Retroplex Cinema: The Phantom (1996)
The Phantom (1996)The Phantom was released in the summer of 1996 and starred Billy Zane as the "immortal" superhero that was also known as "The Ghost Who Walks". Before we explore the film, let's explore the origins of The Phantom himself. The Phantom comes from an American adventure comic strip created by Lee Falk. The Phantom featured a costumed crimefighter operating from the fictional African country Bangalla. is the 21st in a line of crimefighters that originated in 1536, when the father of British sailor Christopher Walker was killed during a pirate attack. Swearing an oath to fight evil on the skull of his father's murderer, Christopher started the legacy of the Phantom that would be passed from father to son, leaving people to give the mysterious figure nicknames such as "The Ghost Who Walks", "The Man Who Cannot Die" and "Guardian of the Eastern Dark", believing him to be immortal! The film version was loosely inspired by three of The Phantom stories, "The Singh Brotherhood", "The Sky Band", and "The Belt"; but adds supernatural elements and several new characters.
PromotionTo coincide with the premiere of the film, The Phantom was used as a part of the Got Milk? campaign, based on the character's drinking milk in the comic. Two different Phantom action figures were made by Street Player, and promotional Phantom-rings were also offered. Different sets of Phantom collecting cards were also available in countries such as the US, Australia, Finland and Sweden. Movie theater popcorn tubs and paper soda cups featuring the film's poster were also used to help promote the film. Despite all this, the film didn't find an audience in theaters. The movie is a fun adventure movie and worth seeking out for the family to enjoy. The phantom will probably walk again in theaters one day, but for now this pretty good 1996 version will have to do for audiences around the world.
Check out the film's trailer below, a few comic book covers featuring The Phantom, as well as a look at an episode of the theatrical serial from 1943!
|Film's Teaser Poster|