Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Phantom of Death, Logan's Run Italian Style

At the age of 36 Michael York played 26 year old Logan in 1976's "Logan's Run." In that film, humans were terminated at the age of AARP in that society. As Logan, York played a sandman, or a cop tasked with hunting all those 30 year olds who tried to cheat death. Ironically, his last four years are cheated from him and he spent the bulk of the film running form his colleagues. Not all was bleak for Logan, he got to have pre-marital sex with Jessica 6 (Jenny Agutter). Hence 1988's Italian horror film "Phantom of Death." In this one, 48 year old Mr. York plays 35 year old Robert Dominici. Again age is a big theme here as the 35 year old character will also have years (decades, actually) cheated from him.
Susanna and Robert
He's a brilliant and handsome pianist. Italian babes throw themselves at him. This won't last. Robert, our concert pianist and ninja wannabe (don't ask), quarrels with his very steamy GF Susanna (Mapi Galan). Oh yes, a beautiful doctor (Carola Stagnaro) is murdered at her home when maniac with a sword slashes her jugular. Poor Susanna, she will suffer the same fate. Dr., Inspector Datti (Donald Pleasance) is on the case. With Susanna's death, minutes after, Helene (Edwige French) bursts into Robert's life seeking pre-marital sex and he obliges. Meanwhile, Datti connects the dead babes to Robert. When the killer almost slashes Helene, Datti wants to arrest Robert. Oh no, Helene's attacker is described as an old man, and Robert is only 35...or is he?
Robert carves up a policewoman
A rare disease has entered Robert's life and he ages...quickly. With the aging, Robert's mind becomes deranged and many beautiful Italian babes will have their blood spattered on their walls. Thinking a 35 year old is responsible for the murders, Insp. Datti is humiliated when many of the slayings occur right under his nose, including a pretty policewoman (Renata Dal Pozzo). With his mind gone, Robert taunts Insp. Dotti by phone and plots a fate for the sultry Helene.
Helene in much peril
What does Robert have planned for Helene? Will Insp. Datti connect the dots and be able to save the nubile babes of Italy? Is "Phantom of Death" a metaphor for what western civilization deserves for mistreating its elderly? The blood gushes very often in this one, and like so many Italian horror films, the beautiful meet such tortuous demises. Fans of "Logan's Run" will find this performance by Michael York most interesting, and horror fans will appreciate the gore. For some great Italian horror intrigue, see "Phantom of Death."


  1. Michael York. I never understood his appeal. Whomever cast this movie should be taken into a corner office & fired. There is no planet where York at 48 would be mistaken for 35. Good review, Christopher. Nonetheless, I would see the movie.

  2. Lol Michael York always creeps me tf out for some weird reason. Nice review Christopher seen this tears ago & have been meaning to revisit, I remember not liking it as much as Ruggero's other films but also not finding it too shabby overall either. Might seek it out to revisit & nice review again mate. :)