Aug 13, 2021

Fantom Kiler (1998)


A completely tasteless horror film from Poland that spawned a few sequels.  I think the reason it gets some notoriety is due to two things: (1) an actual talent behind the camera, with some rather artful and inventive shots, and (2) insanely gorgeous Eastern European ladies.  Things get interesting (and problematic) when those two things are combined with gratuitous violence against women.  Without 1 and 2, this just becomes forgotten like so many straight-to-streaming gore-fests featuring fat tattooed stripper victims filmed by talentless hacks on their stolen iPhone. 

Inspectors Malanowski and Lafar look upon the body of a dead woman.

The woman is Ursula (Eliza Borecka), but we'll find her story later in the film.  Now we go back in time..

We meet two perverted janitors Andrej (Marek Stuhr) Lech (Piotr Sapalowski) in a train station.

The ogle the various hot Eastern European women that pass through the station. They focus on a certain woman (Magda Szymborska) smoking.

Andrej and Lech picture the woman naked.

She notices Andrej and Lech staring and approaches them.

She slips on their wet floor.

The woman isn't nice about it.  She insults them abusively. Andrej curses her as she leaves.

The woman's car breaks down in the woods.

Literally alll her clothes come off due to branches and barbed wire fences.

The Fantom (Tadeusz Plotcki) appears through the mist.

He slices her with his knife.

 Pierwsza ofiara "First Victim" (Magda Szymborska) dies via a fatal stab to the vagina.

A compelling effect  as we see it through someone's eye.  But whose eye could it be?  It can't be the Fantom as he's in view.  We'll find out at the end of the movie.

Malanowski and Lafar find her body in the woods.

Again viewed through an eye, we watch the druga ofiara - "Second Victim" (Liliana Cybulska) 

The girls loses her glasses (and her clothes) in a clash with the Fantom.

As soon as she gets the glasses on, she's killed.

Love these old phones. Andrej gets a call...

He's informed that Lech will no longer be working there.  They're sending him a new assistant.

Laura (Katarzyna Zelnik) is the new hire.

Andrej is in luck.

Laura gets right to work.

Laura takes off her shorts and shows Andrej her special exercises.  Um, okay.

It gets weirder.  Laura explains that she wants him to stick a spatula up her ass and see if he can pull it out in under a minute.  It'll be fun.

She explains that she's the rock, the spatula is Excalibur, and Andrej is to see if he's worthy of being King Arthur. Of course, they'll need lubricant.

She hops up on the desk.

This is insane.

Can he do it?

At the last second, Andrej pulls it free.

Laura tells Andrej he's her King Arthur.

Remember Lech?  He's being called in for questioning regarding the murders.  Lech is the detective's brother.  

Lech tells the detective what he was doing last Friday.  He was cleaning up the station...

As usual, he and Andrej were picturing the ladies naked.

Later, Lech and Andrej read about the first victim in the paper.

A woman named Ursula (Eliza Borecka) asks where to hail a cab.

Andrej is overly flirtatious and Ursula tells him off. 

Andrej curses Ursula as she walks away.

Ursula gets a cab, but the driver is the fucking Fantom.  Worse, he drives her to the woods and says the car has died.

Ursula thinks it's taking an awfully long time to fix the engine.

The Fantom requests her tights to hold together something in the engine.  Ursula takes her shorts off (no panties, of course) and hands him her stockings.

Her shorts fell under the car, and now she's got to crawl to grab them.

The Fantom approaches.

Holy shit.  He's about to use a hammer to jam a crowbar up her butt!

But he's interrupted by someone...

There seems to be no shortage of hot Polish women wandering the woods.

The Fantom Killer rips off her clothes and murders her.

He carries off her body.

Ursula emerges from under the car with her shorts, unaware that the murder even occurred.

She finds some suspicious items in the back of the cab.

The Fantom approaches.

Ursula says she has to pee and runs into the woods.

She trips on the body of the dead girl.

The Fantom calmly walks toward her.

And Ursula's body is the one found at the start of the film.

After getting snubbed by Laura, Andrej imagines killing her.

Laura is meeting her lover (who has just been murdered by the Fantom).

Thinking the Fantom is her lover in a kinky disguise, she agrees to handcuff herself.

While fantasizing about Laura being murdered with a mop handle up her vagina, he chokes to death.

About to be raped by the mop handle, Laura suddenly finds the Fantom gone in a poof.  You see?  The Fantom was a manifestation of Andrej's twisted mind. With Andrej dead, the Fantom can no longer exist... until the next episode that is.

It pains me to give this a good review, but it must be done.  Yes, it's a twisted, sick and depraved piece of trash... but so are hundreds and hundreds of other exploitation films we've covered on VZ1.  It kicks up the violent depravity a bit, but this is done in such a campy manner it's hard to take even remotely seriously. I mean, c'mon - one lady wants a spatula to be an Excalibur in her butt, another loses literally all her clothing running through branches...  this is damn near comical - which gets to why there's a soft spot in my heart for this piece of shit...

It reminds me of Italian erotic "fumetti" from the seventies and eighties.  I used to love these trashy comics - and this is fumetti translated for cinema.  Titles such as La Poliziotta, Storie Blu, Moschettiera, Karzan, Jacula, Energie Vitale, Telefilm Prohibido, Goldrake and, best of them all, Zora and Sukia.  The content was always so over-the-top you couldn't take it seriously - too tasteless to really be considered campy, but there's not a better word for it.  Perhaps I'm overstating the similarities, but that's the vibe I get from this film.  Not sure what to expect from the Fantom Kiler sequels (which we'll cover soon), but this was surprisingly good... in the worst, most problematic manner possible. 


No comments:

Post a Comment