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New Ghoul in Town

Is producer Chuck Fries shamelessly ripping off the lucrative likes of horror characters Jason (“Friday the 13th” series), Freddy Kreuger (“Nightmare on Elm Street”) and Michael Myers (“Halloween”)?

Fries’ low-budget “Phantom of the Mall,” now shooting on Valley locations, features a young man named Eric (Derek Rydall), who’s peeved because developers burned down his house so they could put up a mall, leaving half his face hideously disfigured. Now, oh so vengeful, he inhabits the mall! (Morgan Fairchild is the mayor responsible for pushing its development.)

When we asked Fries if he’s trying to elbow into the horror sequel market, he quipped a shameless promo line for his scare pic: “On Halloween, Friday the 13th, there was a nightmare in the mall. Eric, the phantom, struck.”

Added Fries: “I definitely see this as a franchise.”

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