Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead (1994)
PHANTASM III: LORD OF THE DEAD
WRITER: Don Coscarelli
DIRECTOR: Don Coscarelli
STARRING: Reggie Bannister as Reggie
A. Michael Baldwin as Mike
Bill Thornbury as Jody
Gloria Lynne Henry as Rocky
Kevin Connors as Tim
Angus Scrimm as The Tall Man
QUICK CUT: Reggie and Mike are back again, to go after the man with the biggest balls in town.
Reggie - A brave soul, doing what needs to be done, to save his friends. The most loyal ice cream man ever.
Mike - Once a kid, now more or less grown up, and still determined to find out what all is going on here.
Jody - Back from the dead, and stuck in a burnt out ball.
Tim - I guess we need another new kid along for the ride. Smartest person in this movie.
Rocky - Strong, good with weapons, and not taking any shit.
The Tall Man - Ever present, a man with an agenda, and good luck figuring out what that is.
TRISK ANALYSIS: Welcome back Triskelions! This month kicks off as we March forward into the next Phantasm movie, #3, Lord of the Dead! We last left off after a hella cool action horror movie, with Reggie and Mike on the run, and learning Reggie's crush was an agent of the Tall Man. So let's just dive right into this and see where things go!
It kicks off with the original Mike returning, and recapping the previous two movies with a bunch of reusable footage (And again with the shot of the house blowing up!) and there is one line that I think is the defining line for this entire franchise; Nothing is ever as it seems.
But following the much needed recap, which also answered nothing, we pick up immediately where we left off, with Reggie and everyone else's stunt doubles in the hearse, as it goes crashing. The women die since they’re not back for this movie, and Michael is singed and broken pretty badly. I like to joke that they had to do reconstructive surgery, and that’s why he looks different to #2.
The Tall Man shows up to claim Michael, but Reg pulls out a grenade. The Tall Man NEEDS Mike for some reason, can't have him in pieces, so simply walks away, willing to bide his time as such he can claim the BOOOY for his own. It's a pretty chilling moment and shows just how patient the Tall Man is.
Mike falls into a coma, is taken to the hospital, and we get to watch the Tall Man play with his balls, revealing they have brains inside them.
A nurse visits the recovering Mike, urging him to go into the light, as she is revealed to be a minion of Tallbert Brooks. While Mike goes towards the light, he meets Jody's ghost, who tells him to go back, he still has a movie to do.
Reggie shows up just in time for a bed ridden Mike to save himself, and get the nurse's guts spewed all over him. One of the balls also crawls its way out of her skull, an eye pops out of it to observe Mike and report back to Tallyson Mannigan. After that, Reggie grabs his friend, and drives off into the night.
They head home, or wherever they're holing up, to grab some supplies. And they find Jody chillin' in a chair like he's not been dead for ten years.
He tries to deliver a warning that the Tall Man is coming...just in time for him to do exactly that. Yeah, thanks for the five second warning.
Jody turns back into a Sphere, and tries to delay Taladega Nights, but is punished and burned for his attempt at rebellion.
With the protective sphere down, and Reggie flung across the room, Tallen Funt takes his prize, leaving Reg to become the star of the movie.
Jodyorb tries to tell Reggie where to go, and the two pack up for more road tripping so they can try and rescue Mike.
Reggie stops to gas up and do some repairs, asks about the town he's heading to, and gets warned away from it. Yeah thanks, we already knew we shouldn't go there.
The town is abandoned, run down, and spooky. But it's not completely empty, as Reggie runs into a woman raiding a car. Her and her friends jump Mike, dump him in the trunk of his Hemi, and take the car.
Our kidnappers stop at a seemingly abandoned home, decorated with plenty of creepy clowns. Which honestly? More effective than any keep out signs there might be.
They discover the house has been rigged by this precocious little kid with traps and doorways like this is PhantasHome Alone and he quickly kills the trio.
With his clear intelligence, and knack for building deadly devices, I wanted this kid to SOMEhow be responsible for creating the Spheres, but twas not to be.
Instead, just imagine me groaning that we have to deal with a plucky kid sidekick for the rest of the movie. To be fair, he could have been a lot worse, but still.
Reggie finally wakes up, after far too long with none of our main characters, and Tim lets him out. They get inside for the night, and Tim gives his Tragic Backstory.
A new day dawns, and the two head out...but discover the pink hearse of the Scavengers, and their bodies, are both missing. Oh good, zombies.
They make their way to the nearby cemetery, and run into a pair of black women also checking the place out, because we need more characters in this movie.
A sphere also shows up, and quickly kills one of the women, making me shout WHY WOULD YOU JUST STAND THERE while this physics defying silver ball comes flying at your face WITH KNIVES.
Rocky tries to take the sphere out with nunchucks, but Tim shows up and shoots it a few times to get the job done.
The two guys head off, but we'll grab Rocky later trust me, and head back off. They reach a fork in the road, and ask Jodyorb where to go.
Our heroes stop at a hotel, and again get warned off from the next town they're heading towards. What IS this world? Everywhere is terrible.
Reggie tries to make time with their new ladyfriend, but that doesn't go well, in a number of ways. Dude, she has nunchucks and was in the army.
Moving on, they think they're lost, until Reg sees a Jawa driving a hearse, so now it's just a matter of tracking them down. Unless the lurkers find them first.
They escape and camp out, and during the night, the Jodyorb interrupts Reggie's sex dream so they can go save Mike.
Reg has a few questions, and Jody says he'll explain everything, but they have to go. NO! No no no! You get back here and explain this entire franchise right now!
They're in the Mindscape, but still somehow go to where Tallton Brown has Jody, get the kid out, and he heads through the pillar gate. And Reggie wakes up back at camp. This movie is freakin' weird.
But the Tall Man also comes through the gate, or at least he starts to. But they shut it down in time, leaving only his hands to deal with.
And in most cases you'd laugh at my joke but no, I’m serious. Like something out of Colony of the Dark, the hand scurries off as some sort of creature that terrorises the group.
They quickly kill it with fire and we go back on the road, now with Mike in tow. Who would rather be left behind. And not after everything we just went through, mister!
Oh, and that pink hearse finally returns, with the three zombie scavengers. They die again, and this will not be the last we see of them.
Since two tires on the Hemi are blown, they decide to hole up at the nearest mortuary, because that's the last place the Tall Man would look for them. Or, y'know, be there already.
Oh, and while poking around, they find some cryogenic chambers, and Mike remembers the first movie and how Tally McBeal reacted to the cold of the ice truck. Way to dig up a plot point from two movies ago.
Reggie takes first watch, while Mike takes a nap with a palantir on his forehead, to commune with Jody and maybe get some freakin' answers.
We DO get some information on his goals, the creation of the dwarf creatures, and the orbs, so hey! That's better than nothing!
Somewhere along the way, Reggie takes a nap, and thinks Rocky is getting fresh with him, but NOPE, the scavenger zombies are back AGAIN to get killed AGAIN. Persistent little squawkers.
During the infodump, the Tall Man senses a presence, and glares at Mike, knocking him over, revealing dozens of balls hovering over him.
We are suddenly back in the real world, with the Tall Man being right there, and he takes back the black ball.
Everyone else is busy dealing with the scavengers, while Tall Bachman resumes his interest in Mike. He uses a device to slice open his head, and reveal a giant gold sphere inside. Mmm, I love when there's a prize inside.
The rest finally come running, dipping a spear into the liquid nitrogen, and catching themselves Tallbacore tuna, shoving him into the freezer for later.
However, the frozen Hungry Man dinner crumbles, his own gold sphere coming out, and chasing people down.
Reggie manages to plunger the gold sphere of the Tall Man, and they toss it into the cryonics vat. Mike shows up, taken over by quicksilver madness, and golden eyes, stumbling off complaining about the cold.
Afraid of what he's becoming, Mike runs off into the night, not to be seen again until another movie. Jody appears though, for one last cryptic message, "Seeing is easy. Understanding, well, that takes a little more time," before disappearing.
NO. You get back here RIGHT NOW and help us understand right this second!
Rocky pulls up in a hearse, and when Reggie says let's search the place for any clues, she decides she has had enough and bugs out. I can't say I blame her.
That just leaves Reggie and the Kid (This fall on ABC!) to clean up the place, and they start poking around the mortuary.
Reggie disappears for a moment, Tim looks around for him, and finds him pinned to the wall by many balls...AND CREDITS as the Tall Man returns.
Video: It looks pretty good, as Anchor Bay usually does quality work.
Audio: Sounds good too!
Sound Bite: “Picture that, the three of us, facing down the forces of evil!" "Got anything better to do?"
Body Count: I think they heard what I said about Nemesises’ses impressive body count, and came ready to play.
1 - Girl gets cooked and eaten four minutes in
2 - Reggie shoots one Jawa out of a tree
3 - And another
4 - And a third.
5 - Nurse gets necked
6 - Woman gets an axe in the face
7 - Gold chains bro gets his neck slit with razor frisbee.
8 - Other guy gets killed, watch for him
9 - Timmy's mom dies in a flashback
10 - Anisha gets her head drilled.
11 - Axe face dies again
12 - Gold chains goes boom again.
13 - And his friend along with him
14 - Axe face girl dies AGAIN
15 - Gold chains gets Jodyballed in the face and dies AGAIN
16 - Other guy eats four barrels to the face.
17 - The Tall Man crumbles
18 - Axe Face Girl dies AGAIN and becomes no face girl
Best Corpse: It’s admittedly silly, but I love taking out Axe Face Girl’s entire face with a sphere.
Blood Type - B: A nice amount of blood, but there could be more, but they make up for it in yellow gunk, and the always great makeup effects.
Sex Appeal: Dream Rocky shows off her breasts.
Drink Up! every time Jody shows up
Video Nasties: Have a pretty cool sphere attack to watch!
Movie Review: Ahh, this was a good one! Nice production values, good effects, and a story that may be mysterious, but at least you can follow the simple plot of being on a quest to find some friends. My only complaint is that I wish we got more satisfying answers. But it’s a hella fun ride. Four out of five gold spheres.
Entertainment Value: It is a trip, that’s for sure. it’s not QUITE as fun, with the gearing up sequences of the second, or that one’s tone. This movie feels less ominous and oppressive, but still a fun time. Angus Scrimm brings it as always, and Reggie comes so close, but is his own worst enemy, causing some grat hilarity. Four out of five nunchucks.