A group of heavily armed hijackers board a luxury ocean liner in the South Pacific Ocean to loot it, only to do battle with a series of large-sized, tentacled, man-eating sea creatures who have taken over the ship first.
Selene, a beautiful vampire warrior, is entrenched in a war between the vampire and werewolf races. Although she is aligned with the vampires, she falls in love with Michael, a werewolf who longs for the war to end.
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? Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
This is the only installment in the Phantasm movie series that does not include the entire original main cast (Bill Thornbury and his character did not appear in this film), and the only one to replace a main character with another actor (James Le Gros played the part of Mike instead of A. Michael Baldwin). See more »
At the beginning, Reggie goes to get his shotgun but it has disappeared. However, when he is surrounded by the large army of Dwarves and he looks at the fireplace, the shotgun is there. See more »
"Phantasm II" is as good a sequel to Don Coscarellis' original shocker as one could hope for. Essentially, it's to its predecessor what "Aliens" was to "Alien": a genre crossing movie that puts the accent on action, and lots of it. It's exciting, gleefully macabre stuff that has a real fun factor going for it.
It gets down to business fairly quickly, picking up where the first film left off and then fast forwarding to several years later when Mike (James Le Gros) is being released from a mental hospital. Mike is still determined to battle the nefarious Tall Man (Angus Scrimm) and convinces his good buddy Reg (Reggie Bannister) to join him in the fight. They track their nemesis down to a small Oregon town (named Perigrod) and find that he's still up to his old tricks.
One has to take some bad with the good considering that this was a major studio sequel to an independently made classic. The budget allows for greater scope and super-duper effects, but Universal flexed its muscle and made sure that this was a more linear and less surreal movie than "Phantasm" one. They also made Bannister and A. Michael Baldwin audition for their old roles, and in the end would only let Coscarelli keep one of them. It was also their idea to give Mike a love interest, a sweet gal named Liz (Paula Irvine) to whom Mike is psychically connected.
What's truly a delight here is seeing the affable Bannister ascend to the role of a badass hero. He and Le Gros make a good team as they vow to fight evil. Their impromptu shopping trip calls to mind a similar sequence with Arnold in the action favourite "Commando". Scrimm gets barely any screen time, but in this case a little does go a long way; we always look forward to his next appearance. Samantha Phillips adds some sex appeal as hitchhiker Alchemy, busy character actor Kenneth Tigar does alright as a frightened priest, and Stacey Travis ("Hardware") has a brief part as Liz's sister. The atmosphere is still good (one of the most successful aspects to the film is seeing the damage wrought by the Tall Man and his minions, as Mike and Reg pass through towns that have become forlorn wastelands) and Daryn Okadas' cinematography is excellent. The infamous spheres are back and the makeup effects and gore (supervised by Mark Shostrom) are fun to watch
and not as "unrelenting" as Leonard Maltins' paperback review would
have you believe. The music by Fred Myrow and Christopher L. Stone is the icing on the cake; that theme still has the power to chill.
Overall, "Phantasm II" is a must for horror and action fans and holds up as prime '80s entertainment.
Eight out of 10.
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