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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
by Garon Cockrell
31 Days of Scream-O-Ween! - Phantasm 2
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By Garon Cockrell
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Oct. 7, 2013 5:20 p.m.

By Adam Ruhl
 
Oh the Phantasm series, how you continue to confuse and
astound me. Donít get me wrong, I am a huge fan of Don Cascarelliís 1979 horror
franchise, but even after many viewings of all four entries; Iím still at a
loss to explain just what I saw. Thereís a tall man hunting a boy, some
murderous silver spheres, and creatures that appear to be Jawas with rabies.
This is a master of horror at the top of his game and Scream Factory has given
the star treatment to the series second entry with their Phantasm 2 Collectorís
Edition Blu-ray.<>
Phantasm 2
The Film:
In case itís been a long time since youíve seen the first
Phantasm, let me try to sum it up in one sentence. 13-year-old Mike Pearson
joins up with his brother and an ice cream man to investigate a seven-foot-tall
mortician ďthe Tall ManĒ who is killing people, stealing their bodies, and
turning those bodies into alien midgets to serve as slaves on another planet;
however in the end he wakes up and the ice cream man tells him it was all a bad
dream that mike had to deal with the motorcycle death of his brother, but in
another twist the Tall Man reappears and pulls Mike through a mirror. <>
Whew, and Phantasm 2 picks up right where part 1 left off.
This time Reggie saves Mike from the end of the first film (He didnít get out
of the cockadoody car!) however Mike ends up institutionalized for seven years.
During this time he transforms into the more heavily muscled actor James LeGros
(a demand of the studio to replace Michael Baldwin from the first film) but
immediately upon his release the Tall Man bombs the ice cream manís house,
killing his family. <>
This causes Mike and Reggie (ice cream man) to go on a
revenge quest to hunt down the Tall Man and destroy him. The world they inhabit
has this amazing dream-like quality as they pass through the film. There is
often just a line of dialogue to transition between scenes so like a dream they
zoom abruptly between situations. Mike and Reggie also seem to inhabit a world
that is perpetually night or dusk, never having the safety of the day to hide
in. <>
That tension is the heart of Coscarelliís direction, you
never feel safe in the world of Phantasm. He brilliant ratchets up the creeping
dread until you expect something terrible to jump out around every corner.  Mixed in with that suspense is a twisted sense
of humor (check the name on the cremation bag) and some stomach-churning,  silver-sphere gore that is a classic hallmark
of the series. <>
<> 
The Disc:
This is the hardest section of this review for me to write
so let me start with the honey. There is nothing technically wrong with this
Blu-ray disc as far as presentation goes. The image is the best its ever been
and it is completely possible to enjoy the movie. However, it looks as though
the transfer has been scrubbed clean. I was hard pressed to see a single grain
to indicate this movie was shot on film and there was likewise the subtle loss
of detail in close ups that suggests digital filters. Most may not notice but
if youíre a film purest this is a little distracting. <>
On top of that there is just slightest jostle in the print
most evident during the opening title. There is also a little bit of ghosting
during explosions at night. These elements are relatively minor (except for the
scrubbing which is a pet peeve of mine) and this Collectorís Edition should be
a must have item for horror and Don Coscarelli fans.  <>
The Features:
  • Audio Commentary
  • with Director Don Coscarelli and actors Angus Scrimm and Reggie Bannister<>
  • The Ball is Back:
  • The Making of Phantasm 2 Ė Watch This! Scream Factory has produced a
    wonderful doc that includes interviews with Director Don Coscarelli and
    actors Angus Scrimm, Reggie Bannister, Paula Irvine<>
  • The Gory Days<>
  • Two behind the
  • Scenes Featurettes <>
  • Deleted Scenes <>
  • Workprint Scenes
  • Ė The workprint footage offers some great shots of effects rejected by the
    MPAA and the awkward deleted love scene. <>
  • TV Spots<>
  • Short film<>
  • Photo Galleries<>
  • Theatrical
  • Trailers Ė Phantasm 1, 2, and 3<>
    <> 
    The Specs:
            
    1080p Hi-Def widescreen 1.85:1
            
    DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
            
    DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
            
    English-only Audio & Subtitles
            
    Original Release: 1988
            
    Runtime: 95 minutes
            
    Rated R<>
    Final Grades:<>
    Story: B+ / Good follow up that delivers jumps and a lot of
    the creeping atmosphere of the original. I find the repeated cliffhanger ending
    a little frustrating.
    Presentation quality: B- / A new high for the title but I
    have some reservations about the transfer
    Scare factor: A / BOOOYYY!
    Gore Factor: B / Silver Spheres making brain smoothies.
    Repeat view-ability: B / Everyone should watch this
    Collectorís Edition at least once a year as part of a Phantasm marathon or just
    any old time.  
     
    Add Phantasm 2 to your collection, click HERE!
     
    Check out yesterday's Scream Factory review, The Island!

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