Everyone was in happy, horny agreement with the result of our last sexy lethal sci-fi lady Face-Off
. Leeloo was no match for the deadly curves of Sil as the Species alien was number one in our hearts (and other organs).
Today's Face-Off is coming at ya as a result of all this news we've been hearing about Phantasm V. Of course, whenever any true horror fan hears the word Phantasm, if their mind doesn't automatically revert to a tall, grey-haired man in a suit and a tiny, shiny silver sphere, then they deserve to be buried in the nearest cemetery. Hence, we are taking a trip back to watch two classics battle it out! Prepare the embalming fluid 'cause it's time for Phantasm Vs. Phantasm II.
There's no doubt that things get pretty damn messy whenever those shiny balls are around. The first time that sphere spiked that dude in the head and began squirting out a fountain of blood, we all knew we were in for something incredible. After that, we only really get some slightly fatal stabbings.
The budget for part II was ten times that of part I, hence the practical gore effects got upped amazingly. We get more silver balls spilling a shitload of blood, plus, a wonderfully upgraded orb that stabs a dude in the back and then burrows through the bastard and out his mouth! That alone wins this category, but there's even more! The icky demise of the Tall Man rocks!
Towards the end, Jody locks Mike in his room to keep him safe and leaves. Mike then busts out of his room with the intention of following his brother to the mortuary. He bounds down the steps to the first floor, grabs a gun, and opens to the front door and holy shit, the Tall Man is standing right there! It is completely unexpected and is an expertly crafted shock.
Poor Liz's grandmother. She just attended her husband's funeral where a crazy priest drove a dagger down into the corpse's chest. Now, all she wants to do is lie down in her bed and fall asleep. As her eyes are about to close, she looks to her right to find her zombified husband lying right next to her with the friggin' dagger still sticking out of his chest!
Reggie and Mike
Reggie was a bit of a side character in part I as Mike was the one who really began uncovering the Tall Man's plan. However, I think that Reggie takes over the flick when he suggests that they "snag that Tall dude and stomp the shit out of him!" He also drives an ice cream truck which for a horror hero is just plain awesome! And although Mike is just a kid, he really does an incredible job of holding his own while battling the Tall Man.
Reggie goes through an "Ash-like" metamorphosis in part II as he goes from mild mannered ice cream man to full-on undead ass kicker. He puts a beat down on those pint-sized minions with an arsenal of heavy-duty weapons. A grown-up Mike also morphs into a fearless hunter of the Tall Man. He understands the strange circumstances surrounding him and is prepared to do whatever it takes to beat that bastard that continues to call him "Boy".
The Tall Man
Angus Scrimm's initial portrayal of the Tall Man definitely has a lastingly creepy effect. I never thought an old many saying the word "Boy!' would come off as so cool and effective. The Tall Man definitely causes numerous feelings of dread in part I. Although, the majority of his screen time is spent menacing young Mike which at times seems a little more icky than downright frightening.
I honestly feel that Angus Scrimm became a horror legend with Phantasm II. The Tall Man is so bad ass in this one, you almost begin rooting for him. It's a much better fit with him chasing a now grown Mike, but he also kicks some ass while confronting others that dare enter his funeral home such as Father Myers and Liz. He seems so much more like a man with a plan and someone that you do not want to f*ck with.
After seemingly trapping the Tall Man inside a deep mine shaft, Mike wakes up in his room and is told by Reggie that basically all that he previously went through was a dream. After the two decide to go on a therapeutic road trip, Mike goes to his room to pack... only to find that Tall Man waiting for him! "Boy!" he yells as his minions' arms crash out from a mirrored closet and drag Mike in.
After seemingly defeating the Tall Man, Reggie, Mike, and Liz are picked up by Alchemy and driven away in a hearse. Just as Reggie is about to tell Alchemy his true feelings, she peels away some of her hair, revealing that she ain't human no more! In the back of the hearse, Liz and Mike are startled by a bloodied Reggie knocking on the window from outside, leading Mike to say that it is all just a dream. Suddenly, the little door to the front seat opens up to reveal the Tall Man as he assures them, "No! It's not!
So, it appears that Phantasm II had the balls to best its predecessor. Am I wrong? Is this all just a dream? NO! It's not!
Honestly, it was a pleasure revisiting this series because it really is some classic, high-quality horror. It's very evident that Don Coscarelli really cares about these characters as do the actors portraying them. Now, I'd love to hear your Phantasm thoughts below in the bullets section. So fire away! And feel free to send any future Face-Off ideas to me at firstname.lastname@example.org