Nine years after the original ‘Phantasm’ helped change the face of horror, the “Tall Man” returns in Don Coscarelli’s 1988 sequel, ‘Phantasm II’. Welcome back to “Phantasm Week”.
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In horror, you’re always going to have a split bunch of blood thirsty lunatics. Some people like Friday the 13th more, while others would rather save their nightmares for Elm Street. So, when it comes to Don Coscarelli’s Phantasm series, there seems to be just as much of a divide.
Personally, I love them. Sure, Oblivion is crap (from what I recall currently), but the series is so imaginative. With its flying balls, to the “Tall Man’s” amazing strength, the Phantasm series is truly unlike any other in horror history.
So, with Phantasm V: Ravager debuting this week (VOD now and theatrical Friday), it’s time to look at the 1988 sequel, Phantasm II. Welcome back to “Phantasm Week”.
Don Coscarelli’s 1988 ‘Phantasm II’ One-Sheet- Courtesy of Well Go USA Entertainment
In 1979, Don Coscarelli gave us Phantasm. A tale twisting many insane ideas and concepts, the film is a benchmark in horror inspiring many.
Then, in 1988, Coscarelli gave another ball to play with. Simply Phantasm II, the sequel is an underrated gem in the horror genre. A true sequel’s sequel, Phantasm II is a film other sequels should look for as a temple of amazement.
Towns are like people. Some get old and die a natural death. Some are murdered.-Reggie
Don’t believe me? Well enjoy some of Reggie’s ice cream as I explain. Ready? Let’s get this silver ball rolling.
Firstly, you’ll notice just how fast paced the film is. Picking up right after the events of the 1979 original, then jumping time, Phantasm II is exhilarating. Coscarelli sets his story up quickly. After he set up, then the fun really begins.
With Reggie’s family blown up by the “Tall Man”, he and Mike set out on a road trip to find the strong alien. That’s right, Phantasm II is a road trip film and made all the better for it. With this, the film’s pacing sets it self, and Coscarelli is damn smart for doing so.
On top of the, the acting in Phantasm II is simply better than it’s predecessor. Sans Angus Scrimm and Reggie Bannister (we get a lot more of him here), the original Phantasm left much to be desired in terms of acting. Famously replacing A. Michael Baldwin with James Le Gros, Phantasm II is top choice.
Lastly, the “Tall Man” is more menacing here than in the original. While giving fans more backstory about the film’s villains, but not as to overweight the story, Director Coscarelli gives the devil his details. With Phantasm II, we get more balls than to play with.
Don Coscareilli’s Phantasm II is simply a stellar sequel. Expanding on the original, while upping the excitement and featuring stronger performances, it’s a damn good continuation. Though not as great as the 1979 original, it’s still a great second installment. Indeed, the ball is back!
THE GRADE: B+
Join us tomorrow as I take a look at 1994’s
Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead.
Check out the trailer below:
Loving “Phantasm Week”? Looking forward to Ravager? Let the other silver ball buffs know what you think in the comment section below.