HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Little Monsters
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Pentathlon
Anna
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
Planet of the Dinosaurs
Gwen
Big Breadwinner Hog
Thunder Road
Moby Dick
Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie
Mad Room, The
Phantom of the Megaplex
Night Sitter, The
Child's Play
Power, The
Midsommar
After Midnight
Dolemite is My Name
Varda by Agnes
Toy Story 4
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy
Man Who Never Was, The
Greener Grass
Scobie Malone
Gangster, the Cop, the Devil, The
Brightburn
Satanic Panic
Claudine
Harpoon
   
 
Newest Articles
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
   
 
  Phantom of the Megaplex Mayhem at the moviesBuy this film here.
Year: 2000
Director: Blair Treu
Stars: Taylor Handley, Corinne Bohrer, Caitlin Wachs, Jacob Smith, Rich Hutchman, John Novak, Colin Fox, Mickey Rooney, Ricky Mabe, Julia Chantrey, Joanne Boland, J.J. Stocker, Lisa Ng, Joe Pingue, Heather Bertram
Genre: Horror, Comedy, TV Movie
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Pete Riley (Taylor Handley), a seventeen year old working at the local multiplex, is excited that the theater is hosting a major movie premiere with many Hollywood celebrities in attendance. Aiming for a promotion, to land the money he thinks necessary to court the girl of his dreams, Pete goes all out to ensure the big night goes off without a hitch. Only to be saddled with watching over his movie obsessed younger siblings: Karen (Caitlin Wachs) and Brian (Jacob Smith) while single mom Julie (Corinne Bohrer) goes out on a date. As if keeping the kids in line and pacifying irate manager Shawn MacGibbon (Rich Hutchman) were not stressful enough the theater suddenly erupts into mayhem. Poor Pete struggles to cope with malfunctioning popcorn machines, disappearing staff and technical difficulties plaguing every screen. All seemingly caused by a mysterious masked figure roaming the halls only to vanish without a trace. Junior detectives Karen and Brian are on the case, intrigued by the legend of a mysterious Phantom rumoured to have haunted the old movie theater and now seeking revenge.

Such is the potency of the premise devised by French author Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera has arguably as many contemporized 'reboots' as faithful period adaptations. Joining the ranks of The Phantom of Hollywood (1974), Brian De Palma's excellent Phantom of the Paradise (1974) and Phantom of the Mall: Eric's Revenge (1989) we have Phantom of the Megaplex. One of Disney Channel's more fondly remembered spooky TV movies, it aired originally on Halloween in 2000. Although all but the most easily perturbed children will find it thoroughly lighthearted and largely scare-free the film has other merits. Infused with a disarmingly sincere love of cinema and, more unusually, the venues in which movies are screened the film delivers a surprisingly accurate depiction of what it is like to work in a multiplex. Particularly in the late Nineties. Capturing the tween-friendly milieu in all its gaudy glory, the film marvels at the shiny computer controlled joys of the multiplex the way older movies wax nostalgic about Radio City Music Hall. Back in 2000 old movie theaters had been largely usurped by blander, more impersonal and corporate multiplex chains. Yet for a generation of millennials for whom streaming services have all but eclipsed the theatrical experience, Phantom of the Multiplex has its own unique nostalgic charm.

Writer Stu Krieger - who moved from Seventies teen dramas Goodbye, Franklin High (1978) and Hanging on a Star (1978) to a long career scripting animation (The Land Before Time (1988), A Troll in Central Park (1994) and Disney TV fare - assembles a fairly nuanced, peppy narrative populated by likable, well-defined characters that, refreshingly for this sub-genre, don't come across like cartoons. The central theme that movies reconnect us with the joy in life is tied in with Pete's growing realization that obsessing over his career path has made him miss out on his own youth. While Pete's romantic subplot is under-developed (love interest Caitlin (Heather Bertram) barely has any lines let alone personality) the relationship between big brother and amateur sleuths Karen and Brian proves ultimately more heartwarming. In the midst of zany comedy antics the script also features a scene wherein two characters have a disarmingly truthful conversation about how families cope with loss crouched in a cheesy metaphor about horticulture. Just one example of Krieger's snappy and winningly offbeat dialogue.

If the shiny, sanitized Disney Channel palette somewhat hinders the film's efforts to weave a spooky atmosphere, director Blair Treu still manages to pull off the odd suspenseful moment. And then there is Hollywood legend Mickey Rooney as Movie Mason, an elderly stalwart of the theater and self-styled custodian of 'movie magic.' He functions as both a red herring and mouthpiece for various pithy and charming lines about the wonder of cinema ("Life is like a good movie. Every moment should be savoured"). And also performs a rendition of that old Johnny Mercer favourite: "Hooray for Hollywood." Maintaining a lively pace with a likable level of slapstick invention and heart, Phantom of the Megaplex gallops along to a fun climax wherein a sword-wielding Pete leaps atop a giant inflatable Godzilla as it stomps through the film premiere. You don't see that every day.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 279 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: