Tuesday, April 26, 2011

30 Day Horror Challenge Day 26 - Your favorite horror film to watch as a child

I didn’t watch horror movies as a child. I was a brainwashed little holy roller and thought they were evil. When we talk about horror flicks I watched as a “kid,” we’re talking about my teens. I didn’t have a VCR until I was 16, so I couldn’t really rent movies. When I got one, I taped them off of TV. There was one tape in particular that I watched all the time. It had 2 movies on it, both taped off of Monstervision. I know I’ve talked a lot about Monstervision in the last couple of posts, but I’m going to do it one more time. I can’t help it, it figures into a lot of my favorites. One of the flicks on the tape was the remake of Night of the Living Dead, but I already used that for Day 17. The other was Phantasm 2.

Phantasm is one of a handful of series where I like the second one best. We won’t go into the others, because that’s a controversy for another time. I’m not going to even attempt to give you a plot summary for this one. Why? Because it doesn’t make a damn lick of sense! It doesn’t matter though, because as Phantasm fans know, trying to figure out what the hell is going on is half the fun. First of all, one of the leads is recast for this one, Tuesday Knight style. James LeGros is a pretty good actor, but he just wasn’t right for the role of Mike, played in the other 3 films by Michael Baldwin. He was a little too buff and a little too tough. Sorry. The incomparable Reggie Bannister is back though. Since this movie came 8 years after the original, he gets the films “Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween 2” moment. Reggie and Mike are sitting by the fire. Mike goes upstairs and is grabbed by the Tall Man, thankfully still played by Angus Scrimm. Reggie hears a noise and gets up to investigate, magically looking 10 years older than he did 20 seconds ago. It’s a Phantasm movie though, so we don’t question it. Whatever you say Don.

It seems like Don Coscarelli came up with a bunch of ideas for cool scenes and came up with a way to string them together later. Those cool scenes, though, are cool enough that the incomprehensible plot is forgivable without a second thought. We have Reggie and Mike getting all A-Team in a hardware store; building a giant homemade flame thrower and a four barrel shotgun. I’ll repeat that, A F’N FOUR BARREL SHOTGUN! That flame thrower gets used to light a fireplace by the way. There’s an epic chainsaw duel. I love a good chainsaw duel. There’s a bad ass car. There are cool vast empty graveyards. There’s one of the funniest sex scenes of all time. The demon Jawas are back. The silver balls are back. Ever since I was a young boy...nevermind. This time, though, there’s a gold ball. No, I’m not going to tell you, you have to see for yourself. I mean hell, look at that picture. You definitely don’t want that ball in your mouth. Sorry folks, it’s impossible to write about Phantasm and not make one ball joke. Anyway, it’s got everything you expect from a Phantasm flick, with some 80’s action flick tropes thrown in. Who could ask for anything more?

This tape was made extra cool by the commentary of Joe Bob Briggs. Just ‘cause I’m a nice guy, here’s the intro and commercial break commentaries.

I used to be able to recite both Hemicuda speeches word for word.

I was little schoolgirl level excited when I heard that this was finally coming out on DVD. I already had Phantasm and Phantasm 3, and the discs were loaded with extras. I had read about all the cool stuff on the Region 2 release. They got commentary, convention appearances, TV spots, bios, trailers, photo galleries, the whole 9. Imagine my pissedoffedness (it’s a word ‘cause I say so) when I saw that in the US all we got was a lousy trailer. The DVD release blows, hopefully they’re gonna double dip on this one, ‘cause I’m waiting for a good release to update my VHS. Two severed thumbs up for the movie itself. Nathan says check it out. Or, if you’re like me, check it out again and again and again…

2 comments:

cash said...

Phantasm II was the first Phantasm I ever watched so when I went back and watched part one I was mildly confused. I have no problem with different actors taking over parts for other actors. Don wanted Michael back but the producers of Part II wouldn't allow it. They wanted someone cuter, a little more bankable so they insisted they recast him. Fortunately we get Michael back for the next two sequels.

I remember taping Phantasm II off of our local cable movie station when I was about 10 - 11. My mom's boyfriend at the time checked it out at one point and almost hit stop cause he didn't like what he saw but fortunately he wasn't a complete douchebag shitmitten that evening and I really liked it.

The whole series is great (apart from Oblivion, but thats another post)

I'll share a little story with you here. Not many people know this. First time I ever got intimate with the woman who is now my wife, we were watching Phantasm at my place. Right about the time Michael is being chased out of the mausoleum and cuts off Scrimm's fingers is when the spark ignited. So, ever since then. "You wanna watch Phantasm?" has been code for something much different than film watching, can you dig me?

SonOfCelluloid said...

That is downright hilarious. "Wanna watch Phantasm?" Brilliant. She sounds like a keeper.

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