Directed by Don Coscarelli. US. 1988. NR. 97 minutes. Universal. 35mm.
Fri., January 6, 2017
The original Phantasm stands as an influential cornerstone of contemporary horror cinema. It was also an independent film making success story, defying odds to cement itself in the horror tomb of greats. Director Don Coscarelli returns almost 10 years later to give us more Reggie (Reggie Bannister), more Mike (James Le Gros), and more Tall Man (Angus Scrimm).
Abandoning the coming of age formula, and straight laced horror/science fiction trappings of its predecessor, Phantasm II goes gleefully dark horror comedy in the guise of a bad ass road film. Following the events of the first movie, Phantasm II see Mike released from a mental institution to re-team with Reggie on hunt for the elusive Tall Man and his deadly chrome balls.
The brilliance of Coscarelli’s direction shines through his off beat sensibilities, establishing a haunting world both lonely and dangerous. Phantasm may be a more important film to the foundations of horror cinema, but Phantasm II is arguably far more fun and entertaining. (Chuck Francisco)