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Sequels are usually a sticky situation. On one hand you need to tie it all back in to the original concept (of course some are sequels in name only and have no damn relation to the original.) and on the other hand make it bigger and better. At the same time, some sequels are just horrible shells of the originals. Now, there is another type of sequel; the sequel that continues a story from right where it left off in the movie before. Think the Lord of the Rings trilogy, or in this case the Phantasm series. Going into Phantasm 3 there are a couple things that you need to know.
1.It continues right after Phantasm 2 in story.
2. It had changed with the times (outfits, dialogue) so while it might have been “boss” at the time, today seems very dated.
3.A. Michael Baldwin returns in this one as Michael, making it jarring to watch 2 and 3 back to back.
So I’ve said my piece. Let’s jump into the story. At the end of part 2, Reggie, Michael and a couple of ladies cruise down the road with smiles on their faces after killing off the Tall Man. Turns out the Tall Man didn’t die after all and the ladies are all the Tall Man’s slaves. Reggie gets tossed out of the car and Michael fights to make it out alive. The car crashes and Michael is tossed from the wreckage. When Reggie comes to he tries to protect Michael from the rampaging Jawa looking creatures. Enter the Tall Man.
As they are all surrounded, Reggie threatens to kill them all with a grenade leaving the Tall Man to leave and warn him that Michael’s time will come, just not now.
On their way back to their house to get more weapons they get a visit by Michael’s brother Jody (who if you remember was killed in part 1). He is now one of the Tall Man’s flying spheres, but still has enough soul to try and help out his brother and friend. While everyone begins to reminisce, the Tall Man finds them and this time gets Michael. Reggie gets into the Hemicuda and takes off to save Michael. Along the way to find the Tall Man and his friend, he recruits the help off a young crack shot kid, a Grace Jones nun chuck wielding feminist woman and Jody in his killer sphere form.
If you’ve seen 1 or 2 then all of what I said above makes sense. If not then you’ll definitely have to watch the first two. That is kind of a problem with this one. It is really a blessing and a curse. The second Phantasm ended slightly open, but along the lines of the first. Having part 3 start right where 2 ended should be quite the treat for fans of the series. It also does have some geek moments with the return of actors A. Michael Baldwin and Bill Thornbury as brothers Michael and Jody. The problem is, if you have not seen the first two then this movie is not a good starting point at all. Everything is given in a “you already know” situation which again is great for fans and followers of the series, but not so much for newbies.
So alright, it is not a good stand alone movie. I think I’ve gotten that point across. That reason alone has lost it a few points but let’s talk about it being a good continuation or not. Like I mentioned earlier it is very dated watching it today; more so than watching part 1 or 2. There are really two things that give this its corny early 90s vibe. Lasers and belly shirts. There are a few moments in the movie (one with Michael going “towards the light” and the Tall Man walking out of his transporter that we are gifted with a spectacular laser light show. If only there was Europe’s Final Countdown playing in the background then I could really feel like I was in the 90s again. These moments were not artistic by any means, and just seemed corny. Speaking of corny, instead of just those damn freaky Jawa lookin’ things we get a trio of stupid ass zombies. The big haired bimbo wearing her wonderful spandex, the muscle bound “Guido” with his belly showing muscle shirt and the sleazy weasel dude with the thin cowboy tie. Their inclusion was beyond stupid, but still had a hint of fun to it. The problem is that it took part 3 into a corny good time, instead of the at times creepy tension filled original. Hell, even part 2 was corny and fun but had moments of suspense. One last thing that I was not a fan of was the ending. To say that it was uneventful and a complete open end is an understatement. Think in fact the first of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. With part 3 ending the way it did, you have to have part 4 lined right up behind it waiting in the queue to be popped in.
Overall the movie was enjoyable. Not a classic by any means, but as a continuation to the Phantasm lore and a good rental I would say yes. It opened some interesting mythology to the Tall Man and still keeps some mystery as to what he wants Michael so bad for open for part 4. Anchor Bay’s transfer on their Anchor Bay Collection disk is nice, but definitely do not expect any special extras. Other than an uninteresting behind the scenes and commentary lacking the director, this has nothing. Toss me a small featurette and I would be happy, but again…nope. If you’ve seen parts 1 and 2 then of course you have to get this one. It went down hill from the first two slightly, but since it continues right where 2 left then how could you leave this one out? For those non-rabid fans I would still give this a 2 ½ can watch.
Added: Sunday, June 03, 2007
Language: eng[ Did you find this review helpful? Yes No ]
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