Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Phantasm II (1988)

The sequel to the 1979 classic Phantasm is one of the few sequels that is not only as good as the original, but in certain areas surpasses it.  More an action flick than the surreal nightmare the first one was, this picks up some time after the first film (though not before an explosively awesome prologue that builds on the first film's shock ending) and Mike (now played by James LeGros) has been going through psychotherapy sessions (oddly enough the setup for Fright Night Part 2  from the same time period is similar though not as well executed) but they haven't really worked.

Drawn by dreams of a young woman he has an apparent psychic bond with, he and Reggie (Reggie Bannister) embark on a hunt for The Tall Man (Angus Scrimm) after the aforementioned villain blows up Reggie's family.

That's pretty much all the plot there is as the film turns into a gory road trip chase film with multiple shootouts in mausoleums, killer dwarfs, great f/x from Mark Shostrom, the welcome return of the brain drilling spheres and all of it crisply directed by Don Coscarelli.

Acting is solid with LeGros doing a good job as Mike, Reggie Bannister being his usual entertaining self and of course, Angus Scrimm looming over the proceedings as the creepiest undertaker in film history.

What's really great about the film is how the director was willing to tell a different type of story.  While the first film was a bizarre, nightmarish bit of surreal horror, this is essentially a kickass 80's action film with horror elements mixed in.  I first saw this at about two in the morning on KTLA and have loved it ever since.  It's truly a worthy sequel to the first film.

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About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.