Thursday, 19 May 2011

Phantasm 3 Lord of the Dead (1994)

Written by Happywax  May 2011
Rating 7 1/2 out of 10

Director   -   Don Coscarelli

Reggie Bannister-   Reggie
Angus Scrimm- The Tall Man
A Michael Baldwin- Mike
Bill Thornbury- Jody
Gloria Lynne Henry- Rocky
 Hey all you fellow Phan Phans Happys back in the dungeon today ( I've never been in here during the day, this place is a mess) with the third installment of the awsome Phantasm series. When we last saw Mike and Reggie the Tall Man had cornered them on a lonely highway and seemed to have gained the upper hand. For some reason, he's interested in kidnapping Mike for his own evil purposes. Reg threatens to blow them all up unless the Tall Man backs offs. He agrees, but threatens to strike again in the near future.

Badly concussed, Mike falls into a coma where he has a vision of his dead brother Jody telling him that he must choose to live in order for the cryptic game plan of the Tall Man's to work out. At that moment Mike wakes to find a demonic nurse about to drill a hole in his head and sentinel sphere buzzing around in the hospital. Reg intrudes on the scene saves him, but not without getting a mouthful of puss, and they hide out in his desert base where they can come up with a plan before the Tall Man's next strike.

But before you can say 'boooooooooooy!!!' he's back and spirits Mike away to another dimension, leaving Reg knocked out on the floor. Not knowing where he is or what happened Reg takes off across country with the burned-out sphere from the hospital as his only clue. It appears that the Tall Man has harvested the dead from dozens of towns across the Pacific Northwest, leaving entire counties to crumble. He teams up with a resourceful kid and an ex-army chick to find Mike and continue his hunt for the Tall Man while dwarfs, sentinel spheres, gravediggers and zombies are all on their trail.

The following hokum will seem very familiar as it's almost exactly what happened in Phantasm II, so while it's certainly not original in this respect I still found it to be loads of fun as the pace just doesn't let up and new characters and locations keep popping up to keep things interesting. Don Coscarelli answers some questions we've been literally dying to ask but there seems to be a conspiracy going on and the Tall Man is keeping his mouth shut. We know there's more story developing that what is obvious but good luck trying to figure it out.

The mystical, foreboding nature of Phantasm is a bit stronger here than it was in the first sequel. Unfortunately, so is the humor. The distinct lack of anything funny is what gave the original film such a weird edge and the series' increasing tendency to be an Evil Dead gorefest isn't entirely appropriate. The gore is gruesome and plentiful but not exactly chilling. I don't feel that Don Coscarelli has found the perfect mix of action, sci-fi and horror with this film to best suit the series, but it is entertaining. It seems like he's pushing his luck just a little bit in trying to cram out another film without developing too many ideas. Unimaginative is certainly not a word you could use to describe the Phantasm franchise, but this film does seem like a lot of recycled scenarios from Phantasm 2.

On the plus side, A. Michael Baldwin (the original actor) returns as Mike as well as Jodie so we now have the entire original cast back. Reg is just plain brilliant and while he may not be up to the wacky standards of Ash he's still a hoot to watch and seems to balance the serious and the jokes very well. But, as always, Angus Scrimm scores the most points as the Tall Man. He's cool, he's evil and his mysterious nature makes him all the more scarier.

Unforgiving horror fans may not like it very much as it does kind of follow the typical path of other horror franchises but there's still enough energy and weirdness to keep Phantasm phans happy and it does move very fast.Oh and did i mention the 4 barreled shot gun is back in all its demon midget blasting glory.  Dont forget to check out the trailer below, or the tall mans gonna getch ya.

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