Phantasm II


Phantasm II

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 16


Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,458
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Movie Info

The lanky ghoul with embalming fluid in his veins, "The Tall Man" returns in this graphically gory horror sequel to the popular 1979 cult film. This time the mortician-from-hell has left his cemetery haunts and is looking for living beings to enslave.

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Critic Reviews for Phantasm II

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (1)

Audience Reviews for Phantasm II

  • Oct 20, 2015
    I might be in the minority when I say that Don Coscarelli's 1979 outing Phantasm was an obscenely overrated relic that has only calcified with age. I shouldn't have been preternaturally excited for the sequel but fortified with Universal Studio's financial upgrade and James LeGros in the lead role now, my expectations were cantilevered into the positive column. After a recap of the previous finale, Phantasm II delivers on the promise of a more fluid, kinetic successor. Reggie's (Reggie Bannister) escape from The Tall Man's (Angus Scrimm) monastic midgets is a dynamite set piece. By now, Phantasm is renowned for two things- Scrimm and the silver balls. And the drilling mutilation via the forehead is more satisfyingly graphic than before and the dental-instrument sound F/X really amplify the cringe factor. A Cuisinart comparison is quite appropriate. The dream logic might be gone but, I for one, haven't missed the masturbatory abstraction of them. Streamlined is better for Coscarelli's splanchnic vision. Reggie and Michael are flamethrower-and-shotgun-touting vigilantes and their makeshift weapons from a hardware store reinforce the notion that Phantasm II is a disparate beast from the former with more action-movie firepower and velocity. Once again the musical theme by Fred Myrow is contagiously creepy. Coscarelli nails the gothic atmosphere of a Hammer film inside velvet-draped corridors and echoing mausoleums. Scrimm is still a towering presence that will induce heart palpitations in spades. The road trip from cemetery to cemetery in pursuit of Liz Reynolds (Paula Irvine), a clairvoyant with an ill-defined connection to Michael (LeGros), is patently incomprehensible. This is very much classified in the style-over-substance subcategory but that is hardly a misstep. The balding Lothario Bannister isn't a polished thespian but his horny shtick is amusing nonetheless ("It gets hard on the road") and his chemistry with LeGros is airtight. Regardless of my antipathy towards the first film, part 2 is a rip-roaring, albeit daffy rollercoaster through Perigord Mortuary. A retread of the original's sequel-bait ending is an anticlimax though.
    Cory T Super Reviewer
  • Nov 30, 2012
    With director Don Coscarelli having created one of the best works in horror cinema in 1979 with the original Phantasm, he would take his time and nine years later would craft a solid follow-up with this sequel. Although not as masterful as the original, Coscarrelli manages to deliver effective chills that will certainly appeal to diehard fans of the original. Angus Scrimm returns as The Tall Man, one of the most iconic horror villains in the genre. Phantasm II is a respectable and very entertaining entry and I really enjoyed the tone and atmosphere of the picture. Coscarelli manages to expand the plot a bit, but never adds anything refreshing to the plot. There's everything you'd expect from a Phantasm flick, and Coscarelli pulls out enough tricks to keep the fans happy. The aspect of this sequel that stands out as usual is The Tall Man, he makes up for the shortcomings that the plot sometimes has. The script suffers from all the usual weaknesses of a sequel; however director Coscarelli relies more on visuals and atmosphere to tell his story. The result is a very good horror flick that delivers an entertaining hour and a half of effective terror. The performances are very good as well, and this is among the best horror sequels made in the genre. If you can forget its flaws, you're sure to enjoy this one. With familiar territory, The Tall Man is pursued by Reggie and Mike, and is a bit predictable at times. The ideas here are good, but could have been done a bit better. As I stated, there's nothing new going on here, but that shouldn't keep the fans away from seeing this one. l simply put, a well done film with the steel ball and The Tall Man, what else could you ask for?
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Mar 03, 2012
    *** out of **** It's not easy having to review the sequel to a movie that you so passionately cherish, but here it goes. As it is, I have just started playing the theme from the original "Phantasm" so that the process of reviewing the sequel, "Phantasm II", will be as painless as possible. I'm thinking that perhaps the music will put me in a sort of trance, making things easier on myself. Before I go any further, let me just say that I am not implying that this is a bad sequel - in fact, on the contrary, it's actually a pretty good one by my standards - although when watching it, I was bothered by the fond memories that I had of director Don Coscarelli's original masterpiece of the surreal and the macabre. This second coming came out just ten years after the first, thus a few of the returning actors have aged rather noticeably and the original has garnered a strong cult following, but Coscarelli hasn't changed a bit. I admire Coscarelli. He's an imaginative fellow; and in every interview I've watched regarding him and whatever film that has been made the subject, he seems like a very friendly and down-to-earth guy. Just recently I've watched an interview he did with actor Angus Scrimm on a T.V. talk show back in 1979, when "Phantasm" was just not getting its theatrical release. This interview can be found on the most recent Anchor Bay DVD re-release/restoration of "Phantasm", and it's easily one of the best I've seen. Knowing Coscarelli's background makes it all the more enjoyable to watch one of his movies, and I think this interview certainly helped me to just take "Phantasm II" for what it is; a whole lot of dumb, ridiculous, gory fun. It's not as good as the first film in the franchise (which has spawned two more sequels since this one), but on its own grounds, I've judged it fairly; and I had a really good time watching and admiring it in all its absurd glory. Picking up six years after the events of "Phantasm", the sequel begins with a revealing flashback sequence in which Mike (Michael A. Baldwin) and family friend Reggie (Reggie Bannister) look back on the events that occurred during the storyline of the first film, only for the notorious Tall Man (Angus Scrimm) to attack them once again. Fast-forward to now present day, and Mike (now played by James LeGrose) has been transferred to a mental institution, and is just now being allowed to return back home once again. Reggie's home, that is. Once the two reunite and catch up, they decide the best way to make up for lost time, in their case, is to stock up on chainsaws/shotguns/blowtorches so that they may successfully hunt down the Tall Man and avenge Reggie's house, which blew up in a fire when The Tall Man and his little Jawa-esque minions invaded it. There's also a blonde-haired girl who Mike is having strange visions of; he senses that she is real, and that she also is aware of The Tall Man's presence. So would most people, if they or their small towns lived to tell the tale (it's said that you can tell where the Tall Man has been if the area is desolate and destroyed). There's also a priest who gets his ear sliced off by one of those flying metal balls that The Tall Man controls, and a lady for Reggie too! A record number of scenes take place in morgues, funeral homes, graveyards, and creepy old houses. But this is a horror film by way of Don Coscarelli, and I honestly wouldn't have it any other way. After "Phantasm", Coscarelli decided to lay low for a while until he got enough money to make a more expansive and overall bigger version of his classic original. "Phantasm" was a low-budget horror feature in which Coscarelli had to make do with what resources he had, whilst this sequel has all the special effects that money can buy. It's impressive and slightly maddening at the same time; Coscarelli is intelligent and gifted enough to work with these effects to create something that is stimulating for the mind and the imagination, although it's also sort of sad to see him so detached from his usual minimalist/independent/low-budget style. But you know what...this is still quite solid. For what it is, "Phantasm II" could have easily been a lot worse; and yes, it's a mess, but it does have a lot of what the original had, and more. Whether you will enjoy it or not is based almost entirely on what you liked about "Phantasm" and how much you liked those things. If you enjoyed the company of these characters - and can do fine without the presence of Michael Baldwin - then you will appreciate what the sequel has to offer. While this is clearly not the great film that "Phantasm" was, I still enjoyed a good portion of it. There are some noticeable flaws, and it could have used some polishing, but it makes up for most of its short-comings with some good laughs, some truly bad-ass moments, some solid performances, and great make-up effects. Also, the cinematography is both gorgeous and likably quirky, at times. Coscarelli has complete control over his vision with "Phantasm II" - with the themes of death and existentialism from the film being brought over to the sequel with some mixed but entertaining results - and it just boosts my confidence in the man. I believe that if he's allowed to have fun, then he can do just about anything, even if he doesn't have much to work with. This isn't his best movie, but as a film that fulfills the desire to see images of pale corpses and mutilated human flesh, you'll likely have a ball.
    Ryan M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 15, 2012
    Entertaining if not fantastic sequel, picking off directly after part 1 ends, but then goes forward a few years to the kid grown up, still haunted by events, more of the same stuff going on here, and its enjoyable enough, in a 80s horror way
    scott g Super Reviewer

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