Phantasm 4 (1998)
Director: Don Coscarelli
A. Michael Baldwin/Mike
Angus Scrimm/Tall Man
Mike was baking under the hot sun, he fought the Tall Man, The Tall Man won...he fought The Tall Man, The Tall Man won.
This entry plays out as if it’s the last but Arrow feels in his balls that it isn’t so. So how’s the movie itself? Weird little ditty. Corascelli seems to have written the plot around excerpts of the original Phantasm that were cut out. We go back and forth between now and then…it works and its kool to see scenes that never made the final print.
This fourth sequel is far from the creepy original, far from the action packed second one and happily for me it’s far from the campy third entry. No "Rocky" or smartass kids here. The fourth one plays a lot like Star Wars: Mike is Luke, The Tall Man is Vader, Jody is Ben, Reggie is Han Solo, the midgets are Jawa’s and the desert landscape is Tattooine. The relationship between Mike and Tall Man is pure Vader/Luke syndrome.
The film gives us more insight on the Tall Man’s origins, Mike travels from dimension to dimension, Reggie tries to get laid (again) and the balls are mostly background stuff.
My worst complaint is that not much happens. A lot of wandering around and not enough action. The film’s pace is on low gear and apart from the occasional surprise, there’s nothing much going on here.
On the plus side the film has many kool locations: desert, ocean, the past, deserted streets but its too bad not much happens at these nice backdrops. When all is said and done the film will interest all hardcore Phantasm fans to a certain degree but will put the un -initiated to sleep. The flick never bored me but it never thrilled me either. This one needs a bigger pair of balls….
Some occasional gore here and there…but no red stuff…the blood is mostly yellow. Not much.
A. Michael Baldwin (Mike) does fine again, its kool to see him now and the flashbacks when he was a kid…makes the film more believable. Reggie Banister (Reggie) can play Reggie in his sleep, he’s still the lovable poon hound we all love. Bill Thornbury (Jody) does what he has to do…not much. Heidi Marnhart’s (Jennifer) hot bod does most of the acting. Angus Scrimm (Tallman) gets to stretch the part, playing The Tall Man in the past. Its weird and kool to see him act normal.
T & A
A special kind of tit shot…Reggie still doesn’t give us a butt shot…cough it up!
Corascelli sure knows how to capture beautiful scenery. We get the occasional kool shot and some mood. The film is almost like a relaxation tape, it moves at its own groove" slowly but steady.
The Phantasm score is sadly played down…a lot of silence in this film. Bannister sings a song during the end credit. Go boy!
If you're like me and you like the overall Phantasm story, you might enjoy this one. It won’t blow you away but it will fulfill your Phantasm fix till the next sequel. More action would have been really nice, a quicker pace too. At least this one drops most of the camp and plays it serious. Don’t worry though it still has a sense of humor.
This is the disclaimer at the end of the credits...funny...
THIS MOTION PICTURE IS PROTECTED UNDER THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES AND OTHER COUNTRIES. UNAUTHORIZED DUPLICATION, DISTRIBUTION, OR EXHIBITION MAY RESULT IN CIVIL LIABILITY, CRIMINAL PROSECUTION, AND THE WRATH OF THE TALL MAN.