By Doug Brod
November 05, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST
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Visually sumptuous yet dramatically risible, this loose adaptation of Gaston Leroux’s novel by Italian horror maestro Dario Argento could use, say, one scare. And though Phantom of the Opera‘s probably Argento’s most whimsical film (with English-as-a-second-language dialogue cowritten by Polanski collaborator Gerard Brach), it still manages to be quite disgusting as the titular menace cuts a custodian in half and bites out a woman’s tongue after impaling her lover on a stalagmite.

REEL GOODIES (0:56) Goofy exterminators go on a vermin-killing spree in their souped-up ratmobile.

THE LAST DETAIL Box art to the contrary, this phantom dons no mask; in fact, he looks just like Spinal Tap‘s David St. Hubbins.

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