by Alan Meranda
What does one make of a new Phantom movie that takes a classic hero and modernizes them? Strike that. Blasts the classic hero into a futuristic world is a more apt description. All of us get to see this Sunday on the SYFY Channel, 7PM EST.
“The Phantom is one of the first ‘masked’ heroes to come out of the 1930s,” said Dynamite president and publisher Nick Barrucci. “This story is a passion project for all involved. … This is the journey of today’s Kit Walker, who is working towards making the world a better place through the Walkabout Foundation. But can he escape destiny? And where will this adventure bring him?”
SYFY has found a way to more than irritate their fan base with movie adaptations of pulp classics. The recent Princess of Mars received a fair drubbing. Let’s use the first Iron Man film as an example. The film was not shot with state-of-the-art computer graphics technology. The film worked beyond the special effects driven nature of the film. The plot was solid but not blatantly divergent from what most fans of Iron Man recognize as canon.
It’s hard to take SYFY serious in their movie efforts. It’s annoying, boring and tiresome to see the same recycled CGI spiders and scorpions in five different movies. Hollywood in the past was notorious for B-movies and dare I say: grindhouse movies. Yet out of some of those B-movies, classics were made. Tarantino hopped on the grindhouse garbage truck and tried to convince folks that exploitation was more than schlock.
As any serious fan realizes that sci-fi isn’t science fiction. We are at a huge cinematic cross-road. The film industry can now take any work of classic literature, comic book, historical tale, pulp novel, science fiction classic and create a realistic representation of that world. What do the makers of films inflict on us? Transformers movies, movies based off of computer games and movies off of television shows. Most people don’t really want to see a Gilligan’s Island movie.
If a movie like The Phantom is faithful in its scope to the original classic tales of the Phantom all of us would appreciate that. Just don’t give us a dish of dog poop and tell us its chocolate ice cream.
Here’s an overview of the SYFY Phantom movie.