11 December 2016 | Rob-O-Cop
A wasted opportunity to make something worthwhile
The people who watch this film are the hard core fans who were entranced by the disorientating chilling imaginative world of the First Phantasm Movie. Most likely viewed multiple times at late night triple features in actual cinemas, like me. So when the franchise lays this confusing mess in your lap it is with sadness we view the results rather than dismissively as consumers of media. This was the last chance Angus Scrimm got to play his iconic Tall Man roll, and he totally delivered on his lines yet again, creepy, with a plan we can't understand, everything we could ever want from him. But how those nuggets fitted into an overlaying story, well, really they don't. There was nothing there for them to slot into, for them to make sense in. Granted, part of the original movies charm was how sense was tossed out the window; but everything in the original movie fitted within the universe of Phantasm; everything had a point, and a result to that point.
In this 5th installment most things that happened went nowhere; were smoke and mirrors; a collection of disconnected setups; some with style; many executed with cringe-worthy cheesiness; naff effects, and an edge of unintended sadness, as they chipped away at the legacy of the original.
What was it all about? I don't really know and it gives the feeling that no one, particularly the director did. It didn't make any sense, and not in a good way, just looping round some vague concept of "is Reggie dreaming, or is it real"?, but it's done so poorly the end result is a wasted opportunity to do something solid with an all-original-cast back together to pay tribute to a legendary movie franchise.
Reggie was OK as a disposable side man, but it was the 2 brothers that were the interest factor in the original. To be honest, it was kind of boring,....
.... of note, the music was a reasonably decent reworking of the original catchy score orchestrated excellently, although the original did use non classic orchestra sounds and rock instruments well, so it deviated from that innovation. The only jarring thorn in an otherwise stellar soundtrack was the cringe-worthy Ravenger rap over the score as the credits rolled. Utterly awful.
Either the director has no understanding of what was good about the original , or Coscarelli totally 'George Lucas'd' his own series, and also didn't understand what he got right in the original.
Farewell Phantasm. I wish you could have had a better send off than this. Thanks for the original though. A true iconic milestone in disorientating creepy cinema.