Paul Williams (who also wrote the score), plays Swan, the ever-youthful head of Death Records, pledged to contract new souls for his satanic master.
Swan’s own earthly instincts are to pirate a new rock cantata written by Winslow Leach (The Phantom) and use it to open his 24-hour rock palace, The Paradise.
A vengeful Leach gets his head caught in a record-pressing machine and lives on, a masked, voiceless disfiguration, to haunt The Paradise and covertly to supervise the career of an adored girl singer.
The climactic orgy of massacre and mayhem (televised coast to coast) as Leach brings an act of final revenge to purge his soul is pure De Palma and a portent of what was to come in such extreme De Palma films as Dressed To Kill (1980) and Scarface (1983).
Supposedly a rock version of Phantom of the Opera, this film was really more a satirical fusion of elements of Faust, Frankenstein and The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Brian De Palma