Phantasm V: Ravager is the Evil Dead II of the Phantasm series, and that is saying something. You can easily dismiss it as a last gasp for relevance, but you’d be wrong. It’s a smart, funny, gory, and self-referential BLAST of a film. I wish I understood more of it, but that has nothing to do with the film’s quality. It’s just that I don’t do well with nonlinear timelines, I guess, and that can explain quite a lot of why I spent most of the movie just going YEAAAAAAH!
Here’s a synopsis for Phantasm V: Ravager that does a better job of explaining the movie than I could ever dream of doing:
Small-town friends Reggie (Reggie Bannister), Mike (A. Michael Baldwin), and Jody (Bill Thornbury) continue in their quest to stop the evil, dimension-hopping schemes of The Tall Man (Angus Scrimm) and his armada of killer Sentinel Spheres. This time, the fight becomes a multi-dimensional battle across multiple timelines, alien planets and altered realities, where no less than the fate of Earth is on the line.
There are only a few unfortunate aspects of the movie. One of them is that Don Coscarelli, though he wrote the screenplay, did not take over the directing duties this time around. David Hartman does a good job with the material, making it feel all Phantasm-y, but it would have been interesting to see what Coscarelli would have done with it, given the chance.
The other misfortune is Angus Scrimm’s sort of limited role in the film as the nefarious Tall Man. I think he might have been in poor health during the filming of the movie, but either way, the iconic villain does not make as much of an impact on this particular sequel as one would think.
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