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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Bad Movies  |  Rate/discuss the PHANTASM series. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Rate/discuss the PHANTASM series.  (Read 7741 times)
Torgo
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« on: April 10, 2007, 03:51:54 PM »

The Phantasm series of films is yet another one of those cases IMO of sequels coming close to dliuting and just flat out damaging what made the original film so special.

The 1st Phantasm film (released in 1979) is a justifiable horror classic.  While the acting at times is amateurish, I really think that it actually adds to the film's charm and off kilter nature.  The film is just so freaking weird!  Some people have accused the film of not making sense at all, and even though it doesn't bow to any kind of conventional narrative structure, it does make sense if you use your brain and pay attention to what's really going on.  Just enough information is given but not too much to take away from what's transpired.

This is where the sequels really screwed up.  Phantasm 2 (released in 1988) is much more of an action film of sorts.  While the original didn't need a sequel, out of the 3 sequels so far, the 2nd one is still kind of enjoyable as an almost spoof of 80's action cliches  even if it isn't scary or creepy at all. 

The 3rd and 4th Phantasm films (released 1994 and 1998 respectively) took the story into completely disasterous areas.  The 3rd in particular is just a terrible film all around.  Even some of the hardcore fans of the series hate this movie.  The 4th film tried to turn things around by going back to more of the sci-fi-horror style  of the first film.  They did this by incorporating excised footage from the original 1st movie and working the modern day scenes around this footage in terms of a basic plot.  But where the 4th film was advertised as wrapping everything up, all it did was just create even MORE questions.  I really think that the only reason the 4th film kind of worked slightly at all is due to the inclusion of the 1979 footage which makes up about half of the film.

Anyway, I didn't really want to go into plot specifics in case someone hasn't seen the films but here's how I would rate the entire seires out of 4 stars:

PHANTASM   (1979)   ****
PHANTASM II      (1988)   ***
PHANTASM III: LORD OF THE DEAD  (1994)  *1/2
PHANTASM IV: OBLIVION    (1998)  **











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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2007, 04:23:12 PM »

I've only watched the first one as I heard the other ones are crap.  I know, I know.  I need to watch them.  But I'll give you my thoughts on the first one.

I was in the Navy and while we were on cruise my friends and I watched it.  They thought it was cheezy and stupid but I thought it was really well done.  It's more of an atmospheric movie.  Sure, some of the effects don't hold up (the rubber mutant fly in the kitchen and finger in the box) but it sets the tone and they make the main characters likable.

The movie has the feeling of a Lovecraft story.  Grave robbing.  Interdemensional things trying to take over our world...and just an overall creepy feeling.  It is a low budget classic.  I wish Hollywood would relearn that less is more.
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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2007, 04:30:11 PM »

I have never been much of a fan of Phantasm. Though there are fun elements to the first film, it does make little sense. Someone certainly can inject their own semi-logic into the film to make sense to themselves, but that does nothing for somebody else watching the film.

Having seen Phantasm IV, it makes me wonder how much better the first movie may, or may not, have been had they kept some of the footage. The missing footage from the first one certainly makes part IV an interesting watch for that, not to mention that it is the first time since the original that all of the original actors repeated their roles.

Part II was mostly memorable for the depressed atmosphere and for Reg's chainsaw fight.

I have not seen part III.

I have primarily caught the sequels on late night TV. They make for something interesting to have on, and I get a kick out of the predicaments Reg can get himself into and out of. Beyond that, though, I don't much care for the series.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2007, 04:32:01 PM by Menard » Logged
Doc Daneeka
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« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2007, 04:33:29 PM »

Uh oh, you did not just say that...

Phantasm is indeed a horror classic. The acting, weird events, and odd editing are all evidence that it all was really a dream, with the Tall Man popping up at the end for a chilling flicker of doubt. The sequels are indeed convoluted, and perhaps unnecessary after the events of the first film, but do they suck? ##!! no.

One of the most emptyheaded errors that the sequels makes is that the Tall Man wants to capture Mike and not kill him. However, this sets the stage for the rest of the Phantasm game. Where the first gives some basics to the series, "the tall man conquers worlds to make dwarves", "it could all just be a dream", the second finally gets into the significance of out main characters I.E. Mike is not just a witness to Tally's wickedness, but has the potential to stop him. Lord of the Dead (My personal favorite Hatred) begins the great speculation for the future of Phantasm, when it becomes totally clear that The Tall Man does not only want to kill or dwarfify Mike, but wants something in his head. Not only this but it also gives a taste of the Tall Man's power, that the towns he conquered in the first two films are far from the only ones (also, it's totally cool whilst turning down the cheese of the second, still keeping in several terrifying moments). Phantasm OblIVion was about recapping the series, and helping tie up loose ends the first 3 left. This is not "wrapping it up", it's helping to set the stage to the final confrontation. Sadly, aside from the preceding reason it truly wasn't that good a film. Hopefully, Phantasm 5 will be the wrap you seek.

PHANTASM - dreamy, odd horror/f(ph)antasy film, truly a classic which left us with some tantalizing question marks over our heads. ***1/2
PHANTASM II - Basically 80s fodder, filmwise, but really starts to set the stage plotwise **
PHANTASM III - Finally puts the plot out for you, yes, the Tall Man is out to kill us all, yes, he does want Mike for greater purposes than death or slavery, and no, he doesn't die very easily. ****
PHANTASM IV - A recap, hopefully a prequel to PHANTASM'S END, which will undoubtably be a fine cap on the most mysterious horror franchise that I know of. **

Far from what you said, the Phantasm series is supposed to get more complicated, more complex as it continues, and the sequels are much better than the average horror continuation, because unlike every mindless/wisecracking teen-slasher killer, The Tall Man isn't going anywhere soon. Forget "returning in the sequel", try "returning 2 minutes later", and until Reggie, Jody, Mike, (or the Bruce Campbell character) find his final weakness, the world is doomed.
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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2007, 04:55:28 PM »

 I get them all confused.I like the killer balls,though! And the way gook squirts out of the Tall Man's eyes in one of them.
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« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2007, 05:36:25 PM »

I've seen the first one numerous times and love it. I wanted to see it in the theater when it originally came out, but was unable to convince any adult to take me. I just adore the music in this film. I had a Horror/Halloween site for many years and the Phantasm theme was used on the index page (though one was able to turn it off and on...I hate music that starts up without me wanting it to).

I rented the second one many, many years ago and only watched it the one time. I have not seen any of the others.
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Torgo
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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2007, 06:13:37 PM »

Uh oh, you did not just say that...


Far from what you said, the Phantasm series is supposed to get more complicated, more complex as it continues, and the sequels are much better than the average horror continuation, because unlike every mindless/wisecracking teen-slasher killer, The Tall Man isn't going anywhere soon. Forget "returning in the sequel", try "returning 2 minutes later", and until Reggie, Jody, Mike, (or the Bruce Campbell character) find his final weakness, the world is doomed.

I really don't think that the 1st Phantasm should have had a sequel of any kind to begin with despite the fact that I enjoyed part 2.

I like that fact that the 1st movie plays on the whole fact that it's simply about a boy who just happens to see something that he isn't supposed to see and spends the rest of the movie trying to convince adults that what he is saying is actually happening.

I'm not saying that the sequels shouldn't have gotten more complex, but complex doesn't necessarily mean better.  It's almost like Don Coscarelli (the writer/ producer/director) just doesn't have the slightest idea on where the series should head and it's painfully clear that he's just been making it up as he goes along without any concern on how his sequels are tarnishing the reputation of the original film.

the fact that Part 3 added in the plot element that the Tall Man actually wants to use Mike and that there's more to Mike than first appeared is just ludicrous.

I was able to let the whole psychic chick plot thread in part 2 slide because the movie delivered pretty much what I wanted out of a Phantasm sequel, more gore, more spheres while also shedding some light on what was actually going on in the 1st film.

Parts 3 and 4 IMO have ruined a lot of people's perceptions of the original film.

I'm not criticizing people for liking them, but that's just my opinions as I think the 1st film is a hoot and a true horror classic.
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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2007, 11:01:50 PM »

I have seen all four of the movies.  The original Phantasm is the best.  The other three are good, but nothing can be as good as the original.

I will admit that they are corny, but that is what makes them great.  Isn't that the reason we have this forum?  We love the movies that are corny to the normal folks.

I have the first Phantasm on DVD and I love it.  It has the trailers and Angus Scrimm does a intro duction.  I love when he says "BOY".

I plan on buy the other three and hope for part five.  As much as I like the films, I hope that it does not turn into something like Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street.


Just my 2.5 cents.

John
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« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2007, 06:01:10 AM »

Have 2, 3 and 4 on DVD and find them very entertaining, strangely I'm not such a fan of the first one though, it's not as action packed as the sequels or at least I don't remember it being so.  I would quite happily get hold of 5 if it ever appears.
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« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2007, 07:15:25 AM »

i just picked up the new special editions from anchor bay of Phantasm and Phantasm 3, ive seen both but im gonna do a review of the first Phantasm. Phantasm 3 is presented in its full unrated verision for the first time in north america apparently so im might write one for that too. im a huge fan of the series, they all are cool in my book.
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« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2007, 08:26:19 AM »

I've only watched the second one, I thought it was a really nice, atmospheric '80s movie.  Rather cheesy, but the killer balls were cool. 
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« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2007, 09:55:31 AM »

New slogan for the first movie: Fast Cars, Fast Women, Faster Balls  TeddyR
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JPickettIII
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« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2007, 10:46:07 AM »

New slogan for the first movie: Fast Cars, Fast Women, Faster Balls  TeddyR

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« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2007, 12:25:33 PM »

Ok, so here's my opinion on the Phantasm franchise:

Phantasm - Great old school horror that screws with your mind. You're not sure if what you're seeing is real, or a dream, or what. Plus, who the hell would have expected a balding ice cream man to become the series' hero?! While I have to say its a bit of a snoozer at times, I really do like it.

Phantasm II - Great Caesar's Ghost this is a fun one! (DAMN YOU UNIVERSAL FOR NOT RELEASING IT YET!) Reggie gets his trademark four barrel shotgun, hops in his hemi and travels cross country with Michael to put a hurtin' on the Tall Man. Things get weirder, the effects get better, and .... sigh... could I love it more?

Phantasm III - This one was really fun in my opinion and you just gotta love the little kid with his shiny six-shooter. That little runt would give "The Man With No Name" a run for his money. The only problem with this one (that carries over into the thus far, final film) is that Coscarelli and company attempt to explain the unexplainable.

Phantasm OblIVion - This is definitely the weakest of the series and mainly because things get so out of whack with the storyline. Instead of wrapping things up, they try to dig into the Tall Man's past, and there's that whole weird subplot about Michael's true identity. I was very disappointed with it.

So going from best to worst (in my opinion): Phantasm II, (a tie for second between) Phantasm III and the original, and in last place, Phantasm OblIVion.

Now, from what I understand, Anchor Bay will be releasing "Phantasm OblIVion" in the near future with audio commentary and extras. Also, it seems that Don Coscarelli is looking to finish off the Phantasm saga, though it won't be the futuristic epic with Bruce Campbell that we were all hoping for. (Man, Bruce and Reggie in the same flick? That'd be cool as hell!)

Oh and I like the new slogan for the original Mendard. Very nice! Hmmm.... how about this for a slogan for Phantasm II or III: "The Balls have Finally Dropped...."
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« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2007, 12:44:10 PM »

Oh and I like the new slogan for the original Mendard. Very nice! Hmmm.... how about this for a slogan for Phantasm II or III: "The Balls have Finally Dropped...."

Why does my name keep getting a second 'd' in it?

Possible slogan for part V: Less hair, more balls
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