Cult classic film fans will appreciate the visionary elements of
Director, David Hartman's glimpse into the bizarre and fantastical
world of the "Phantasm" series in this disjointed but entertaining
final chapter in a long-time saga of weirdness and mayhem. This is the
first of the "Phantasm" films that is not directed by originator, Don
Coscarelli and the final performance of the late and great Angus Scrimm
as the "Tall Man" who passed away at age 89 in 2016. He returns along
with much of the original cast of the "Phantasm" films including:
Reggie Banister, Michael Baldwin, Bill Thornbury, Kelly Lester, Gloria
Lynne Henry and the awesome '71 Cuda as they battle the evil army of
graveroobbers that continue to populate the countryside with
living-dead dwarfs, zombies and of course, the dreaded silver spheres.
Its been 17 years since "Phantasm IV" and this picks up where that film
left off, but with a significantly older Reggie Banister wandering the
mid-west after his subsequent escape from the "Tall Man" and his
minions. Don't fret since it has been a while since the film's opening
quickly recaps the basic highlights of previous films including
Phantasm IV's revealing of the identity and origins of the "Tall Man",
Morningside Cemetery and the mystery of the flying spheres.
This falls short of everything you would expect from a continuation of the Phantasm saga, but as a long time fan its nice to hear that original Fred Myrow/Malcolm Seagrave musical score that once again sets the mood for this outstandingly strange world. Ultimately, this utilizes the fact that the original characters are at the mercy of old age and lost time, especially Reggie as he is diagnosed with dementia, institutionalized and cannot tell the difference between nightmare and reality and must reprise everything he already experienced and more. The final moments of Angus Scrimm combined with Reggie's journey into past reflections are handled quite well by director/writer, David Hartman whom you can tell is a devoted fan of the series. Presumably, this is on a modest budget, but that is no surprise, and it seems to contribute to the comic relief and overall ambiance of the film. The problems with this movie arise with Reggie's memories and whether or not they corroborate the events in the story, as this is the whole point and meaning of "Phantasm". What may be conceived of as real may not be, and what is remembered may just be a glimpse into an alternate reality. Are Reggie's memories just another attempt by the Tall Man to destroy him, or will he actually reunite with his friends Mike and Jody and defeat the Tall Man once and for all? Its inevitably a battle between Reggie's blurred fantasy of world domination as he struggles between dreams and reality. The film is definitely flawed, Dawn Cody is terrible as the female interest and Angus Scrimm's character is obviously transposed into many scenes from the older prints. Cheap CGI effects are evident and the last half hour is so confusing and pointless leaving no closure to the overall story except a messy and convoluted ending, but as a fan, its nice to see the cast reunited, and some fresh ideas. Its too bad it took so long to materialize this final chapter and why they couldn't perfect it due to so many production and writing difficulties which are obvious. Its not satisfying, but I had some fun with it for what it is.. I guess its up to the fans to decide after all these years whether or not it can hold a candle to its predecessors. Not great, but can't say I found it completely worthless. Think of it as a homage to an original and intriguing concept and a farewell to those who contributed to it.
Action / Fantasy / Horror
Action / Fantasy / Horror
Reggie is wandering through the desert seeking out his friend Mike and the evil The Tall Man. Along his journey, he is hunted down by the dangerous spheres and stumbles upon the gorgeous Dawn. Out of the blue, he finds himself in an institution with Mike explaining that he has dementia and then in another dimension. Where is Mike?
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January 04, 2017 at 12:40 AM