A Serbian Film, then click the link and head on over. It was a hard review to do, and not only because I liked my first draft that got deleted, by clicking on the wrong thing, much better.
Phantasm 4: Oblivion (1998) picks up where the last movie leaves off. Mike (A. Michael Baldwin) is off driving around after discovering what the Tall Man (Angus Scrimm) has done to him. Reggie (Reggie Bannister) isn't dead after all. He is confronted by the Tall Man, and let go. Reggie feels like he is done with everything, but Jody (Bill Thornbury) gets Reggie to go after Mike. While Reggies starts off to follow, Mike finds himself trapped inside a hearse that can drive itself. The Tall Man is taking Mike into Death Valley, but Mike doesn't really know what the Tall Man wants from him. As Mike starts to figure out that he can cross dimensions and time, Mike hopes to discover the secrets of the Tall Man, and end things that way.
There has been talks about a fifth film since before this one was filmed. Since it hasn't happened yet, I don't think it will now. Some fans, or Phans as they like to be called, are already complaining about the ages of the actors. The time between the first film and second film was ten years, and the actors of course aged ten years as well. The time between the all the sequels though was that they picked up where the last one left off. Of course they were not filmed back to back, so the actors aged a few years between films. We are talking about a twenty year period between the first and last movie, so to me complaining that the actors all look older than the story calls for is a rather silly argument. Sure Mike looks a lot older between the second and third film, but all the films have had a dream like quality to them anyway, so just go with it.
Phantasm 4 takes a little while for it to set up. With both of the main characters on the road, not a whole lot happens. There are breaks, like when Reggie meets up with Demon Trooper. Once again, writer/director Don Coscarelli drops the ball when it comes to the character of Tim from the last movie. It is easy to figure out what happened to the kid, and according to Coscarelli, he had planned on filming something to show what happened to him. Budget didn't allow for that apparently. Still though. Cascarelli could have included a line by Reggie with him seeing what happened and saying something like "Damn it...poor kid." Would that really have been that hard to do? Unlike the last movie, where he basically did the same thing, Tim wasn't that important a character, so it is easier to over look his completely ignoring a character.
Phantasm 4 also features some of the found footage that was shot for the original film that didn't make it to the final cut. I had mixed feelings over this. It was nice to see what was filmed. Even so, some of the footage is hard to figure out where in the original film it would have been shown. At times it feels forced, not having much to do with the story line in this movie. The last time the lost footage is used does manage to wrap up this movie, and even the series if need be. I was happy to see that the dwarf's were back again. They aren't used a whole lot, but at least unfunny zombie people aren't running around in their place. I don't know if Coscarelli was trying to answer some questions that fans had, but all he really ended up doing was creating more questions.
I have come to believe that these films, for the most part, are just a dream. There are just too many things that happen that can only be explained in that way. The car for one gets damaged at times, only to have it completely fixed at the start of the next movie. Reggie throws away his four barrel shotgun towards the end of the second film, but Mike somehow has it at the start of the third movie. There are many other examples like those.
The effects are pretty good. The metal balls aren't used a whole lot this time around. In once scene, where we see a lot of them fly past, it is easy to tell that CGI was used for that. It doesn't look real bad, but it still stands out. There was a scene where Reggie finds the metal balls in a very odd place. The effects for this didn't really look all that great to me. You can easily see where the makeup ends, and the real person begins. Still, it was a cool scene, just not done as well as it could have been. The acting was also good. The only new person to show up was Heidi Marnhout. She does fine, even if they do tease us with some nudity from her.
After fans bashed the third film, Coscarelli apparently decided that he had pushed the horror/comedy as far as it could go, and thus decided to get back to the roots of the films. This was just fine with me, but I still found Phantasm 4: Oblivion a middle of the road sequel. It was nice to see the Tall Man before he became just that, but it doesn't explain much of anything. I actually am glad that most everything was left up to fans to figure out on their own, but when your characters are trying to find the origin of the guy they are fighting, some explanation should be there I would think. Some feel that the Tall Man was after Mike so he would become the next Tall Man, but I'm not so sure of that. Either way, Phantasm 4: Oblivion was a nice way to end the series. If you have watched the other movies, you might as well watch this one as well. If you haven't watched any of them yet, this one is of no use to you then. Worth a watch, but only if you have followed the series.
3 out of 5 Would like to know where Mike got the parts to change that engine
4 days ago