Phantasm: Ravager!

11th movie in our 31 night marathon and final movie in the Phantasm series… so far

Devoted fans had to wait 18 years to find out the fates of Mike and Reggie. I’m not sure how happy they were after all this time.

Unlike previous movies, this one does not pick up exactly where the previous left off. With so much time having passed between them, I’m not really surprised. The actors have aged, and it would have been hard to make the transition look seamless. They cover it well though and also explain some of the inconsistencies of previous movies. Dimensional travel. Reggies consciousness appears to become unglued and he moves from one possible reality to another… or maybe none of it is real.

One of the realities Reggie keeps going back to, is of him as an old man suffering from dementia, so it is entirely possible that none of the movies actually ever happened outside of his broken mind.

I don’t really buy that one though, because there are more than a few scenes in previous films that don’t involve Mr. Bannister at all, but it’s a cool concept and a nice way of wrapping up the series. It is possible that another could be made, or some other company might buy the rights and reboot it. I know that JJ Abrams is a fan and his Bad Robot production company helped make the 4K remaster a reality.

I would not recommend this film to anyone who has never watched any of the others in the series. It works best as a way of giving some form of closure to long term fans, but is probably the poorest in terms of quality out of all of them. The story and dialog are not the best and the cinematography is a far cry from the beautiful shots we got in Phantasm II, when Daryn Okada was on the team. This was also the only film in the franchise not directed by Don Coscarelli, he even shares writing credit on this one.

To be continued?

It’s not a bad movie, don’t get me wrong, I just don’t think anyone not already familiar with the series will enjoy it. The budget is low, I mean real low. From what I could find on the net, $300,000, which is the same amount the original was made for… forty years ago. Money stretched a lot further back then.

On a side note, relating to budget. In the first movie, Jody drove a Plymouth Barracuda. In two and three, Reggie drives a Barracuda Hemi, in the fourth a Barracuda Hemi convertable. When we get to the fifth, the iconic car is back to a basic Barracuda. Why, you might ask? A ‘cuda hemi convertible recently sold at auction for over 3 million dollars not long ago. That’s significantly more than the budget for the entire movie.

If another Phantasm movie is made, I suspect it will follow Rocky and Chunk, if it is not a complete reboot, which I think I would prefer. I liked Rocky and Chunk was a great addition to the franchise, I just think starting over with a cleaned up and streamline background for the villain would be best.

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