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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The Beyond (1981)

Now, this is the Italian stuff I look forward to covering.

After taking on Hercules twice in a row, now I get to return to the warm embrace of Lucio Fulci with his Gates of Hell trilogy. I’ve already knocked out the first chapter, City of the Living Dead, last month. Now it’s time to get to what most would usually list as the best of the trio, The Beyond. So, buckle up and prepare for this week’s dose of B-Movie Enema!

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Blood Harvest (1987)

This week’s B-Movie Enema feature is one I’ve wanted to do for a while. Maybe more accurately, the film’s director is a guy I’ve wanted to feature for some time. This week, I’ll be getting into 1987’s Blood Harvest.

Without a doubt, the chief thing that will gain attention will be the fact that this stars the very eclectic novelty musician Tiny Tim. We’ll be getting to Tiny Tim momentarily. However, I would argue that this might just be the most interesting of all the films directed by Wisconsinite Bill Rebane.

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City of the Living Dead (1980)

Fulci is back yet again on B-Movie Enema. Why? Because ol’ Lucio needs more attention if I’m being honest. Sure, I’ve covered many of his movies in the past, but there are oh so many more that I could cover. What better place to dig into more of his filmography than with the Gates of Hell trilogy of his?

So, here we are. I’ve packed my bags, bought my plane tickets, and have landed in the City of the Living Dead. This is Fulci in what’s likely his prime. He’s not too far off from his major success of Zombie (known in Italy as Zombi 2, but I’m not going to get into all that Italian titling business). That pretty much wrote a check for Fulci to do whatever he really wanted. He first stopped off with a crime action flick, Contraband, but started developing the idea of City of the Living Dead. This film was greenlit while he was working on the action flick, so, he took off and left Contraband under the direction of his assistant to get to work on City of the Living Dead.

It’s wild to think that a director can just leave a production to start his next, but Italy is a wild place, man.

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