Phantasm IV: Oblivion (1998) [31 Days of Gore]

Oh, for fuck’s sake.

Yesterday I praised Phantasm III for preserving the mythology established in the first film. Phantasm IV undoes every bit of it. This might be the worst movie I’ve ever featured on 31 Days of Gore. The fact that it garnered a review score comparable to the previous film on Amazon and IMDB indicates there are a lot of delusional fans out there. 
The first ten minutes of the movie are flashbacks. Flashbacks to the previous films, flashbacks to unused footage from the original film, freshly shot flashbacks which completely and utterly stamp out every ounce of greatness the series held until this point. Once you think the movie’s done flashbacking, it flashbacks some more. It’s as if Don Coscarelli woke up one day and thought, Hey, I know how to fuck up the series! I’ll add time travel to it!

There’s a scene in which Mike is pursued by the Tall Man through an old looking town. When Mike asks where he’s at, Jody replies he should worry more about when rather than where, suggesting he’s gone far back in time. Considering there’s a sign which plainly says Staples, I’m guessing it’d have to be sometime after ’86 unless it’s literally a staples store. I mention this scene without context because there is none. Coscarelli, who I otherwise admire tremendously, constructs the flimsiest excuses to unload footage which wasn’t good enough for the original movie, and shoots new footage which isn’t coherent enough to string all the old stuff together.
I know the series hasn’t shown the best continuity, but to suddenly make the Tall Man a human (this is revealed in the first half of the movie so I’m forgoing a spoiler tag) after it was explicitly made clear he wasn’t is the dumbest thing I’ve seen in a movie in a long time. And the conclusion to the previous film’s cliffhanger is handled so sloppily, you’ll wonder if Coscarelli actually wanted to make another Phantasm movie at all.
Hellraiser IV hurts less than this piece of shit does. Phantasm I-III make up one of the greatest horror trilogies of all time. Part IV doesn’t do the Phantasm name justice.

I’ll be featuring the fifth film at midnight, Central Time, but if it’s anything like this one, I won’t have anything kind to say about it, which really bums me out.

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