Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead (1994)

Welcome back to Phantasm Sequels Month here at B-Movie Enema!

Phantasm II, to put it mildly, didn’t perform as well as hoped. Sure, it brought in a little more than double its budget. That’s not bad, but it was hard to necessarily say Universal was all that happy. Goddammit, they wanted a franchise like those Jasons and Freddys.

However, Universal still had a little bit of a hold on the franchise. It would go on to distribute the next film, and this week’s featured entry, Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead on VHS. Things get a little sideways here though. Phantasm III played a very limited, couple week run in movie havens Baton Rouge, Louisiana and St. Louis, Missouri. That may feel like places out in the middle of no-frickin’-where for a movie to get a limited, two-week release, and you’d be right.

It also saw Phantasm III become the highest grossing movie of that two-week run in both markets.

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Phantasm II (1988)

As promised, here we are at Phantasm Sequel Month on B-Movie Enema.

Earlier this year, I went deep into what I felt the themes of the first Phantasm from 1979 were. I tied it a lot to loss and dealing with death as a teenager, the time in which most people feel pretty invincible and don’t have to deal with the specter of death looming closely behind them. It was pretty clear that Mike had some unresolved issues with the loss of his parents and was scared of losing his brother Jody as well. Naturally, Jody would be lost, so were the events dealing with the Tall Man all in his head or was there some sort of other other-worldly, inter-dimensional, metaphysical thing going on?

Ultimately, it didn’t matter. Did the movie scare you? Did you have a good time watching the movie? That’s all that Don Coscarelli was going for. Okay, sure, maybe he had themes and ideas he was exploring, but he made the movie he wanted to show audiences plain and simple. No one was asking for a sequel. It maybe didn’t need one.

Then, on July 8, 1988, Phantasm II arrived.

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