PHANTASM
OBLIVION

MOVIE REVIEW
HOME FEO'S STORE REVIEWS INTERVIEWS FEO AMANTE THEATER SCIENCE MOMENT UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT
Movie reviews

Story reviews

Comic reviews

Music review

You Support This Site
When You Buy My Books

E.C. McMullen Jr.
PERPETUAL
BULLET

Perpetual Bullet Paperback "'Some People' ... may be the standout story in the book."
- John Grant, Infinityplus

E.C. McMullen Jr.
WILLOW BLUE

Willow Blue "'Willow Blue' will burrow under your skin and stay there long after you've put the book down."
- Jeffrey Reddick, Creator of
FINAL DESTINATION

IN OTHER BOOKS
E.C. McMullen Jr.'s

short story
CEDO LOOKED LIKE PEOPLE
in the anthology
FEAR THE REAPER
Fear The Reaper "This Ray Bradbury-esque is one of the most memorable and one of the more original stories I've read in a long time."
- Steve Isaak,
Goodreads

HORROR 201:
The Silver Scream

Horror 201: The Silver Scream Filmmaker's Guidebook
featuring
RAY BRADBURY,
JOHN CARPENTER,
WES CRAVEN,
TOM HOLLAND,
E.C. McMULLEN Jr.,
GEORGE A. ROMERO,
and many more.

Extensively quoted in
Phantasm Exhumed PHANTASM
EXHUMED
The Unauthorized Companion


Robert S. Rhine's
SATAN'S 3-RING
CIRCUS OF HELL

Satan's 3-Ring Circus of Hell
Forward by
GAHAN WILSON &
FEO AMANTE.
Featuring comics by
ALEX PARDEE,
WILLIAM STOUT,
STEVE BISSETTE,
FRANK DIETZ,
JIM SMITH,
FRANK FORTE,
ERIC PIGORS,
MIKE SOSNOWSKI,
OMAHA PEREZ,
DAVID HARTMAN,
STEVEN MANNION,
and more!

And In
CINEMA

E.C. McMullen Jr.
Head Production Designer
Mine Games MINE GAMES
(Starring:
JOSEPH CROSS, BRIANA EVIGAN,
ALEX MERAZ)

Dept. head
Special Effects Make-Up
(SFX MUA)
A Sierra Nevada Gunfight A SIERRA NEVADA
GUNFIGHT

(MICHAEL MADSEN & JOHN SAVAGE).

Production Designer
Universal Dead UNIVERSAL DEAD

(DOUG JONES,
D.B. SWEENEY,
GARY GRAHAM)

Art Director
The Crusader THE CRUSADER

(COLIN CUNNINGHAM,
GARY GRAHAM)
Movies Eddie McMullen Jr. Review by
E.C. McMullen Jr.
Poster
THANK YOU!
TIP JAR
PHANTASM
MOVIE REVIEW
PHANTASM II
MOVIE REVIEW
PHANTASM III
MOVIE REVIEW
PHANTASM
COMIC REVIEW
PHANTASM IV: OBLIVION - 1998
USA Release: Oct. 13, 1998
Silver Sphere Corporation / Orion Home Video / Warner Brothers
Rating: USA: R

Some movies induce good or even better sequels at first, then go swirling down the drain. ALIEN and ALIENS were two great movies, but 3 and 4 stank. HELLRAISER and HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER 2 were good movies, but again, 3 and 4 stank. A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET series was simply Good, Bad, Good, Okay, Crap, Crappity, Crap, Not bad!

If you've never seen any of the PHANTASM movies, then shame on you! Go out and see PHANTASM, PHANTASM II, and, only if you've been really good, go and see PHANTASM III. Ignore PHANTASM IV: OBLIVION.

Writer/Director Don Coscarelli (PHANTASM [all], BEAST MASTER, SURVIVAL QUEST) has never been the best writer, but what he lacked in storytelling ability, he more than made up for in vision and cinematography. I mean PHANTASM! WOW!

I've heard from many die hard fans of the series that PHANTASM IV: OBLIVION was so bad it hurt their fond memories of the other three. That's sad. On the other hand, there have been a few fans who swear that this is the absolute best PHANTASM ever, that the rest of us don't understand it, because we aren't "True Phantasm Phans"! I have asked two of them* to explain to me what it was I didn't understand. One gave me the ignorance disguised as genius remark:

"If you can't understand it, then I won't be able to explain it to you."

Which is another way of saying

"I am unable to explain it myself."

I'm pretty sure that if I can understand physics, genetics, and the Upanishads, then I can understand a lack-luster flick like PHANTASM IV: OBLIVION.

Feo & Reggie
Feo Amante & Reggie Bannister at the
San Diego Comic-Con

What is obvious here is that Don Coscarelli didn't have a story to tell, but he did have the money to spend. So he brought together the old crew and threw us a bone by adding a bunch of old never-before-seen footage from PHANTASM and topped it all off by introducing a few ideas that he didn't know how to end. To be very very forgiving, call it a transitional movie, one that takes you from PHANTASM III to PHANTASM V. It didn't have to be that way, but Coscarelli couldn't think of anything better. Considering the fact that he created this world in the first place, it's a shame that he did 4. Sort of like Ira Levin ruining ROSEMARY'S BABY with ROSEMARY'S SON (which has its Levin-can-do-no-wrong fans too), Ugh!

This movie does have its moments of course, and all those center around Reggie (Reggie Bannister: PHANTASM [all], WISHMASTER - Visit the Reggie photo Gallery). The Demon Cop (Bob Ivy: stunt car driver for PHANTASM III) scene is the best in the flick.

Fanwise, Reggie is the favorite character in the series after The Tall Man (Angus Scrimm: SWEET KILL [as Rory Guy], PHANTASM [all], SUBSPECIES, WISHMASTER), Reggie not only provides much needed humor and humanity to the flick, but his personal problems reflect our own. Reggie isn't worried about saving the world, he cannot conceive of saving the world; he just wants to get through the terrors of the Tall Man in one piece with his skin, and his friend's skin, intact: and maybe find some love in his life. Let other fans imagine themselves the super surrealistic heroes and villains; I identify with Reggie.

For PHANTASM IV: OBLIVION, there is no story and no movie and if the fans want PHANTASM V^ to be any good, then they need to knock off their pathetic "More Phantasm Phan than thou!" attitude and demand better.

There is a reason this one went "direct to video" and is for "completists" only.

Shriek Girl
This review copyright 1998 E.C.McMullen Jr.

Phantasm IV: Oblivion (1998) on IMDb
CHANGE YOUR SHIRT

*
The other launched into a rambling babble that forced me to see the movie again. I realized that his "explanation" had far more to do with what he wanted to see than anything shown on the screen. I both understand and appreciate the fact that PHANTASM lives on in this person's mind beyond the films themselves. That's all well and good and Don Coscarelli even allowed a few horror writer's / phans to publish (with his authorization) an anthology called PHANTASM: Excursions Into Oblivion. But you don't rate a movie on what you wish it was about. You see it for what it is, and I'm hoping that the next one is a whole lot better.

^
UPDATE: According to the Official PHANTASM site, Work began on PHANTASM 1999 in August.

The plotline is laid out at the site and it sounds like a really good one. I'm really hoping that PHANTASM V can save the lost wandering of 4, much in the same way that HELLRAISER II completed HELLRAISER.

As of April 4, 2000, the PHANTASM folks are still seeking backing and PHANTASM V may well be pushed forward to 2002. In any case, all Fans of this series should go to the PHANTASM site and let their voices be heard. I'd hate to see this series end on 4.

UPDATE: AUGUST 2007
PHANTASM V is now in pre-production and slated for a 2009 release.

UPDATE: JUNE 2009

After over 10 years of false starts, PHANTASM V is dead again.


2009
PHANTASM's 30th birthday is celebrated at the Big Bear Film Festival.

For Phans of PHANTASM, Read RED PLANET by Rick Elkin. From the Official and Authorized Phantasm anthology PHANTASM: Excursions Into Oblivion

PHANSITES

See Feo at the PHANTASMANIA in Austin, Texas

The Official PHANTASM site

REGGIE BANNISTER

PHANTASM ARCHIVES

Return to Movies

FEO AMANTE'S HORROR THRILLER
Created by:
E.C.MULLEN JR.
COME FOLLOW ME @
Amazon
ECMJr
Feo Blog
IMDb
Stage32
Twitter
YouTube
Zazzle Shop