Friday, September 1, 2017

Phantasm Ravager (2016) Movie

Wait, there's another Phantasm Movie? Yup.

It's sad to see something you love age, get old and shriveled. Manning playing with the Denver Broncos, unable to throw the football past the line of scrimmage. Muhammad Ali getting beat senseless by lesser fighters. If you loved these fallen figures, looking past the current state and remembering fondly what used to be is easy. If this pitiful existence of a being wasn't someone who you cared for, it's easy to see only the current state. Fans of the Phantasm series are happy for any scrap. Everyone else sees this as the painful mess it is.

Don Coscarelli has said he keeps making these films for the fans. But the level of the last films has never been up to the level of his other projects. His episode on Showtime's Masters of Horror series 'Incident on and off a Mountain Road' was one of the best of the series. Well written, directed, filmed, with a story that is entertaining. The Phantasm films have lacked for a while. They have been called in repeatedly. The cool world started in the first one hasn't really been added to or made exciting. Furthering this crime is the waste of good actors on weak material. But if Michael Angelo did a bunch of meth and blew something up people would still want to see it, cause it's Michael 'F'ing Angelo. If Picasso free based some crack and painted a homeless dudes ass, people would still want to see it. And that has been the case for a number of Phantasm movies. But this movie was mostly written and directed by someone else.

The movie is an utter mess. Filmed in total secret. Being intended for release as a web-series following Reggie's character. Expanded to include the original cast. Unfortunately Angus Scrimm past away before the release of the film. Very cool they got everyone from the original movie to make an appearance. Which just magnifies the wasted opportunity. With so many fans of the series, there had to be someone better than David Hartman to direct (J.J. Abrams is a huge fan). He does have an impressive resume in animation. Leading many scenes to come cross cartoonish and the CGI is just bad. If there is no budget for special effects, don't try, use practical effect and tricks. If this was released as a web-series it would be a lot easier to look past the quality. Plus they could have included much more of the story line they left on the cutting room floor. So many random characters pop up from nowhere and quickly disappear again.

It comes down too, if you're a fan of the series, this is worth watching. A number of good scenes between the original cast members. Find out what Mike and Reggie have been up to for the past twenty years. See how the fight against the Tall Man has evolved. If you're not a fan of the series, this movie is just plain bad. The CGI is laughable, the story line is a mess, and the few good moments will not mean anything to non-fans. Not that this world is done. Much like it was time for George Lucas to hand the reigns over to a fresh vision of Star Wars. It's time for Don Coscarelli to turn the world of Phantasm over to some young blood. There is so much that could be done with this franchise. A Rob Zombie make over, focus on other survivors fighting the Tall Man. Or either focus on the other dimension or this world after the release of the virus. But with Mr. Coscarelli's history of wanting total control, it's hard to see him selling the rights. With being in his early sixties we might have to wait another twenty years for someone to acquire the rights and make a new Phantasm movie. 

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