O Fantasma is a Portugese film released in 2000, sometimes under the title of ‘The Phantom’.

Directed by Joao Pedro Rodrigues, it tells the unflinching story of a garbologist who is aroused by all manners of items ( gloves, swimming trunks , leather and motorcycles),
It is a brutually confronting film , starting with a very graphic sex scene, and continuing on through the night with random sexual encounters and activities that border on the bizarre.

The performances of Ricardo Menese (as Sergei) is outstanding. His delivery of key scenes, which in most cases may be too confronting for audience, is brutually honest.   Most people watching this film may go no further than the first scene – but it hard to resist and deny the weird world created in the first few frames.


The opening shot, (one of cinema’s best) of a dog barking incessently at a bedroom door is confusing and disturbing.  It is not until the camera cuts to inside the bedroom, do you begin to identify the seediness this film attempts to portray.


Shot entirely at night, the film meanders through randoms streets, houses and rubbish tips – and brings together illicit acts and emotions to a demeaning end.
Hardly ever screened on TV, this film is available on legally streaming movie sites and as well on Amazon.com.

The film was in contention for the 2000 Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, won the Grand Prix at the Entrevues Film Festival and received a Best Actor nomination at the Portugal Golden Globes.

4/5 stars
[My #1311 film seen]


Rhett Bartlett
twitter: @dialmformovies