[Screen It]


(1996) (Billy Zane, Kristy Swanson) (PG)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Minor Minor Moderate Moderate Extreme
Mild Mild Mild None Mild
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Minor Extreme Minor Minor Heavy

Action/Adventure: A mortal superhero must stop an evil businessman from attaining three mystical skulls that will give him unstoppable power.
Kit Walker (BILLY ZANE) a.k.a. "The Phantom" is a long descendant of men who have vowed to fight piracy, greed and cruelty in all its forms. The time is 1938 and the Phantom must go into action when an evil businessman, Xander Drax (TREAT WILLIAMS) sends his front man, Quill (JAMES REMAR) to find three mystical skulls. The skulls, when brought together, give their owner unlimited evil power. Thrown into the plot is Diana Palmer (KRISTY SWANSON), the niece of a N.Y. publisher who's investigating Drax's activities. Diana goes to the remote Bengalla jungle to find Quill, who ends up kidnaping her. The Phantom must come to her rescue and the two of them then must stop Drax and his men from attaining the skulls.
Although they won't be familiar with the comic strip from which this is based, there's been enough advertising to make them want to see this one.
For action/adventure violence and some mild language.
  • BILLY ZANE plays the hero who is a good role model (if you don't mind all the shooting and fighting with the bad guys).
  • KRISTY SWANSON is the liberated woman who helps out the Phantom and also is a good role model (if you don't mind all the fighting).
  • TREAT WILLIAMS plays the bad guy who wants power and kills several people. Not a good role model.
  • JAMES REMAR also plays a killer and isn't a good role model.


  • Some people drink champagne at a reception.
  • Quill has a scar resembling a skull on his face.
  • Quill is seen with a little bit of blood on his lip.
  • A shark attack turns water blood red.
  • The bad guys, led by Drax, all have bad attitudes.
  • Faced with driving across a questionable bridge, Quill makes a small native boy do the dangerous drive. Afterwards, realizing that they don't need him anymore, one of the men says to shoot the little boy, but Quill says no and instead they bind and gag him.
  • Drax says "God is dead...and chaos reigns" when referring to getting the three skulls for himself.
  • In a museum housing the third skull, the Phantom breaks the glass display to get the skull.
  • The Phantom "borrows" a police horse to escape from the bad guys.
  • A native boy drives a truck across a bridge that may or may not support its weight. For several moments, it's unclear as to whether the boy will make it across or not.
  • Quill and his men enter a cave that's filled with skulls and a full skeleton. When they hear the local natives beating their drums, they prepare to leave, but the skeleton grabs one of the men and chokes him to death.
  • The Phantom ends up hanging from the door of a truck going across the same questionable bridge with the little boy in the back. He pulls himself in just as the truck hits the edge of the bridge and stalls. As he rescues the boy, the truck, tangled in the rope bridge, begins to do a slow upside twist with the bridge. Then the Phantom and the boy fall through the truck's canvas top, grab ahold of a vine and then swing out of the way just as the truck falls from the bridge and explodes in the gorge below.
  • The Phantom is referred to as "the ghost who walks," and several times talks to the ghost of his dead father.
  • The Phantom and Diana must jump off their plane as it's losing fuel and altitude. They end up jumping on his horse and are okay, but some may find the scene very intense.
  • As Drax holds two of the skulls together, lightning starts flashing and stained glass in the museum shatters as dramatic music plays and the jeweled eyes in the skulls glow.
  • The Phantom barely pulls himself through an open door just as the elevator he's below passes by.
  • Guns/Machine guns: Used by the bad guys to frequently shoot at the Phantom or others.
  • Two pistols: Often used by the Phantom to shoot at or disarm the bad guys, but he kills no one.
  • Sword: Used by pirates to kill several men.
  • Knife: Used by Quill to stab the Phantom.
  • Spear: Used by Quill to impale a subordinate who wants to leave the organization.
  • Brass knuckles: Used to hit Kit in the stomach.
  • Canon: Used to shoot one of Quill's men.
  • Kids might imitate all of the fighting and sword play.
  • Phrases: "Shut up," "Moron," "Screwed up," and a woman is called "Tootsie."
  • A skeleton in a cave suddenly "comes to life" and grabs a looter and chokes him to death.
  • A tiger jumps up and surprises two policemen as they search through a zoo at night.
  • A group of pirates suddenly jumps out and surprises Drax and his men in a cave.
  • Most of the frightening/tense scenes are accompanied by mildly suspenseful music.
  • None.
  • 3 "s" words, 4 hells, 4 damns, and 2 "ass" words.
  • Just some innuendo from the female heavy: "When you come back, we should spend some time together, alone."
  • A woman is seen in her bra as the Phantom kicks open the wrong door and ends up in the ladies' shower.
  • As this is a period piece, nearly everyone (but the Phantom and Diana) smokes cigarettes, cigars or pipes.
  • A small boy watches his father die in a very short scene.
  • How one can't get shot at so many times (as the Phantom does) and not be hit by one bullet, and how all of the fighting would be more harmful than shown.
  • Whether such skulls really exist.
  • The opening sequence flashes way back to the origins of the original Phantom: A small boy watches his father die by a pirate's sword.
  • Quill tries to elbow a little native boy in the head but misses.
  • A skeleton in a cave grabs a looter and chokes him to death as Quill shoots it with his pistol.
  • Quill's men shoot machine guns at the Phantom as they chase him through the jungle. The Phantom grabs one guy and smashes him headfirst into a tree.
  • The Phantom jumps onto the hood of a truck driven by Quill. The passenger shoots his gun at the Phantom who pulls the guy from the truck and then exchanges punches with Quill. Finally, Quill pulls out a knife and stabs the Phantom.
  • Drax has a librarian, whom he doesn't trust, look through a microscope. Unbeknownst to the librarian, the microscope is equipped with blades that jut up out of the eyepieces. We don't see it happen, but do hear the man scream.
  • Drax's people force a plane down, fire machine guns at it, and then enter and abduct Diana at gunpoint.
  • A bad woman slugs Diana in the face, who moments later returns the punch.
  • A woman shoots a gun at the Phantom.
  • Quill slugs the Phantom in the stomach, and then hits him there with a large wrench.
  • The Phantom's pet wolf attacks Quill, as the Phantom beats up the other bad guys with punches and kicks.
  • Diana hits a bad guy in the crotch.
  • Quill's men shoot pistols and rifles at the Phantom's plane.
  • The Phantom's plane crashes just moments after he and Diana jump out.
  • Quill's men chase the Phantom and Diana, and fire guns at them. Quill pushes one of his own men off the truck so that he can get a better shot.
  • A truck hits a tree trunk and two men are thrown from the truck.
  • Quill throws a spear at a subordinate who wants to leave the organization. The man is impaled against the wall.
  • In a museum housing the third skull, the Phantom breaks a glass display to get the skull.
  • A bad guy hits Kit in the stomach with brass knuckles.
  • The bad woman slugs Diana in the face again.
  • The Phantom kicks two guys down a flight of stairs and hits another to escape from them.
  • A bad woman kicks two men in the crotch.
  • A man is shot by a cannon that blows him across the room.
  • There is a big final fight scene between the Phantom and his friends, the pirates and Drax and his men. There are punches and kicks, sword fights and guns fired. Several people are seriously wounded, if not killed.
  • A man is attacked by a shark and the water turns blood red.
  • Two people are vaporized by the energy beam from the three skulls.
  • The pirates' complex blows up from the energy of the skulls.

  • Reviewed June 8, 1996

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