Phantasm Ravager Bids Farewell Like Seinfeld
In this franchise conclusion, we find Reggie (Bannister) trudging through the desert without his beloved 1971 Barracuda muscle car — because it was stolen — on the path to his infamous enemy, the Tall Man (Scrimm). Throughout the film, Reggie battles numerous breaks in reality as he’s first seemingly in present day but then somehow in a hospital, getting told by his friend (and franchise regular) Mike that he’s been diagnosed with an early stage of dementia. Mike, seemingly without memory of the past events of the previous 4 films, asks Reggie to ruminate a bit and reveal the events of his story.
Reggie’s story began with himself, stealing his Barracuda back and picking up a beauty — who later got offed by the Tall Man’s killer spheres –. As Reggie’s grasp on reality became even more weak, during his telling we find reality seemingly shift again and we find Reggie in another reality twisting sequence lying in a hospital bed parallel to a now a seemingly weaker but definitely more human Tall Man. In the scene, the Tall Man’s lies in bed parallel to Reggie and introduces himself by his actual name, Jedediah, while also in the same scene delivering the message, he and Reggie are brought to the very hospital..to die. Reggie in yet another twist in reality later comes in contact with the Tallman once again, this time by passing through a portal into the Tallman’s dimension. Face to face with the icon, Reggie’s told his past efforts were meaningless and his family [which were offed by the Tallman] would be returned to him. Reggie soon after is transported to a mortuary, where he’s then met by a killer beast and a Lady In Lavender.
What follows is some great action, cheap (but endearing) special effects, Mike reminding us of his connection to the Tall Man (from Phantasm IV: Oblivion), and the return of Rocky and Jody from the previous films. The installment proved to be quite confusing, yet action-packed and entertaining. At first impression it’s much like a Seinfeld conclusion, leaving me most definitely wanting more.
The ending was…
Reggie going through two different realities — one featuring him dying, the other ends with himself, Michael and Jody amongst Rocky and a heroic newcomer dubbed Chunk, driving into a world full of giant killer spheres in the sky. The latter hints that the story is yet to be finished…but, in fact, this does mark the end of the iconic and beloved franchise.
Although Bannister in this film was sort of like a Walmart Bruce Campbell, the second time around I came around to his performance. All in all, I dub this film a perfect farewell to Angus Scrimm and a great final addition to the franchise.
I’d consider this a MUST WATCH for genre fans.