Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Phantasm II (1988)



"Mike, now released from a psychiatric hospital, continues his journey to stop the evil Tall Man from his grim work."

This is a change of plan since I was originally going to watch "Wishmaster" today. I've seen "Wishmaster" so many times that it would have been boring for me to rewatch or write about so I was eager to revisit "Phantasm II" instead. I also needed to spend some quality time with my cats in front of my big TV rather than half-heartedly watch DVDs on my computer while wasting my life on Twitter. When my internet connection went down for a few hours, it was the deciding factor.

Ever since I bought it on one of the Universal 4 Movie Marathon packs, I'd been dying to give "Phantasm II" another try just to see if it was as bad as I remembered it, and I'm pleased to say that it was. It was boring as Hell, made no sense at all (even though I watched the equally infantile "Phantasm" beforehand), had piss-poor acting, and I'm pretty sure that anyone who raves about any of the movies in this franchise can be dismissed with a simple "Ah, I bet you watched it when you were a little kid, didn't you?" remark.

"I hated you in Star Wars!"

As far as I could tell, a bunch of people who should have gone as far away as possible from the Tall Man and his army of Jawas decided to track him down. Why? I have no idea. Was "Phantasm II" supposed to be some kind of comedy or was it just badly made-up as they went along? Judging it on the number of "witty" yet completely unfunny lines being delivered, it was impossible to tell what the intention was.

Among the Tall Man-hunters, there was a pretty blonde called Liz and a fairly attractive brunette who got nude, but both were woefully underused. The male lead characters who I didn't care enough about to learn their names, I can only refer to as Baldilocks and Dweeb. They didn't fare much better.

Where were the scares? Where was all the gore that I've heard about? Where was the horror? I don't think I've ever sat through anything quite so unengaging since the first time I watched it, and I'm pretty sure now that whoever has been praising "Phantasm" over the years is just part of some giant sustained attempt at trolling.

I'll concede that the flying spheres were kind of neat, and the priest's death was fairly original (and pointless), but they still have to be one of the stupidest supernatural weapons ever devised. "Some flying Cuisineart" indeed. All you need is a tennis racket (not even a lightsabre) to defeat them.

My Bloody Valentine strikes back!

The chainsaw fight between Baldilocks and Gasmask Man was one of the most poorly choreographed scenes in movie history although I was pleased to see a batch of Jawas wiped out after with a four-barrelled shotgun. What a pity it wasn't Ewoks.

The special effects were just pitiful even for the time with the only outstanding moment being the "incredible melting Tall Man" which must must have used all the latex, candle wax and yellow paint that the budget could afford.

The ending made absolutely no sense at all. Just like "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Friday the 13th", "Phantasm II" went for one meaningless twist too many and was ruined even more. Is this really the series that Don Coscarelli is famous for? Master of Horror? Give me a break.

Honestly, if you haven't already seen "Phantasm II" (or you haven't been unfortunate enough to buy it in a 4 pack), don't waste your time. It's a load of balls.

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