Horrorfest 2014 Presents: Phantasm II (1988, Don Coscarelli)


Created almost a decade after the original cult classic, Phantasm II is a really cool, well made sequel. Reggie, Mike return to do battle with The Tall Man once more after surviving the events of the first film. Hunting the evil being across the United States, this film has the look and feel of a road trip movie in addition to being a horror film. The stakes are even higher in this movie, as Mike rushes to save a girl he loves from a terrifying fate.

Unlike the first movie there is more action involved. Particularly in the form of a chainsaw battle, which is epic. Also the flying spheres of death are back and one turns out to be the ultimate in horribly killing people. The series retains its dark sense of humor and keeps the strong weird factor that makes it so watchable and interesting in the first place.

Furthermore elements of this film are right at home stylistically when it comes to some of Don Coscarelli’s work. You have inter-dimensional beings, sinister henchmen that dress only in black, and even a mocking of organized religion. It seems that many of the 80s and 90s horror films had something to comment about God, the Devil, and evil versus good in the world. Also the flamethrower moments plus the beings from another plane of existence reminded me a bit of one of his latest films, John Dies At The End, which I also enjoyed last year.

Naturally this is not the last entry in the series. I look forward to viewing the rest of the Phantasm series and enjoying what they have to offer. Oh and they are making another one, which just goes to show that nothing truly ends.

Horrorfest 2013 Presents: Leprechaun 2 (1994, Rodman Flender)


Made not too long after the first film, Leprechaun 2 is one of those rare horror movie sequels that actually manages to live up to the original. In this case I actually prefer the sequel-it ups the hilarious elements and also has some really nasty kills. Plus there is the fact that the stakes are much higher here, as the evil Leprechaun desires a human bride in revenge for being denied a bride centuries earlier. So there is that whole “Race against time” aspect that adds a layer of suspense to the proceedings. For now I find the series really entertaining, and I look forward to watching Leprechaun 3, 4, and 5. But I heard that the 6th one is quite awful, and there was supposed to be a remake in the works. How a remake would not fail to copy the rest of the series makes me wonder, and I doubt I’ll find out anytime soon.

A young man and his drunk uncle have the misfortune to encounter the angry Leprechaun, who has been brought back by the usual stupid people. After randomly murdering a few people the Leprechaun sets his eyes upon the youth’s pretty lass of a girlfriend, proceeding to kidnap her. He doesn’t even have the good sense to leave a ransom note. Nasty bugger that one. The uncle falls prey to greed, leaving the young man to desperately attempt to spring his girlfriend and prevent her from becoming the ugly wife of a horrible little green man. Its really tough for a young man who is faced with endless rivals and burdened with taking care of his lush of an uncle, but now he’s dealing with a homicidal ancient Irish folk creature. That’s tough.

Even cheesier than the first one and having more crazy kills (although none of them match the pogo stick death from the original), Leprechaun 2 is pretty enjoyable for what it is, choosing to not reinvent the wheel or deviate from what worked in the first place. The series has its own brand of deranged bleak humor that is easy to laugh at, and I would still love a Chucky vs. Leprechaun film. Too bad it will never happen.

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