this movie up. I must track down the people who made this and skin them alive #redlanternrage

MartianBethany: @Adamthemann Dario Argento. (Martian Note: I lost this tweet and didn’t go and look it up, so maybe I said something witty. I doubt it.)

Adamthemann: @MartianBethany he will feel my wrath

MartianBethany: And this may come off as nitpicky, but considering how big a role music is supposed to play… the music kinda blew.

MartianBethany: Oh man, I think that’s all the suck I have energy for tonight.

MartianBethany: Thanks everyone who came and did the #bmlt with me, it helps soothe the pain of bad movies.

Adamthemann: you’re welcome, remember there is no situation that someone should endure a crap movie alone.

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