Thursday, October 20, 2016


Last weekend I got the chance to see PHANTASM (1979) on the big screen for the first time. It was wonderful to watch this longtime favorite in a darkened theater with it looking and sounding fantastic. This event rekindled my love of the film and the entire series so a few days later I sat down to watch the latest and last of the run entitled PHANTASM: RAVAGER (2016). After the high of the original I was pumped for the experience but I was also realistic because as much as I love the first two movies there was a definite drop off with the third and fourth films. I've come to terms with LORD OF THE DEAD (1994) but OBLIVION (1998) was some pretty thin soup. And once I learned that series creator/director Don Coscarelli was not behind the camera for this final film I knew I needed to dial down my hopes.

So, how was PHANTASM: RAVAGER (2016)?

Well, I have to admit that I enjoyed it. Oh, it's not great or even very good but it is very much in keeping with the rest of the series. It has the core cast back once again doing their thing very well with Angus Scrimm giving us one last villainous turn as The Tall Man. The story hangs together pretty well advancing things to an apocalyptic future in an alternate dimension that feels like the correct path for the tale they've been telling. The film has some exciting sequences that could have used a bit more money to pull off perfectly but this is also in keeping with the previous entries. Oddly, some of the most effective scenes involve Reggie and Mike together trying to dope out how things have unwound in this new reality in which they find themselves. Seeing these two guys onscreen again was very nice and made me happy that this film got made.

This is far from the best Phantasm movie but it at least ends things well enough that fans (phans) can enjoy the tale and it's circular, never-ending nature one last time. Go in with lowered expectations and, like me, you just might find them exceeded.

1 comment:

1thepner said...

Great review, thanks!