Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead (1994) jumps ahead two years from the previous installment with some changes to the cast. A. Michael Baldwin returns as Mike Pearson, who’s been in a coma in those two years. Bill Thornbury also returns in his role as Jody; he was turned into a chrome ball and can somehow manifest into his human form. And, of course, Reggie and the Tall Man continue to be played by Reggie Bannister and Agnus Scrimm, respectively. With the addition of two new characters, Tim (an orphan) and Rocky (ex-military). I guess they were needed since they killed off Liz and Alchemy.
Like 2, Phantasm III has bits that don’t match to events in the previous episode. In II, Reggie dropped his gun in the mausoleum because he was out of ammunition, but suddenly he has it again. Another is the ‘Cuda. It crashed and exploded, but somehow, Reggie is driving it. I guess someone who hadn’t seen Phantasm II since its release in 1988 wouldn’t notice these things in 1994, but watching them in a binge-athon, I’m noticing.
Other changes in Phantasm III are a bit off to me, and it revolves around the Tall Man. In the first, he lifted coffins from the graves into the back of the hearse. Now he uses telekinetic powers to move them. And like the second, he doesn’t have his fancy walk, just something that made him special for me. Then again, Agnus Scrimm was 68 at the time of release, so I should give him some credit.
The mystery of why the Tall Man wants Mike still isn’t clear to me, but that didn’t change my enjoyment. Just remember, as the Tall Man said, “It’ll never be over.” At least they revealed what the spheres are.
I give Phantasm III 4 out of 5 Stars; yeah, that’s a full star from the original.