Phantasm 3 (1994)

The Tall Man has finally gotten his hands on Mike, leaving Reggie to take off on a search and destroy mission with the help of a few unlikely allies! A. Michael Baldwin and Bill Thornbury return in PHANTASM 3: LORD OF THE DEAD. Although they receive very little screen time, fans are sure to appreciate the continuity that has been restored from the first film. Coscarelli can't seem to decide where he wants to take the series, so he introduces a few new characters hoping that they will stick to the audience. Rocky, played by Gloria Lynne Henry, is an ex-army martial artist, and as unrealistic as the plot. Henry is awful in the role, and even detracts from the others' performances. Kevin Connors is at least a bit more enjoyable as Tim, the young survivalist, but after accepting him as one of the team, he is dropped entirely from the fourth film. We have a group of thieves that are quickly killed off before returning as zombies for no apparent reason, and we have no further insight in to why the Tall Man shrinks corpses into miniature slaves after three entire films. The one vast improvement is in the special effects department, which return us to the look and feel of the original. It is clear at this point that PHANTASM should have be left as a stand-alone feature.

Rating: 6/10.

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  1. From the first time that I saw the original back in my teens... (1979)... I have been a Fan... And the "Tall Man", ... is a truly great villainous character.....
    These films are more for entertainment than a good story.... I enjoy seeing the further development of ( Mr. Scrimm's performance ) the Tall Man and those wonderful "spheres"...

  2. I want so badly to like the series, but each time I watch it, I actually find that I like it less and less. I love the Tall Man, and Angus Scrimm is fantastic, but I always find myself wishing they accomplished more. There is so much potential that is squandered over pointless plotlines. Phantasm is the one film (and series) I wish would be remade more than any other.

  3. Phantasm scared the living daylights out of me as a 9-year-old; as a 37-year-old I find it has not aged well. I recently covered the first movie with my co-blogger (a horror skeptic) and it was weird to see it through her eyes, someone who was seeing it for the first time as an adult. She found it ridiculous and dumb, I still found it compelling, though laughable. But damn if the movie isn't inventive and bold, and a real stab at surrealist horror. Coscarelli throws about a thousand ideas into these movies and most of them don't stick, but the ones that do (that silver sphere!) really work. The movies are non-linear, strange and utterly original, even if they are flawed.

  4. I think the fact that Don admits to having run out of ideas during the third film says a lot about the series. The Tall Man and the spheres are unforgettable images in the genre, which is why I will always argue that this series is fit to be remade over any other, only with a competent screenwriter behind the wheel. Well worth reproach!