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It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Movie

Phantasm II (1988)

[2.5 turkeys]

This movie is slightly better than the first, as it provides many more bad movie laughs and isn't nearly as slow. However, it's still pretty slow, and it requires you to simultaneously believe the events of the first movie were both a dream and real. Whatever.

It's seven years after the events of the first movie, and Mike is now played by a different actor. This is a good thing, because I really hated the annoying little girl who played him in the first movie. Mike is in a mental institution, apparently put there by Reggie. Remember the dream sequence from the first movie? Well, apparently the part where Mike was talking to Reggie about the dream was also a dream. Or not. It's hard to understand what was a dream and what wasn't, so the movie really doesn't try to explain it one way or the other.

Mike gets out of the mental institution because he hears some hot chick calling to him in his head. I felt that was quite ironic, myself, but I'll let you draw your own conclusions. He immediately goes to the local graveyard and starts digging up graves. Reggie finds him there, saying, "I was afraid I'd find you here." Mike points out that he's dug up three graves so far, and all the caskets are empty. Reggie still doesn't believe his crazy story of the Tall Man, The Ball, and the evil midgets.

Reggie starts believing, though, when Mike predicts that Reg's house will blow up and kill everyone inside, which it does just as they drive the Hemicuda into the dooryard. Reg becomes a believer suddenly, so after the funeral they're off to rob a sporting goods store.

Technically, they're not robbing the store, as Reg dumps a fistful of money in the register as they're leaving. However, that just makes you wonder, what on earth made them risk arrest and prosecution for grand theft when they intended to pay for all the stuff anyway?

They take all sorts of shovels, picks, guns, ammo, and propane tanks. Mike constructs a flamethrower from the propane tanks, and Reg constructs a four barrel shotgun. Mike also takes a welder's helmet, which he wears in some of the darkest places. I haven't actually done any welding in my life, but I have worn a welder's helmet. Let me just say I don't think I could wear one of those outside on a bright summer day and not have trouble seeing. And yet Mike wears it inside many a dark building throughout the movie.

Now that they're well armed, the two drive off in the Hemicuda. They're tracking the Tall Man (he's called the Tall Man for the first time in this movie), and they know they're on the right track because they keep driving through towns that are totally destroyed. Huh? Does nobody else in the world notice when these towns just completely disappear? The stores and houses are all boarded up, and there are cars overturned in the middle of the road. Why didn't this happen to Reggie and Mike's town? And why don't people come clean the place up afterwards, anyway?

At one of these towns, Reg and Mike go to the local cemetery and find all the graves wide open and empty. Again, I ask why nobody else notices this stuff? You'd think it'd be all over the TV and stuff. They go into the funeral home, where Mike finds a woman's body on a gurney. He turns around, then turns back, and she's gone. Reg yells for Mike, and Mike goes running, apparently forgetting all about the disappearing woman. Reg continues to yell, then decides it more prudent to whisper when Mike actually shows up. They find what looks like the girl from Mike's dreams, but it's really not, as a shrunken version of the Tall Man's face bursts out her back to address them.

Later, as they're driving down the road, Mike dreams of seeing the girl he saw on the table hitchhiking. He wakes up and begins to tell Reg about it, only to find that she's in the back seat. Mike has Reg pull the Hemi over, and the two of them take a leak on the side of the road, nearly facing each other as they do. Mike tells Reg he's been dreaming of this girl, but Reg is horny, so they keep her.

Meanwhile, Elisabeth's (Mike's dream girl) grandpa dies, and her grandma disappears. So naturally she goes to the mausoleum looking for them.

Back to Mike and Reg -- Kimmy, the girl they picked up, takes them to her uncle's bed and breakfast, which is deserted like pretty much everything else in the entire world. Kimmy doesn't seem to think anything is that odd when the guys take their guns and ammo out of the trunk of the Hemi and booby-trap the entire house with grenades and shotguns.

Back to Liz -- she's in the mausoleum, along with the priest who performed her grandfather's funeral. The priest is not liking what is going on either, and he's liking it even less when the Tall Man catches him in the mausoleum. The Tall Man causes the priest to be hung with his own rosary and says to him, "You think that when you die, you go to heaven? You come to US." Priceless stuff. The Tall Man inexplicably lets the priest down, and the priest runs away down the hall. However, the Tall Man unleashes The Balls (there are three of them this time around, one of them gold colored). The Balls whip down the hallway after the priest, and one of them cuts off his ear, then comes back around and buries itself in his forehead. Liz is standing nearby, and she watches in horror as the priest's blood flies everywhere.

While she's trying to escape, Liz is accosted by one of the evil dwarfs, which turns out to be her grandmother. She hauls off and wails the dwarf with a convenient vase, sending it flying across the hall. "Sorry, grandma," she says sadly, before running away.

Liz runs outside, where she and Mike finally meet. Reg and Mike take her back to the booby-trapped house, where they spend the night. However, the Tall Man shows up in the middle of the night and steals Liz, so Mike and Reg take off in the Hemi (leaving Kimmy behind) in pursuit of the Tall Man's hearse.

Remember the stupid chase from the first movie? Well, we get it in reverse here, but thankfully somebody realized how fast a Hemicuda can go, so the Hemi easily catches up with the hearse. However, before anything of note can really happen, Mike hits a big rock, and THE HEMICUDA CRASHES! NO!!! Oh dear. Oh no. Not the Hemicuda!!!

Mike and Reg get out just as the Hemi explodes (NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!) and make their way on foot to the mausoleum. They find a doorway that looks like it has a lock in the shape of one of the spheres, so they go off in search of a sphere so they can open the door. In the meantime, Reg pours some hydrocloric acid in the embalming fluid.

So they split up, and Mike immediately gets accosted by some random evil guy as he meets Liz running down the hall. Lucky for them, one of The Balls comes flying around the corner and embeds itself in the guy's hand, pinning it to the door behind him. The guy hacks his own hand off as the golden sphere comes flying around the corner, and everyone runs off.

Meanwhile, Reg has a chainsaw duel with a gasmask-wearing evil dude down in the basement.

Meanwhile meanwhile, Reg and Liz hide behind a door trying to get away from the golden ball. The ball melts through the door, blows up a mouse, then chases them through several more doors. The one-handed guy shows up again out of nowhere and gets killed by the golden sphere.

Meanwhile meanwhile meanwhile, Reg wins his duel with the chainsaw gasmask guy, then gets ambushed by four evil midgets. He uses the four barrel shotgun, which has surprisingly no recoil at all, and blows away all four of them in a classic scene. Then, he takes a page from Sinbad's book and instead of reloading the gun and taking it with him, he throws it down and walks off.

Mike and Liz go back for the ball that is buried in the now dead evil guy's hand, and Reg shows up out of nowhere. They take the ball back to the door with the sphere lock. They open the door, and inside is a virtual duplicate of the all-white room in the first movie, with the black dwarf-filled barrels and the metal rod gateway to the other planet thing.

Mike and Reg get sucked into the gateway while Liz is captured by the Tall Man. Mike and Reg crawl their way back out and embalm the Tall Man with the HCl-laced embalming fluid. Reg then torches the place with the flamethrower but mysteriously doesn't bother to actually torch the Tall Man.

The bunch of them run outside as the mausoleum burns, and Kimmy pulls up in the hearse. Reg jumps in the front with her as Mike and Liz get in the back. Kimmy, however, turns out to be an evil dead person thing, and she nearly kills Reggie and throws him out of the hearse. In the back of the hearse, Mike tries to convince Liz that this is a dream and that they're all going to wake up soon. But the Tall Man (this guy really gets around!) rolls down the tinted window between them and the front of the hearse and lets them know, in no uncertain terms, that this is not a dream.

And that's the end. The Tall Man wins again! I love this series! Let's just hope they get even stupider after this one.

Scene to watch for: The one-handed man gets it from the Gold Ball.

Best line: "God Reg, I love your head."

Things that make you go "Huh?": The Tall Man wins AGAIN?

View this movie's entry at the Internet Movie Database.

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