In a Nutshell. Mini reviews of movies old and new. Minimum words. No fuss. No spoilers. Occasional trout.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Phantasm II (1988)

With production backed by Universal this time, Phantasm II trumps the original in not only scope but linear storytelling. Compromises with the studio resulted in the recasting of main character Mike (now James Le Gros) and a less illusory nature, which somewhat hampered the first Phantasm. The unlikely action heroes Mike & Reggie scour the countryside for the elusive Tall Man (Angus Scrimm) as he leaves a veritable wasteland of abandoned towns in his wake. With a higher budget they were able to pull off impressively disturbing creature and gore effects. Despite this, there are still signs of amateurish cinematography, such as focusing and editing problems. But most fans will dismiss these minor issues in favor of this satisfying adventure. 

3½ gold spheres out of 5

12 comments:

budarc said...

I can't believe no one's done the Phantasm films yet.

With the new one coming out this year, this might be a series worth revisiting very soon.

Borderline said...

I'm probably a bad choice to nut the rest of them. Besides this one, I'm not a fan of Don Coscarelli. I did watch 3&4 recently. Oblivion was horrid.

budarc said...

I've seen the first one a few times, but I've only blown through the rest of the series once and my memory's not very good on them.

That being said, Phantasm: Ravager probably isn't going to win over any new fans, but I'm hoping it's the proper sendoff for Mr. Scrimm.

Dr Faustus said...

The only one I have on disc is the first one. It's not a good transfer, so I avoided getting any of the others in case they were the same.

A company I'd not heard of before, Well Go USA, got the rights to release new HD scans later this year.

budarc said...

I had heard about a 4K remastered restoration of the first film (due to coincide with the release of the new one, in time for Halloween), but hadn't heard the others were getting a digital re-release. Good looking out.

---

Hey Doc, have you ever seen the Deathstalker series? I'm about two deep, but these movies are frickin' great. As I was watching them, I thought that they'd be right up your alley. Even if you end up hating them, I'm sure it would make great fodder for a nut (one of my personal favorites is your review of Conan the Destroyer).

Deathstalker II is kind of like the Evil Dead II of the sword and sorcery genre. Just sayin'.

Dr Faustus said...

I checked up on the Phantasm blu-rays. Reports say it'll only be films I, III and IV getting released by Well Go because Universal own the rights to this one.

I've not seen any of the Deathstalker films, but you're absolutely correct, I also think they'd be very much my kind of thing! Even if they're bad, I enjoy bad B-Movies a lot more than bad AAA-Movies. I've looked for them a number of times in the past. The first one was on YT or Vimeo (or someplace) about a year ago but was in 360p and 4:3, so I didn't watch it. I'll hopefully find them someday in the proper ratio.

budarc said...

I've got them all, but they're pretty bad quality. It kind of lends to their charm. Yeah, they're cheesy '80s B-movies but they don't skimp on the gore, skin or cheese. I'm kind of bummed I missed out on these in their VHS glory days.

The first two movies were released on BluRay (widescreen format), but the second movie (the best one) got 11 minutes cut out of it. As far as I know, 3 and 4 only got the full frame releases on DVD. I'm afraid you'll have to settle for lesser quality if you decide to saddle up to these. I can hook you up if you need any of them uploaded.

(I'm not sure why talking about Don Coscarelli made me think of Deathstalker...I think it must be because of his association with the Beastmaster flicks.)

budarc said...

I should also correct my earlier statement... Army of Darkness is actually the Evil Dead II of the sword and sorcery genre. :P

Dr Faustus said...

"I've got them all, but they're pretty bad quality. It kind of lends to their charm."

I've felt similarly towards some remasters. It's as if the beautiful 80s film stock vibe was all but wiped away during the process, taking a lot of the character with it. It's an odd thing.

Thanks for the Phantasm offer but I'll wait. It's not a series I'm itching to get, and I prefer stuff in its original ratio as much as possible.

"I should also correct my earlier statement... Army of Darkness is actually the Evil Dead II of the sword and sorcery genre."

Heh, I'd no doubt agree if I thought Army of Darkness was any good, but I just can't get on with it. I adore Bruce but there's too much slapstick for my liking.

----------------------

I don’t know if Cuckoo said to you, but your comments don't generate an email notification for some reason. (You're like a ghost in the machine.) So if you've ever left one and got no response, it's simply because I didn’t know it was there. :)

budarc said...

Sorry, I should have clarified... My earlier comment was concerning the Deathstalker films, not Phantasm.

Every time I make a comment, I get 4 mailer daemon emails. It must have something to do with my earlier linked account and the fact that most of the associated email addresses have been terminated.

Well, no matter... I'll always be here... Lurking in the shadows...

cuckoo said...

Funny...I was going to say something about the lack of bud comment notifications today but Doc pulled a "missed it by that much" on me.

I think it does have to do with a glitch with blogger and former authors of the blogs.
I have a weird glitch going on with the Load and Ink, both of which I set up as an author but never posted before dropping out of them.

budarc said...

I took a closer look at the email. It appears to have to do with the handshake between Yahoo (my email) and Gmail (you guys). Here's an excerpt of gobbledygook:

Technical details of permanent failure:
Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the server for the recipient domain gmail.com by gmail-smtp-in.l.google.com. [209.85.234.26].

The error that the other server returned was:
550-5.7.1 Unauthenticated email from yahoo.com is not accepted due to domain's
550-5.7.1 DMARC policy. Please contact the administrator of yahoo.com domain if
550-5.7.1 this was a legitimate mail. Please visit
550-5.7.1 https://support.google.com/mail/answer/2451690 to learn about the
550 5.7.1 DMARC initiative. x80si21455077ioe.160 - gsmtp