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Reed Alexander’s Horror Review of ‘Phantasm IV’ (1998)

Phantasm: The 4th One…

Most of this movie takes place in flashbacks from the first one, or in cars on a dirt road. The rest takes place in the desert. Talk about filming on a budget. I feel like they didn’t get a permit to shoot most of this.

You know, Angus wasn’t even really in this one all that much. His health was either going at the time, or they couldn’t afford to even pay him. I really wanted to hate on this movie in a good way, a “so bad it’s good” way like the third, but there isn’t any movie to hate on. It racks up maybe a total of 45 minutes? The sort of thing you get a feeling they got in one shot, no retakes. That’s honestly fine for “so bad it’s good” but then we deserve a whole movie.

My most critical observation of this movie is that they can’t seem to hold the fucking camera steady. Seriously, it’s like found footage levels of ‘Shaky Camera.’ That, and the fact that nothing fucking happens in this damn movie. Reggie spends most of it doing nothing, Michael spends most of it talking to the Tall Man or his dead brother. Oh, and the truly RIVETING “repair the car scene.” The first 30 minutes are mostly flashbacks and exposition. In fact, the flashbacks and exposition don’t end there, that’s just where the bulk of them are.

The worst part is, there isn’t enough movie to review. Everything you just read is kinda all there is. There is one new concept I’ll talk about in the spoilers, but the rest of the movie is spread on so thinly there are whole scenes where nothing fucking happens.

I’d say “don’t watch this movie,” but there isn’t any fucking movie to not watch.


SO… the reason this movie is mostly exposition, travel, and a ton of pointless fucking flashbacks, is because this WHOLE fucking movie is just delivering Michael (or rather, the Ball that Michael has in his head) to The Tall Man.

Okay… why? We already know the Balls are basically part of The Tall Man’s slave army and can be made from basically anyone’s brain… so why not just pull the Ball out of Michael’s head in the last movie and just GO WHERE EVER THE FUCK HE WANTS WITH IT?!?

The whole movie could literally just be Tall Man ripping a Ball out of Michael’s head and leaving with it. Boom, whole movie, sixty seconds, movie over, roll fucking credits. Why, the absolute fuck, does Tall Man have to walk him down memory lane? What was the point of any of the exposition? I mean, if they’d made the movie about trying to get the Michael Ball back, that could have been something. But it’s a weird tale of Tall Man showing Michael a ton of stuff for basically no reason.

And then there’s some fucking half-ass attempt to go over Tall Man’s origin. Basically, he was a civil war doctor who was experimenting with time travel and Michael is a reincarnation that he needs for some fucking unexplained reason. Idontfuckingknow. They didn’t actually explain it, just hinted at a ton of stuff. So what the fuck was all the exposition for if they were gonna actually expose anything?!?

Yeah, don’t ‘not watch’ this ‘not actually a fucking movie.’ It’s a waste of time.

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