Phantasm II (1988) Poster


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An action sequel
Shawn Watson15 January 2006
In the tradition of other horror movie franchises, Phantasm takes the action route for this sequel. The horror and sci-fi are still there but there's more combat, stuff blowing-up and gore than there was before. I suppose it does keep things fresh but it does get a bit too tongue-in-cheek sometimes. Kinda like Evil Dead II, I'm not sure if this really fits in with the tone set by the first film.

Phantasm II begins right after where the first film left off. The freaky dwarfs have invaded Mike's home and Reggie must foil the Tall Man's attempts at kidnapping him. Flash forward seven years and Mike is in a mental institution. He is released upon admitting that the whole Phantasm experience was made up only to find that in his absence the Tall Man has been plundering many of America's small towns and thousands of graves are empty.

After the Tall Man kills Reggie's family in a gas explosion, Reg teams up with Mike to hunt him down and kick his head in...again. All they have to do is follow the trail of dead people, right? And this time they are ready for whatever outlandish tricks he's ready to play on them, armed to the teeth with quadruple-barrelled shotguns, flame-throwers and chainsaws. Complicating matters are Mike's inexplicable visions of the future and psychic connections to a mysterious girl he has never met before.

As before, the Tall Man is the best thing in the film. Angus Scrimm is so wonderfully silent and unholy that no matter how slick and entertaining the rest of the film is he'll come out on top.

Don Coscarelli was given a budget 10 times that of the original by Universal, but they did interfere with production quite a lot, much to his annoyance. They said that only one of the original cast members could return, so he chose Reggie Bannister and re-cast Mike with James LeGros (after turning down Brad Pitt!). It does kind of ruin the continuity a bit but it's not terribly distracting.

They also demanded a more simple and linear story, so don't expect any of the bizarre dream sequences and flashbacks. If you're a big fan of the first this might seem disappointing but you know how studios love to think less of their audiences.

The higher budget helps Phantasm to have a bigger scope than the original. The first half of the film feels like a road movie with lots of pretty scenery while the rest is kind of like a low-rent Ghostbusters/Lost Boys clone. Which sounds like a negative point, but the hokey tone of the film vanishes when it heads off into HP Lovecraft territory.

If you're looking for answers as to what the first film was all about then you won't find many. In fact it raises more questions than anything else. But it's still a fun ride. I'm just kind of annoyed that the music took the more generic synth approach that was common in the 80's instead of the funky 70's beats we got before. The main Phantasm theme is still there for your enjoyment however and gets a great finish on the end credits.
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Haunting, superior sequel despite compromises (minor spoilers)
hauntedwoods1 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Phantasm II manages, within a minuscule budget, to nearly outdo the original film's atmosphere and scares while sticking to a more linear storyline. Despite Universal's interference and insistence on a less dreamlike narrative (the backbone of all the other Phantasms), director Don Coscarelli manages to give this installment the most polished look and measured, exciting pace of the series.

While being stuck telling a more on-the-surface story than the first film, he manages to plant extremely frightening, original, surrealistic images throughout the film that stick in the viewer's mind forever(I first saw this when I was 12 in a theater, and have never forgotten it). A priest's worried look over his shoulder at his empty town; a writhing, screaming parasite burning to death.. auto parts hanging from a burning tree after a car crash..gasmasked beings carting exhumed coffins across a porcelain hallway; an abandoned mortuary..full of freshly lit candles! The stark simplicity of the doorway to the villain's homeworld. Hooded creatures storming Reggie's kitchen in the dark. And on, and on..

The story is simple enough, seven years after the original a teenaged Mike (now played by James Le Gros) is released from an asylum and is immediately drawn back into the Tall Man's game, traveling through an emptied America into a nightmare that could very well all be in his mind. This early in the series, the mysterious Tall Man is just that.. he probably has ten minutes screen time in the film, and yet the mood and pacing always make you nervous that he'll appear behind you and cart you off to be part of his experiments. Where IS he? What is he doing when we do not see him? This lack of resolution actually works for the picture's benefit, and not against it. Indeed, though Phantasm spawned an additional two intelligent, emotional sequels, as we learned more about the villain Mike and Reggie are up against, we're much less frightened of him.

Angus Scrimm is at his creepiest in this installment. Reggie begins to take his place as audience favorite, a reluctant hero on par with Ash (Evil Dead) and Dr. Loomis. Le Gros does well as the buff but still doubtful Mike. Kudos to character actor Kenneth Tigar for his role as the tortured priest, who "can't close his eyes to the things he's seen", who manages to draw us in with his nuanced, emotional performance. He could have easily shown up to give exposition and get killed, instead he manages to keep the viewer hooked AND meet his untimely end.

Full of suspense, scares, and action, Phantasm II may not be the mindbender of the original, but it's no a less worthy chapter of the most surrealistic, thought-provoking horror series ever created.
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Very amusing despite the plot flaws
EllisDee25 December 1998
I saw "Phantasm II" before watching any of the other Phantasm movies, and despite its shortcomings, it converted me into a fan of the series. While it has an effective atmosphere and an interesting array of characters, the plot certainly could have been more carefully written. There is one part where Mike risks his life handling a very dangerous flying sphere and uses it as a key to open some weird door, but the movie fails to show the purpose of opening that door. Sure, it shows you what lies behind the door, but that's it! Mike and his friends don't really do anything in there! Also, the Tall Man goes through the trouble of luring Liz into a trap, but he just throws her against a wall once he catches her. If Liz was such a threat to his evil plans (as the plot asserts), then wouldn't the Tall Man want to make sure she's dead? Still, when you have a couple psychics, an ex-ice cream vendor, a mysterious hitchhiker, an army of dwarves, flying spheres and a rather omnipotent--and scary-looking--old guy called the Tall Man rolled into one picture, the movie promises to be interesting, and it delivers for the most part.

Compared to the other Phantasm movies, I liked "Phantasm II" better than "Phantasm III" and "Phantasm: Oblivion," but it's not quite as good as the original Phantasm.
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Reggie Rules, and LeGros is an Improvement
supercygnus10 September 2003
While it isn't the iconic horror film it's predecessor was, Phantasm II is backed by better production values, a cool apocalyptic premise and a stand-out improvement in James LeGros replacing Baldwin. There is a reason why LeGros has appeared in a great deal more than Baldwin (including a hilarious parody of Brad Pitt in Living in Oblivion) and shows it here in spades. Frankly I feel this was as good or better than the first but the required shock ending that punctuates each of the films in this series has grown tiresome and makes each feel like they do not truly stand on their own as their own experience. Nevertheless, the entire series is original, imaginative and involving. Phantasm II really should have capped off the series with it's big budget backing, as the very next film in the series felt a lot like Alien 3 where the film picks up characters from the second film discarded in a very unfortunate and disappointing manner...but I digress. Phantasm II is solid, quad barrel shotgun monster blasting fun and a must see for monster movie fans everywhere!
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Provide Suspension of Disbelief & You'll Probably Get a Nice Kick Out of P-2
KissEnglishPasto31 July 2016
.......................................................from Pasto,Colombia...Via: L.A. CA., CALI, COLOMBIA...and ORLANDO, FL

When I saw PHANTASM in a theater in 1979, I liked it so much(9*), I went back a week later and saw it again! I missed Phantasm II while I was living in Colombia, So I decided to take a delayed-by-25-years look! My psyche was all set to enjoy PHANTASM II to the max! I hadn't seen much in the horror/terror genre in recent years, because I really don't like the direction the genre has been going in throughout the past 1/4 century. 8 to 9* was what I was hoping for...I was somewhat disappointed, but will give it 7*.

Let's talk about P-2 for a moment...The whole film is based around sustaining a mood of imminent danger, a foreboding atmosphere. If you agree to go along with it, providing suspension of disbelief, you'll probably get a nice kick out of P-2. IMHO elements of the film, music, sound effects, lighting, pacing, etc., all contribute well to that end. So if you are genre-friendly, let's bump my 7* UP to 8*! If the horror/terror genre usually isn't your cup of tea, well let's round DOWN to 6*...Fair enough? In this case, I'd say having seen the original PHANTASM would add tend to add a Star to rating P-2, so it does help, but isn't absolutely indispensable.

I really had forgotten how much gruesome gore there was in the original. There's probably even more here, but a lot less than in recent offerings, undoubtedly influenced by PHANTASM 1 and 2, like the SAW franchise (YECH!) As is typically the case in "B" movies, the acting and dialog usually leave a lot to be desired, but, hey, we don't watch these scouting for potential Oscar-nominees, now do we?!? Bottom-line: ALL of you who are, or have been horror/terror film buffs; a semi-cult classic you won't want to miss, or that you'll want to REDUX! If not in the above group...MAYBE NOT!

In either case...ENJOY/DISFRUTELA!
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probably the best in the best horror series ever!!!
KrowbOy19 January 2001
I can't explain in words how much I love the Phantasm series. Each film is a direct continuation of the last and each time we get answers to questions about The Tall Man while at the same time more are being asked. Phantasm II is probably my fave in the series not because of the action (most phans say it's the most action packed but I think part III holds that honor) but really this is the only one where Reggie and Mike are side by side and in my opinion thats why it's the best (in all the others Reggie being the horn dog he is is trying to find mike AND get laid...which is still cool). I can't believe that no other phans have mentioned how much Phantasm II mirrors Evil Dead 2 (I know they've had to notice it) that however is not a problem cause right next to the Phantasm series is the Evil Dead series. Just look at it and you will see what I'm talking about. Phantasm II follows Evil Dead 2 by going into comedy at times, others have complained that Phantasm III had comedy but they for some reason they forget II did just wasn't as campy but still was funny, like when Reggie beat a dwarf creature into pieces by going crazy on it with the end of a shot gun or the look on his face when Alchemy is riding him and smacks him on top of his head and when he pulls a chainsaw on the graver at the end only for the graver to pull out a really LONG chainsaw...and of course just about everything Reggie says is funny. And like Ash getting equipped with his chainsaw in ED 2 Reggie gets his now trademark 4-barrel shotgun, and the scene where the mortician gets a sphere in his back and bounces all over the room makes me think of ED 2. But believe me Phantasm II is not a copy cat of ED 2. It still has some creepy stuff in it like the scene where the grandfather is getting his mouth sewn up. But this movie screams atmosphere more than anything, with it's great score and visual style really helping to push that home. All the actors give great performances and The Tall Man is the ultimate villain thanks to a great creepy performance by Angus Scrimm...all he's gotta do is twitch an eyebrow. Also the scene where the priest gets it is really cool (you can tell that the MPAA made them trim it though but thats just my opinion). But I think what really separates this horror series from most is that in almost all the other you root for Freddy, Jason, or Michael Myers and even though I love The Tall Man (God bless you Mr. Scrimm) Reggie is without a doubt THE man. Some people may have Indiana Jones or any of those guys as their fave characters but mine will always be Reggie (played perfectly by Reggie Bannister) along with the Ash character from Evil Dead (Bruce Campbell...need I say more), Herbert West from the Re-Animator series (Jeffrey of the funniest actors around) and the best character Kurt Russell (no introduction needed) EVER it's not Snake Plissken...but Jack Burton from the great Big Trouble in Little China. Sorry for going off on a rant there just wanted you to know. Anyways Reggie is the glue that holds the series together. Why Universal has not put this and part III out on DVD is beyond me, yet they will do another DVD edition of The Mummy remake. I think the reason this series is not as well known is because of the studio's killing it's chances (check out the web site on how they released Phantasm II) and instead of going in different directions to gain mass appeal (like the Elm Street series....which if I'm right Don Coscarelli was offered to direct part 2...the most under appreciated of that series) the Phantasm series as they went (and hopefully go) on tried to please it's core audiance. And the series keeps the same characters through out so you really care for these guys and like them want to know what the hell is going on. I love these movies more than any other series and hope they are continued to be made. Hopefully we will see that Roger Avary penned script be made into a movie soon.
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Does not pack quite a punch as the first, but is still fun as hell!
Bob_Balaban28 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
In 1979, Don Coscarelli wrote and directed the surreal horror classic, "Phantasm". His film used great special effects and a very creepy score by Fred Myrow ("Soylent Green", "Rubin and Ed"). Nine years later, Coscarelli teamed up with actors Reggie Banister and Angus Scrimm again to make the appropriately titled, "Phantasm II".

While certainly not as creepy as the first film, "Phantasm II" is certainly very fun. Coscarelli was able to use better special effects than in the first film and it certainly is noticeable. Also, this sequel goes with the "Evil Dead II" logic of "bigger is better". Chainsaw duels and explosions are added, not to mention an arsenal of extremely cool weapons including a home made flamethrower and a really cool double shotgun. But bigger is not always better...

One problem that this film has is that it does not capture the "coming of age" theme that the first film has. While this is understandable because all the characters have aged nine years, the feeling the first film had of "investigating something creepy in town" is something we can all relate to. "Stand by Me", "Blue Velvet", and the first "Phantasm" all used this very appropriately, but I only wish that the sequel did as well. Another problem I have is that the character of Mike is so different. In the first he was a curious youngster (similar to Jeffrey Beaumont in "Blue Velvet") but he is much different in this film, as he is much more level headed. However, it is better that his character has changed because he fits the mood of this film.

"Phantasm II" is not a spectacular film, but I really do enjoy it, and that's why I rate it a nine out of ten. It is a rather different film from the first, but is still extremely fun, and that's the reason why I rate it as one of my favorites. Don't go expecting the same mood of "Phantasm", but rather the mood of "Army of Darkness"...


Angus Scrimm, great special effects, creepy soundtrack
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Lots of Blood & Plenty of GORE!
whpratt119 July 2004
Decided to tape this film early in the AM television programing and was greatly surprised at the entire plot. If you love graveyards, and watching steel balls flying through the air that can make your insides turn in a few minutes to Swiss Cheese, this film is definitely for YOU! James LeGros,(Mike),"Sexual Life",'04 and Paula Irvine(Liz),"Party Lamp",'86 put their hearts and soul into their roles and experienced horrible situations you will never forget. I missed all the other Phantasm flicks,however, I do intend to catch up and view all the present and past other Horrible "Phantasm" films. If you are a nut about blood and seeing human bodies crumble in front of your very eyes, THIS IS YOUR FILM! ENJOY!!!
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Best Horror Movie Ever?
cb_cal28 December 2001
Phantasm II, with its robed, evil midgets and flying mini-saw wielding spheres, is a film that delivers the goods. We've got a chainsaw dual, cool characters in the Reg-man, Mike, and the Tall Man, and a hell of a lot of action!! Right from the opening title when you hear the atmospheric theme (which is amazing by the way), the tone is set and you know you're in for something special.

With the help of some dark and fantastical imagery, the story is laid out. Mike and Reggie are hunting down the Tall Man, a mysterious undertaker from another world who plunders graveyards and carts the dead off to be crushed into evil slave midgets. The movie strikes a chord with some of its imagery, especially those of embalming. What better way to be reminded of your mortality than to see a cadaver having his mouth sewn shut, and later another being drained of his blood and pumped with chemicals? Perhaps the Tall Man sums it up best when he says, "You think when you die you go to heaven? You come to US!!" It may make you uncomfortable to think about such things, but that is the point, at least partially.

Don't get up to get a beer on this one either. The movie has such a quick pace, you'll be left behind and might miss one of the many memorable scenes: Reggie and Mike walking through an empty graveyard, Father Meyer's encounter with a sphere, the quad-barreled shotgun, or the aforementioned chainsaw dual!!

All in all, Phantasm II is a film that surpasses its predecessor (itself a classic) and takes you on a 90-minute roller-coaster ride. It's fun, action-packed, and above all, highly entertaining.
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The best of the Series!
The Creeper20 February 2002
Phantasm II is, In my Opinion, the absolute best of the series. Why? The Ammo! I love the Creative weapons the Characters Use, as well as the "Flying Spheres". The Suspense! I've heard A lot of people Complain on other Comments for this movie that this Movie was not Suspenseful, to say the least, they are Wrong, and are NOT True Horror Fans! I Also like the Plot, Setting, Script, and, of course, The Truly Scary Climaxes.

I Also enjoyed the fact that this Movie "played" with the ending of the Original. Is This Movie something that could be called a Cult Classic? Yes. Any Horror Fan Who has not seen this Movie needs to pick this Stuff up Today! I was very Pleased to see that the Tall Man made it on an Essential horror D.V.D. entitled "Boogeymen". If You saw Part One and were Disappointed, Don't give up hope.


As Far as others in the Series go; Part One is rather Average; Part Two is the best; Three is Okay, but better than Part One; And Part Four (A.K.A. "Phantasm: Oblivion") is better than Part Three, but Slightly worse than this One.

I give this 10 out of 10.

Fans of this Might like: Puppet Master, Leprechaun, Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, The Dead hate the Living, Night of the living Dead, Slumber Party Massacre, Sorority House Massacre, The Evil Dead I and II, City of the Living Dead, Prison of the Dead, Hideous!, The Dentist, Child's Play, and Head of the Family. For recommendations on other Titles, please check the other movies I Have comments on by clicking on my name above this Comment Section.

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HumanoidOfFlesh7 November 2001
It's really strange that being a huge horror/gore fan I was never interested in "Phantasm" series.I haven't seen other "Phantasm" movies,but "Phantasm 2" is excellent!It features creepy atmosphere,nice location sets(cemetery and mortuary)and lots of gore and violence.I love especially scenes of mayhem by flying spheres.Angus Scrimm is great as The Tall Man-one of the best villains ever created in the horror genre history.Recommended for all horror fans-I'll go through hell to see the other "Phantasm" movies.My rating:9 out of 10.
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All I gotta say is Reggie is the man.
xAdiosKMFDM25 October 2004
Perhaps one of the coolest series of movies that I have seen, I liked them all. "Come on, you motha!" Dang, Reggie I can't say it enough, but you are one hip cat. I really enjoyed the mix of a soft-mannered, acoustic guitar-playing ice cream man becoming the hero with a chainsaw against the Tall Man. I wish you didn't have to die such a gruesome death in Wishmaster, but it was still cool that you were in it! Hopefully I will get a chance to visit the Phantasm festival thing with my friend and boyfriend who also happen to be even bigger fans of yours than me. They introduced me to your coolness. Oh yeah, I wish you had a bigger part in Bubba Ho-Tep. But hey, you still own. You have some very adoring fans, I must tell you that. Keep up the awesome reputation!
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A fine example of how a good sequel should be
Paco Collado Gabaldón4 January 2008
After watching the Phantasm movies again and again for years, I've always thought that this second installment is the best.

First of all, it starts the saga as it is. Don Coscarelli has stated many times that he never intended part I to be followed by a sequel, so if you check out the continuity between the two, it's incredibly perfect and accurate in this one. (In my opinion, it's got the best prologue of the saga). Phantasm II picks up the best things of Part I and takes the plot onto a whole new direction (a path that will be followed by the other sequels). Guys, if there's a Phantasm Saga it's because of Part 2.

Apart from this, all ingredients and characters are very well balanced and developed (horror, sci-fi, action, humor, Alchemy, the priest). If, for example, you compare P2 next to P3, you'll realize that sense of humor goes over the top in the latter. Also, P3 seems to forget that the real main hero of the story is Mike. OK, Reggie is my favorite character, but I've always thought that he works better as a sidekick (P2) rather than as the leading guy.

Another important reason is that, to me, this is the darkest and most adult entry in the series: it's got the goriest moments and the creepiest atmosphere, and takes the plot very seriously. Special effects are great too (although being a low budget B-movie, and the cheapest film produced by Universal in 1988, it looks like a super-production).

And what can we say about the girls? Liz is the best partner Mike will ever have, and Chemy the most dangerous and sexiest chick Reggie will ever meet. Next to these characters, the other girls in the series look terribly under-developed (Lady in Lavender in Part I, Jennifer in part IV) or too far out (Rocky and Edna in Part III).

Some people complaint that this sequel, unlike its predecessor, spells everything out for you. No doubt P2 is the most linear installment in the series, but that doesn't necessary mean that spells everything out for you. OK, more dream sequences wouldn't have been bad, but I prefer a standard plot well developed and executed rather than a twisted story full of holes, forced elements and unsatisfying explanations (P3 and P4).

P2 is separated from P1 almost 10 years in time. Universal Pictures planned that the target audience for P2 should include people who never saw the original. They didn't want to take too many risks with the sequel of a movie that wasn't a huge success at the time and was released a decade before. That's the main reason why Universal executives forced Coscarelli to cast somebody else for Mike's part and write a more linear plot without mixing dreams and reality. Because of this, P2 is the only installment in the series that you can watch and understand without having seen P1.

Now, James LeGros is THE BEST Mike EVER. He portrays a strong, tough, grown up Mike. But he can also look sensitive and fragile. Michael Baldwin was great in Part I, but sometimes, when an actor grows up, he doesn't fit in the same role as good as in the past. In P3 and P4, Baldwin looks weak and lost, and his lack of charisma and sex appeal is what makes Reggie take the leading part. James LeGros is a better actor, and a better choice for Mike.
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Heck Yeah!
trey33324 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Dang this is a great horror sequel! Gore, homemade flamethrower, Chainsaws, does it get any better! The movie picks up 7 years later when Mike gets out of the loony bin, and meets up with Reggie to pursue the Tall Man and his army of creatures. This movie is great as I said above it has it all, but the only thing I pegged it down to a nine for is the acting some of the acting is weak, the script too. I loved they used more flying spheres in this movie, and added a little more gore new monsters it's a new ride from the first! I recommend this in a heartbeat if you loved the first one like I did this movie is awesome, trust me. My last thought: It's great could I say this anymore!
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The absolute top in action-horror.
F. Gabitsch4 November 1999
Action-horror is a relatively new genre, personified by Robert Rodriguez' "From Dusk Till Dawn", John Carpenter's "Vampires" and Sam Raimi's "Evil Dead" sequels. The problem with these films, though, is that the scares are overshadowed by the gunfire.

Not so in "Phantasm II." Definitely the best in the series, it features cool weapons, an unstoppable villain, the return of the flying Cuisinart, and a fine performance by a pre-indie-stardom James LeGros.

Angus Scrimm is at his scariest in this one, perfecting his Tall Man character. Reggie Bannister shows his character side way more than in the first film.

This is the finest of the series, with the atmosphere of the greatest 80's chillers. ("Prince of Darkness" comes to mind as a great double-feature idea.)

Buy it now!
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The Return of Don Coscarelli's Tall Man
HaddonfieldJason27 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I admired the first Phantasm,because it was really frightening,The setting of the cemetery,the mysterious Tall Man.But it had a lot of heart too,Mike's relationship with Jody,was the main part of the story,and of course those who have seen the first Phantasm,I don't recommend watching II without seeing I,know Mike wakes up to discover his brother Jody has died,and no one believes his Tall Man stories,and Jody's friend Reggie vows to take care of Mike.Yet in II we find out Mike has been in a Mental Hospital since I,he lies,and tells the doctor he made up the Tall Man story,the doctor lets him go.He returns to Reggie,who tells him his family is over to see him,Mike says something isn't right,and sure enough Reggie's house bursts into flames.Reggie decides to join Mike on his crusade to kill The Tall Man,but they will need to be armed,so they break into a hardware store and arm themselves.Mike starts having dreams of where The Tall Man is,but he also dreams of a girl who is calling him for help.You got to laugh at Reggie's response "How do we know this isn't some wet dream of yours" Reggie isn't the type of father figure you see in normal horror movies,he believes Mike.Reggie picks up a beauitful hitchhiker,and they go to the town where the climax of the film takes place...

Even though Phantasm is the better film,Phantasm II has a lot to offer.The characters have definitely evolved from the first film.My really only problem is the lack of mentioning,or a flashback of Jody,to strengthen Reggie as a father figure to Mike.The higher budget shows,Don get mores more sets,better make-up/gore effects to play around with.Phantasm II is a great companion to 1,and I cant wait to rent III...
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The Second best in the Series!!
Phantasm16 October 1998
Well, if you ask me, this is the second best in the series, next to PHANTASM OBLIVION. It holds a more "dramatic" sense of death and reality than the 3rd or 1st PHANTASM. And it also holds the birth of the infamous "quadro-barreled shotgun" that has been one of Reggie Bannisters trademarks. All in all, a good plot, good action, great effects, and a new look at the series.
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Ingenious horror sequel!
The_Void29 August 2004
Phantasm 2 is a proud member of a select group of films - sequels that are better than the first. The pace of the movie doesn't let up for a second and it does, therefore, manage to stay exciting and entertaining for it's duration. The sequel picks up, at first, where the first film left off; with Reggie Bannister battling dwarfs that have overrun his home. From there, the film switches to seven years later. Mike (James LeGros, in the role of one of the hero's of the first film) is now being released from a mental hospital after seven years of therapy. Despite this therapy, and admitting that it didn't actually happen, Mike still knows that the horrible goings on that landed him in the hospital in the first place actually happened and when he gets out he means to do something about it, and that is something that he does.

As Mike says to Reggie at one point in the film, "I'm a nineteen year old kid and you're a bald, middle-aged, ex-ice cream vendor"; and that's what sets Phantasm aside from all the similar films in this vein of horror. The characters here, despite being in an abnormal situation, are not comically overblown and they don't have subhuman abilities; they're just normal people thrown into an abnormal situation. Reggie Bannister who, as mentioned, takes the role of 'Reggie' in the film, makes a great horror hero. Although not up to the high standard of Ash (Evil Dead) or most of the other hero's that the horror genre has given us, Reggie has a niche of his own. Most hero's aren't bald, middle-aged, ex-ice cream vendors but the fact that Reggie is not only highlights the tongue in cheek theme of the Phantasm series, but also gives the film a place of it's own within the horror genre.

You'll be glad to know that this sequel features a chainsaw. The chainsaw is a weapon of such undeniable greatness that I find it hard to understand why anyone wouldn't want a chainsaw in their movie. The weapon is so far apart from all other melee weapons in terms of horror credibility that it almost has a life of it's own, just the way it sounds is enough to strike fear into the heart of many a viewer. The chainsaw enters the fray in a delicious sequence that sees our hero's raid a hardware store and tool up, a la Evil Dead II. At first, I thought that the movie would tease me in terms of the chainsaw; as in the early stages of the movie, it only features in a few scenes that see Reggie tear doors down and such, but the film doesn't disappoint as later on we get treated to a great sequence that involves Reggie battling another chainsaw wielding foe. I love chainsaws.

One of the most memorable things about Phantasm were the silver spheres that flew up and down funeral parlour corridors, and we've got more of that here. The sequel is a lot more gory than I thought it would be, and that is no bad thing. The flying spheres feature a lot in the movie's more gory scenes, and I for one think that they are an ingenious creation. These balls attach themselves to their victim via two prongs on the front and then proceed to drill a hole through their head, which results in plenty of bloodshed coming out of the other end of the sphere. Lovely. Also like the first film, a lot of this movie takes place in funeral homes and other such morbid areas, and that creates a great horror feel that few horror films have matched.

Overall, Phantasm 2 is a must see for fans of the original, and a must see for those that aren't yet fans of the original after they have seen the original. Don Coscarelli would later go on to direct one of 2002's best films in 'Bubba Ho-Tep', but it easy to see that the Phantasm series is his labour of love. The kind of heart that has gone into this series is overwhelming and even if you don't like the movie, you have to admire it, if only for the obvious amount of love that Don has for the series he created.
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Sphere no evil.
Scott LeBrun17 April 2013
"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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Awesome action packed sequel!
dworldeater4 April 2013
The late 80's was a great time for sequels for classic 70's horror films. With The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Evil Dead getting really good , but different and effective sequels it was now Phantasm 's turn to resurface. While the previously mentioned franchises crossed comedy with horror , Phantasm II combines action with horror . Reggie and Michael ( replaced by James Le Gross) hit the road to find and kill The Tall Man. Armed with some cool weapons ( a 4 barrelled shotgun and a flamethrower ) our heroes can more than hold their own against the forces of evil. Reggie is a very tough and charismatic action hero with a cool car and stylish skullet to boot. Reggie and James Le Gross make a good team and have great chemistry. Plus there are hot chicks, great f/x , as well as great atmosphere, story and sci fi weirdness that made the first film great. Phantasm II is a great movie and an excellent follow up to the original film.
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More action than the first!
After the first "Phantasm" started off, the second one has more action than the first one. After being released from a psychiatric hospital, Mike(Jmaes Le Gros) joins Reggie in his souped up Hemi to find the Tall Man(Angus Scrimm). He killed his brother Jody years ago, during his time in the psych ward Mike said he met a girl in his dreams named Alchemy(Samantha Philips). Mike and Reggie go into a pawn shop get all the needed weapons to defeat the Tall Man and his minions. Reggie create the super-shotgun that really puts the "B" in BANG!! Later in the route, they meet another strange woman named Liz(Paula Irvine) who in return is a traitor. However, the real problem is the Tall Man himself. He has in his case three lethal balls: 2 Silver, 1 Gold. This time, the ball attacked anyone, or anything. They didn't care. One of the silver balls attacked The Tall Man. He even crushed it liked it was an empty aluminum can. Another cool thing was the portal scene, and the two bars resemble a tuning fork. Since the Tall Man is also a mortician, it's best to beat him at his game. Another great hit, another thumbs up in the horror world! 5 stars!
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The tall man returns.
Aaron137514 February 2004
This was a rather good movie and when it came out there was quite the advertising campaign for it. One that horror movies rarely got back then. The first one though was still better, this one sort of picks up where that left off as there is some backtracking, but I actually liked the way the first one left off. It had a good spooky finish and this movie sort of ruins it. Angus Scrimm is good as the tall man and the guy who played Reggie is back as well. Jodie, however, is played by a different guy, though it doesn't detract to much from this one as he was a kid in the first so you don't really notice. However, when they switch back to the original kid in the next one it is a bit noticeable. Here we have Reggie and Jodie going after the tall man. He has basically wiped out both of their families so they now have nothing left to lose. They get themselves an arsenal that includes two shotguns secured together that for some reason would become popular. So popular in fact that they would return in the next movie even though it was clearly dropped and left behind in this one. The tall man has his weapons two as he has three spheres of doom here. In the next movie they would pretty much be the main focus, but here they are still just a weapon used by the tall man. He also has his dwarfs and his creepy morticians. This one is a bit more action oriented than the first and not as creepy, but it does work rather well and is entertaining.
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