The first of many big mistakes of Phantom from 10,000 Leagues is that they show the audience the "phantom" literally within two minutes of the movie starting, when it kills a local fisherman. I know it's on the poster, but seriously. Do they have no sense of mystery at all?! You can pretty much turn off the movie after seeing that, because the monster is the most interesting part about it. He looks kind of like a Chinese Fu Dog - except for the hole right under his chin for the head of the actor in the suit. There's a lot of talk about the science about how the Fu Dog was created and such but it all sounds like blah, blah, blah to me. Something about a radioactive rock and nuclear light.
Like any good movie from this era, there has to be an unbelievable love story in it. I knew from the second that Stevens met King's daughter Lois that they were going to hook up. And surprise, surprise - they did! There's even a little meet-cute scene where arrives at the house to meet the Professor and Lois walks out of the bathroom after taking a shower, not knowing he's there. Oh, how awkward and full of sexual tension! They probably end up getting married after they watch Lois's father blow up in the ocean with the phantom - something that she surprisingly doesn't freak out about. Your father just got BLOWN UP. Shed a tear, at least.
I guess there's some nostalgic charm to The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues because of the monster and all the talk about radiation and death rays. It's definitely a product of its time and fits in nicely with other similar movies from the decade. But for me, it feels way longer than its 80-minute runtime because the movie is so slow and full of exposition. The action is minimal and lame, and the overall presentation of the movie is just plain boring. Nice pick, Maynard!