Fan Fiction

Phantasmagoria is a 2001 horror film based on the video game of the same name and was the first non-Universal Studios film directed by Uwe Boll, as well as the first video game adapted film directed by him. The film opened up to very negative reviews by critics and was named one of the worst films directed by Uwe Boll. Other video game adapted films directed by Boll included "Alone in the Dark" (2005) and "BloodRayne" (2006), which ironically were all failures at the box office.

The film revolves around paperback writer Adrienne Delaney (played by Shirley Johnson) and her husband Donald Gordon (played by Harold Norris), who have just bought a remote mansion previously owned by a famous 19th-century magician, Zoltan Carnovasch. Adrienne hopes to find inspiration for her next novel and Don, a photographer, lays plans for a private darkroom. Immediately upon moving in, Adrienne begins having nightmares; early explorations of the estate elicit strange music and ominous messages from the reception hall's fortune-teller automaton. Unknown to the happy couple, "Carno" the illusionist practiced black magic and summoned an evil demon which possessed him, causing him to murder his five wives. During her exploration of the grounds, Adrienne unwittingly releases Carno's demon, and it promptly possesses her husband. Don becomes more aggressive towards Adrienne and, in a controversial scene, even rapes her. She finds help in Harriet, a superstitious vagrant taking refuge in Adrienne's barn. Adrienne researches the Carnovasch estate's history and learns of the deaths of Zoltan's wives and his daughter Sofia. As far as the local townspeople know, the wives' tragic deaths were entirely natural, but as Adrienne explores the house she starts to see visions of the murders. Zoltan killed his wives in grotesque distortions of their customs or habits; Hortencia, who avoided Zoltan's abuse by secluding herself in her greenhouse, is stabbed with gardening tools and suffocated with mulch; Victoria, an alcoholic, is killed when Zoltan impales her left eye with a wine bottle during an argument; an overly-talkative third wife, Leonora, has her mouth gagged and her neck contorted in a torture device; and finally (in another of the game's most controversial film sequences), the food-loving Regina is force-fed animal entrails through a funnel until she chokes to death. Adrienne discovers that Zoltan met his demise when his last wife, Marie, realized he was a murderer. Marie conspired with her lover, Gaston, to kill Zoltan by sabotaging the equipment for his most infamous and dangerous escapology trick: donning a burning hood, Zoltan was to escape from bonds on a throne equipped with an overhead pendulous axe. The lovers' plan is successful only in disfiguring and hospitalizing Carno, and both Marie and Gaston are killed by an enraged Zoltan two weeks later. Zoltan himself is killed at the hands of a mutilated Gaston before the latter dies from his injuries. The sole witness to these deaths was a young magician's assistant by the name of Malcolm. Now nearly 110 years old, Malcolm informs Adrienne of the demon and how she may eradicate it. Meanwhile, Harriet, fearing for her safety, decides to leave as Don becomes more abusive and erratic. After finding the disturbing contents of Don's darkroom, Adrienne is assaulted and then chased through the manor by the now deranged and homicidal Don until her inevitable capture (in an optional scene, Don wears the now-dead Harriet's scalp and hair). Despite being placed in the "Throne of Terror" (last used by Zoltan to kill Marie), Adrienne manages to kill Don and releases the demon from his body. She provokes the villain to a subterranean chamber and performs a ritual that traps the demon before it can kill her. With the enemy defeated and her husband dead, Adrienne escapes the house in stunned silence with guards approaching as the film cuts to the closing credits.


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Directed by
Uwe Boll

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Produced by
Jack Fargo

Michael Dempsey

Wolfgang Herold

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Shirley Johnson

Harold Norris
Ed Anders
Peter Coyote

Derrick Truman

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Music by
Oliver Lieb

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Editing by
Ron Darris

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Distributed by
Lions Gate Entertainment

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Release Date
January 26, 2001

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Running time
87 minutes

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United States

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Rated R

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