I really like The Phantom too. It’s a little goofy (Treat Williams does chew that scenery) but just fun. The music is great and Billy Zane was born to be Lex Luthor in some medium at some point. Plus, Catherine Zeta Jones is in it and the trailer had the music from the Judge Dredd trailer. In 1996, evil got slammed.
I think The Shadow came out at the wrong time. I get Universal got dollar signs in their eyes Tex Avery style when in a development meeting, someone said “You know, Warners is making a serious mint on those Batman pictures. How about we make a Shadow movie? Lamont Cranston is a rich, single, purposely aloof playboy with emotional issues that he keeps in check by cloaking himself in the dark of the night while beating the bad guys to paste and making the city and world safe for good people. Plus DC Comics has published his adventures and Kenner can make the toys too.”
Problem is, that’s how audiences who weren’t already familiar with The Shadow franchise saw it. A Batman ripoff. Legal issues may have prevented Universal from tossing “Before Batman, there was…The Shadow!” into the marketing to drive home the fact that The Shadow preceeded Batman. I think the movie’s fun, especially that climax with the mirrors and how Shadow thunderously shatters them to distract Khan. That scene is glorious and a bit of an ode to The Lady from Shanghai, I believe. Plus you’ve got Tim Curry, Ian McKellan and a wonderful Jerry Goldsmith score.