Phantasm: Lord of the Dead

1994

Phantasm: Lord of the Dead (1994)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

In this horror movie, a courageous hero finds assistance in strange places as he fights an evil alien.

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Critic Reviews for Phantasm: Lord of the Dead

All Critics (10)

Has none of the surrealistic excess that made the first movie such a genuine delight, and managed to save the second one from itself.

Jun 12, 2011 | Rating: 5/10 | Full Review…

Don Coscarelli outdoes the humor of John Hughes in what feels like a more honest version of the gleeful sadism in Home Alone.

Jun 23, 2007 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

It's all fairly absurd, but Coscarelli retains his enthusiasm and imagination with a healthy sense of ridiculousness.

May 31, 2007 | Full Review…

Sure, there's still the '71 Hemi 'Cuda and the four-barrel shotgun, but it's not enough to get past nunchucks and biker zombies.

May 10, 2007 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…

The first film is like an actual nightmare, whereas the sequels feel more like someone's garish descriptions of a nightmare.

Apr 12, 2007 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

don't really get it

Apr 11, 2006 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Phantasm: Lord of the Dead

½

Third film in the Phantasm series a bit more elaborate than the second one, and it definitely tries to do something different. Director Don Coscarelli returns in the director's chair, as it is only fair considering that Phantasm is his pride and joy. He does a good job yet again with this one, and Reggie is on the hunt of The Tall Man once again as he gathers new souls for his Dimensions. Towns have been abandoned, and only a few remain because The Tall Man has ravaged the towns and has taken prisoners as his slaves. Although not as great as part 2, this third entry still has plenty of the goodies which make the Phantasm films so entertaining to watch. The steel ball, the gore, and of course Angus Scrimm as The Tall Man. Well written, and confident in terms of a third movie, director Don Coscarelli provides fans of his previous two entries with a good array of demented fun that is sure to delight horror hounds. The characters are well rounded out and there's also a tone of humor in some scenes, which adds an extra layer to the film. Most horror sequels fail to live up to the original, and that is the case for any genres as well. However, instead of pumping sequel after sequel every two years, Don Coscarelli takes his time to write and direct something that is actually worth seeing. With each big gap between films, he lets more ideas come to life and therefore, it makes the series have much more life. As far as I'm concerned, this is among the greatest series in the horror genre. The film is well made and Don Coscarelli scores another winner with his sinister, evil Tall Man.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

This is definitely one of the best horror movies there is. (Of course, you've got to see the first two, but this movie in particular is great!) If you have seen the uncut-version, it seems fairly obvious that Don Coscarelli did well this time, mixing up "traditional" horror-spooky things with some kick-ass action. Especially Reggie Bannister, who repeats his role as the ice-cream seller(!), is great and it's clear to see that the whole cast had a lot of fun doing this movie. A MUST SEE for any horror film fan.

Cassandra Maples
Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer

My favorite Phantasm flick! Black humour has taken over the serious tone from the previous installment. A similar road picture to Phantasm II, but it seems lower budget with a lot more humour. It's a shame they instantly killed off the character I liked from Phantasm II. It's also a shame James LeGros didn't reprise his role as Mike; simply for the sake of consistency. New interesting characters are introduced to the team to fight the Tall Man. The whole deal feels cheaper and cornier than the previous entry, which is probably why it played at few theatres. But, like I said, it's my favorite; probably because it features the largest Masoleum in the country as the venue for the showdown with the Tall Man.

Lafe Fredbjornson
Lafe Fredbjornson

Super Reviewer

½

Oh dear, and it was going so well! If Phantasm was a cult classic with intelligence and originality making up for a slightly schizo 'everything but the kitchen sink' approach, and Phantasm II was a better than the original sequel with an improved budget and tighter story, then Phantasm III is definitely the X-Men 3 of films.

Don Coscarelli appears to be opting for a commercial success with this, adding two new, completely unnecessary token characters - a young boy who seems to be a precursor for Kevin in Home Alone with his house of booby traps (only with fatal consequences), and a black companion named 'Rocky', whose story is never explained and who appears to be shoe-horned into the franchise in order to add some sexuality to appeal to the lucrative male teenager demographic.

The actual story is all over the place - the spheres, which previously were effective in their alien oddness and were originally an ingenious security device, are here given a back story of all things (one even contains the spirit of Mike's dead brother from the first film). The character of Reggie is now firmly in the lead; it's a bad decision since Reggie Bannister has aged a lot since the first film and doesn't convince as an action hero, and his ponytail is now more ridiculous then ever. A. Michael Baldwin is back playing the character of Mike from the first film (James LeGros was undoubtedly too expensive at this point), but has little to do beyond look wide-eyed at everything around him.

The action sequences, which were used intermittently in the first two films, come thick and fast but very few impress and the special effects are ropey. The brilliantly sustained atmosphere of the previous instalments which was their greatest success is abandoned in favour of a brash comedic style and Rambo machismo nonsense. Oh, and the film has the same identical ending as before, only instead of feeling chills up your spine you'll likely be groaning. Even the Tall Man has lost his way. Not good.

Daniel Parsons
Daniel Parsons

Super Reviewer

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