There is something so compelling about horror movies that exude everything about the 80s. From the looks to the sounds to the story-telling to the characters. Movies that literally start and you know exactly the era it came from.
That is what Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge is. A late 80s horror with a stupid title and one of the stalest stories seen from that era in some time.
Directed by Richard Friedman, Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge stars Derek Rydall, Jonathan Goldsmith, Rob Estes, Pauly Shore, Kari Whitman, Ken Foree, and Morgan Fairchild. The story surrounds a mall… unsurprisingly. A huge corporate building where shoppers are encouraged to spend, spend and spend some more. Hell, at a point in the movie we even find out that under the soft tones of the music is a subliminal message encouraging excessive spending.
It’s all so very American.
Do you know what else is very American? Burning down a house to free up the land so the mall can be built. This is the story of Eric. A young man who lived in the house that once stood where the mall now stands. Presumed dead, even by his girlfriend Melody who now works in the mall, Eric was badly burnt by the fire but lives.
In fact, he is living in the walls, vents and tunnels of the mall. Stealing what he needs and keeping a watchful eye over Melody. Should anyone threaten her, he intervenes in murderous ways.
Once the body count begins to rise though, he begins to draw attention to himself. The people behind the mall certainly don’t want a killer scaring away the shoppers!
This is not a very good film at all. There’s an attempt here to parody the Phantom of the Opera but even that comes across as trite. Instead, what we’re left with is a slow-moving, cliché-filled, awkward teenage slasher. One that feels far longer than it is and is far too slow to elect anything more than a handful of yawns.
It’s silly but not in an entertaining way, it’s cheesy but not in a ‘so bad it’s good’ kind of way and it’s amusing but not because it’s supposed to be. All of that is enough to say avoid this one, however the icing on this cake is just how little suspense and scares exist throughout.
Phantom of the Mall: Eric's Revenge (1989)
The Final Score - 4/10