For whatever reason, it took nine years before they released Phantasm II (1988), and I think they did a good job tying Phantasm (1979) to it like a continuing story. The opening scene replays the ending of the first, then moves seven years later with Mike Pearson being released from an institution. James LeGros now plays Mike Pearson, Reggie Bannister continues his role as Reggie, and The Tall Man is and always will be Angus Scrimm.
While I enjoy Phantasm II, there is one big disappointing thing: The Tall Man no longer has his strange walk. He still maintains his creepiness otherwise. They added two new characters, Liz Reynolds, who is connected psychically to Mike somehow, and Alchemy, a hitchhiker Reggie picks up; she’s also the dead girl that Mike sees in the mortuary before that.
The eeriness definitely transferred from the first episode, and they added a little bit of cheese, but not too much. There’s also some weirdness with ghost towns thrown in that added a nice layer of surrealness to the film. If you pay attention to the “cemeteries,” you’ll notice that they are all the same one.
Phantasm II just misses the 5 Star mark for me, and I give it 4.5 Stars.
Next week I’m continuing with my Phantasm-athon with Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead.