We’ve come to the end, my dear Enamaniacs. Phantasm: RaVager is today’s feature and B-Movie Enema will finally complete Phantasm Sequels Month.
This one is interesting. I saw this at the Centerbrook Drive-In in Martinsville, Indiana in October of 2016 with a trio of friends. It played as part of a doubleheader with the original movie. It was the first time in a looooong time I had visited a drive-in, so that part was pretty awesome. It’s always fun to watch the original Phantasm. So that was pretty awesome too.
Then Ravager started. I ain’t gonna lie… The first time I saw this I was confused. I was not too happy about the movie. It felt really, really weird. In fact, I would argue that this movie, the only film in the franchise NOT directed by Don Coscarelli, though he did co-write it with director David Hartman, is maybe the most divisive one of the bunch. It’s got a lot of references to past movies, with even a returning character most would have no idea who she is if they hadn’t been watching the series recently just prior to watching this one. It’s not told in a very linear way. It jumps between at least two realities. It’s a strange movie.
Continue reading “Phantasm: RaVager (2016)”
Here we go again with another installment of Phantasm Sequels Month here at B-Movie Enema.
We’re up to the fourth entry that goes by a few titles – Phantasm IV: Oblivion, Phantasm: Oblivion, or, my personal favorite, Phantasm: OblIVion. Yeah, stylize that shit! Anyway, believe it or not, after the last two entries getting budgets of something around $3 million, Oblivion would only get about $650,000. However, I should also state there is more to it than just a severely slashed budget.
You see, this movie actually began life as something else. It actually began as this epic script by Roger Avary. If that name rings a bell, that’s because he’s Quentin Tarantino’s writing partner on 1994’s Pulp Fiction. They won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for that movie. Avary is a self-professed Phantasm superfan. He wrote a sequel to Phantasm III that would have seen a major post-apocalyptic world that continued on from that previous entry and would have even brought Bruce Campbell on as a co-star – or so the story goes.
Fundraising for that project fell through.
Continue reading “Phantasm: OblIVion (1998)”
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.
Continue reading “Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead (1994)”
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.
Continue reading “Phantasm II (1988)”
This one is a long time coming…
Welcome to this week’s B-Movie Enema. I’ve long wanted to do something with the Phantasm series. You’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t at least like a lot of the visuals and atmosphere of this first film from 1979. However, where the real analytical gold is in the Phantasm hills come in the sequels. In order to get there, I need to start from the beginning.
This series is the brainchild of filmmaker Don Coscarelli. Coscarelli made this on a small budget that was locally raised. The movie would star mostly local acting amateurs at the time – with some exceptions. Due to the low budget and limited availabilities of the cast and crew, Coscarelli spent almost a year filming on long days on weekends. The finished product would be an instant cult classic.
Continue reading “Phantasm (1979)”