4 days ago
Saturday, November 05, 2011
Being Chased By Metal Balls Part Three
Things pick up right at the end of Phantasm 2. Reggie (Reggie Bannister) watches as the hearse he was in with Mike (A. Michael Baldwin) and Liz (Paula Irvine) blows up. He runs over to where it blew up and finds Liz dead and being chewed on by one of the Tall Man's dwarfs. Reggie trips over Mike as he tries to get away, and they make their escape together. Once they make it to some house, they discover Jody (Bill Thornbury), Mike's older brother. Jody doesn't seem all that surprised when they tell him that he is dead, and tells Reggie and Mike to get out because the Tall Man has managed to get a lock on him. Sure enough, the Tall Man shows up. Jody turns into a silver metal ball, but is no match for the Tall Man. The Tall Man takes Mike and Reggie sets out to try and rescue Mike.
Phantasm 3 marks the return of all the original cast. After the last movie, Universal wasn't interested in another sequel, but did agree to put one out there if Don Coscarelli made another sequel. With no restrictions this time, Coscarelli was able to cast who he wanted, which meant Baldwin was back as Mike. It didn't take me long to realize that I had yet to ever watch Phantasm 3. It was all new to me, so that means the next movie will be as well. While reading peoples thoughts on the last movie, I had sort of figured out that I had yet to watch this one from the way people were talking about it. Many described this one as Mike and Reggie being on the run from the Tall Man the entire time, which isn't really true at all. While Coscarelli doesn't make this one as much of a road movie as the last one, it is still there some. Now that I have watched it, I wonder if Coscarelli should have went with what the studio wanted from the second movie.
Since Coscarelli didn't like the whole romance angle for Mike, even though he keeps trying to get one for Reggie, Liz was gone very quickly. While disappointing, it wasn't that big of a deal. What was a big deal is that even though Mike was knocked out at the time, he never once asks about her once he does come around. Of course he could have off camera at some point, but it would have been nice if Coscarelli had included something since Liz was supposed to be the love of Mike's life. Before we find out Liz dies, I found it funny that they went through so much trouble not to show James LeGros in the short flashbacks to the previous entry. Anyway, after the death of Liz, there is a nice little battle between Reggie and the dwarfs, but after this scene, the dwarfs completely disappear. This was mistake number two. Instead of the dwarfs, which have always been fun to watch, we instead get three people that were killed by Tim (Kevin Connors) turning into zombies for some reason. I guess these guys were supposed to add some humor to the movie, except I didn't really find them all that funny.
The effects were fine. Not as gory as they were in the last movie, but still pretty good. CGI was used in this film, the first time being used in the series. They were used for small things, like Judy turning into a metal ball or back again. And there was some light effects that were CGIed as well. The thing I liked most about Phantasm 3 is that we learned some things about the metal balls, and we see them do some different things as well. Even though they don't seem big enough to do so, they have the brain of a dwarf in them. Sometimes we even see an eyeball pop out as well. While these things were cool, it wasn't enough to save the movie.
The acting was just okay. Reggie Bannister does fine as usual. Again I didn't really care for A. Michael Baldwin, but to be fair, he isn't in the movie much. Even when he is, he is laying around for whatever reason. It confused me some. Coscarelli gives the role back to the actor that started the character, and then barely has the guy in his film. A couple of new people show up, such as Kevin Connors. There is also Gloria Lynne Henry. While both did fine with their acting, I think most people didn't like the characters all that much. Connors' character of Tim was something of a tribute to Mike from the first movie, at least that is what Coscarelli had in mind with it. Think Home Alone and you have a pretty good idea what this character started out as, except he was using deadly force. Henry's character is a Kung Fu type chick who feels out of place in the Phantasm world.
It is great that Coscarelli was able to make the movie that he wanted to make, but it just didn't work for me this time around. Maybe because the second in the series is so special to me, that it makes this one not so special. Phantasm 3: Lord Of The Dead does have its share of fans though. It has a pretty good average score of 5.7 average (as of this writing at least) on IMDb. While not a great average, it is far from a bad one. Even though I was disappointed with the movie, I am glad that I watched it. I sometimes feel a need to watch sequels no matter how bad they are, so I am glad that I went forward in order to see this one, and the next one as well. I will leave it up to all of you, if you haven't already watched it, to decide if it is for you, but as I said, I didn't care for it.
2 out of 5 Give Reggie some love already so he will shut up