Reviews
Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead (1994) 1 brain1 brain
(USA)

Alternate Titles:

Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead - The Never Dead Part III
Phantasm III: The Third Power


So I watched Phantasm III with what I learned from the first two movies in mind, namely, that the film maker, Don Coscarelli, cares less about the plot making sense, and more about putting together a series of scenes with images that he thinks will be entertaining. He does a good job of this. His scenes taken on their own are fun to watch, so in that sense it's a watchable movie. It's the stringing together of the scenes that needs help.

I have to say that this movie was faster paced than Phantasm II, so I enjoyed it more. This one picks up where the second movie left off, and shortly into the movie Mike is kidnapped by the Tall Man. Reggie goes on a quest to rescue Mike, guided by the spirit of Mike's older brother Jody, who sometimes turns into one of the Tall Man's metal balls but somehow avoids being controlled. How? We never find out.

Along the way, Reggie picks up some companions: a boy called Tim who is a frighteningly cold-blooded killer, and a militaristic woman called Rocky with whom Reggie tries several times to have sex, unsuccessfully (except in a dream sequence, giving the obligatory sex scene without compromising Rocky's virtue).

The characters continue to do and discover things that just don't make sense, seemingly to set up cool scenes. For instance, at one point the group discovers a vat of liquid nitrogen. Mike has rejoined the group at this point, and seeing the nitrogen triggers a memory from the first movie of the Tall Man reacting to the cold air from the open door of Reggie's ice cream truck. Mike deduces from this memory that the Tall Man doesn't like cold. However, if you had watched the rest of that scene from the first movie, you would see that the Tall Man takes a GOOD, DEEP, WHIFF of the cold, seeming to enjoy himself very much.

If you liked the first two movies, you'll like this one. It's more of the same. Within it's own definition of movie, this was one of the better ones, but consider yourself warned.