I Watched The Entire Phantasm Quintilogy

Needless to say, it starts out odd and plummets steadily into mediocrity from there onwards.

I had no idea what the fvck Phantasm was about two weeks ago. Now, having seen all 5 movies, I’m still left with a heap of questions as to what the meaning of the whole thing was to begin with.

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The first movie, Phantasm (1979), was a conventional  slasher-esque B-movie with a sci-fi twist, which genuinely titillated at a unique way forward for a horror franchise. What started as a body-snatcher horror mystery quickly became a twisted, grotesque and ultimately vague voyage through the realms of cosmic horror where human cadavers are top currency in an undistinguished war against the living.

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From here on, the Phantasm lore quickly descends into a series of tropes and cliches which anyone can see coming from a mile away. It goes without saying that cultural tack-on’s and elemental cash-ins ensue.

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Beyond this, the whole franchise becomes a farce even before its second sequel, and yet retains a watch-ability, thanks in no small part to the one constant throughout the francise, Reggie Bannister.

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Wherever the plot fell down, at least the character of Reggie, an ice-cream vendor sworn to protect his friends from the forces of “The Tall Man”, shines through, even when he ages noticeably from episode to episode.

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Phantasm as a series ultimately becomes a convoluted mess. It’s fun to watch it come apart in all honesty, and I respect the principle actors staying true to the movies throughout, especially Reggie Bannister. I genuinely felt sad upon the final installment, knowing that Angus Scrimm’s death meant the end for Phantasm.

I’ve seen other franchises do worse.
Have you watched Phantasm?