"Phantasm 2 (1988/Blu-ray/Scream Factory)" Review

Mike is released from psychiatry, when he agrees with the doctors that the terrible happenings in his past
were just in his imagination. But once he's free, he contacts Redge and they team up to hunt down and eliminate the "Tall Man", who plunders the graveyards and abducts the sleeping with help of his terrible gnomes. A beautiful strange girl starts to appear in Mike's dreams. He assumes she's in danger and needs their help - will they find her before the Tall Man can do her any harm? 

Review: This is the second film in the Phantasm series, this time around you are taken beyond what the first Phantasm took you. Phantasm 2 starts off exactly where the first one left off where the Tall Man was taking Mike into his world, but he is saved by Reggie.  I absolutely love when they do this in a film series even if it is many years later when the sequel is made. This sequel I can say is one of my favorites of the series aside from the first film, this time around they had more money on hand to do what they wanted to which is perfect for a film of this nature. I think they had around 3 million for the budget, I would love to see what could of been done with a budget of 10 million for the time it was made.

 The only thing in this film that kinda bothered me is that they did not use Michael Baldwin to play Mike this time around, but I can say that James LeGros still did a great job. Luckily we still have Reggie Bannister as Reggie and Angus Scrimm once again as the frightening Tall Man. I really like how Reggie is that much more of a badass and really solidifies himself into the series. Not to say he wasn't a main character in the first one. Aside from the three returning characters you also get some great new characters such as Alchemy (Samnatha Phillips), Liz (Paula Irvine), and Father Meyers (Kenneth Tigar). Of the new three Liz is the one who is a bigger character.

One thing that really liked that they were able to do better this time was they made the Tall Man's minions have unique faces on each one, to some viewers that may seem like nothing special. To me I liked it because they didn't just seem like mindless minions doing the Tall Man's bidding, instead they are creatures with a past and connection to the characters especially the one who looks like Liz's grandmother. Now that one was really creepy looking. They even point out in the retorspective on this release about how they even made her have traces of makeup from when she was human. Also I want to mention a scene where Reggie gets knocked into the other dimension and a barrel gets knocked over and one of the minions comes sliding out like it's being born. The visual and gore effects are great especially when one of the Tall Man's henchman end up getting killed by the golden ball that rips through his body and gets stuck in his face and continues to spin it's blades.
This film has everything to it, supernatural beings, gore, atmosphere, explosions, spurting embalming fluid, flying killer balls, a four barreled shotgun, and of course the Tall Man! If you have not gotten a chance to watch this sequel or if you have been holding out for a Blu-ray release then this is the time to check this one out! It's a fantastic sequel and really delivers on all fronts and even takes the first films story that much further. Overall this is a highly recommended release!

I have owned this film on VHS before as well as the Universal DVD release that came out a couple years back and I can firmly say that this release is the best of the bunch. The picture is very solid and quite clean. I think they did use the same sources as the DVD release, but I can say this is still an upgrade.  Along with the great presentation you get an awesome retrospective that has new interviews with cast and crew as well theatrical trailers, commenatery and much more! This is another top release from Shout Factory on their Scream Factory line of releases!

-Daniel "Damnation" Lee

Director: Don Coscarelli
Genre: Horror
Blu-ray Release Year: 2013
Theatrical Release Year: 1988
Time Length: 95 mins.
Company: Scream Factory (Shout! Factory)