Wednesday, September 2

Some quick thoughts on Phantasm II (1988)

.
Don Coscarelli must be the most charming and persuasive director in genre filmmaking. This unlikely sequel spawned two other unlikely sequels to what might be the most unlikely horror classic of the '70s. And like the first, Tall Man Cometh: Part Deux found backing from a major Hollywood studio, despite being a decade after the fact of the 1979 film's popularity.

Of course, Universal did made "requests" upon Coscarelli, yet still the finished product refreshingly avoids the common case of sequelitis. The film doesn't even re-explain the Tall Man's reasons for harvesting the dead for newcomers. Sure, there's a short prologue, but it's only there to act as direct connective tissue to Phantasm. Coscarelli should be highly praised for fashioning a continuation, not merely a rehash of his original with a much higher budget. It's amazing Universal didn't force this issue more, but sadly, the director's determination to make an enduring saga each time out might have ended up hurting the series, at least on-screen.

Reggie and Angus are back and only prove integral to the series in their respective trademark roles. Both actors give off the strong impression of their characters never leaving the Phantasm world. Scrimm brings his height, wide gate, and famous lock-jaw scowl...while Bannister well, is Reggie Bannister. He seems the kinda guy you'd end up piss drunk with at some hole-in-the-wall bar for some reason eating granola bars as appetizers while he reminiscences about being a roadie for the Arthur Brown before an impeding pizza. Some asshole would start giving Reggie shit and he'd just stand up and make the prick eat his teeth with one swift left. Then the pizza would arrive, and as if nothing happened, he'd smile and say with a real soft-spoken zeal for life, "Man, this pie is damn good."

Okay, enough about my big day out with Reg. Phantasm II doesn't have the ramshackle ingenuity of its predecessor, essentially being being a road flick with abandoned towns and hundreds of empty crypts, but it sure is a lot of fun. So bring on the badass jet black 'cuda, crimson drillin' spheres, condensed midget minions, illegal in all 50 states quad-barreled shotty, and crab mustard blood.
.

5 comments:

J. Astro said...

Nice :) I eagerly await the US release of this.

EAGERLY, I tell you. I don't even care if it's not like, the most pristine transfer or whatever, I just neeeeeeeed it. And I'm apparently one of the few horror geeks without a region-free player. So the US release will finally complete me, PHANTASM-wise.

Sehnzeleid said...

Have you ever seen it?

Keith said...

I actually ended up seeing Phantasm II before I ever saw the first one.

J. Astro said...

I saw PHANTASM II looong ago on a rental, been wanting it ever since then.

2vs8 said...

Phantasm II - the balls are back...

fun, not great... it was nice to see it be made into a sequel...

there is word about a remake?

...do you dare tread upon the staircase?
Basement of Ghoulish Decadence, Basement of Ghoulish Archive, and all original material Copyright © 2009-present by Jayson Kennedy. All rights reserved.