Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead' (1994)
Lord of the Franchise Trash Films...
Eh, I was expecting this to be much worse than it was. Don't get me wrong, it’s bad, but I remember it being dreadful, nigh unwatchable. I mean, Angus always makes every instalment of the Phantasm franchise completely worth it with his presence (rest waiting in the nightmares of children, Angus). I have to say the same with his performance here. Regardless of how bad the movie is, he always stuns with his presentation to the Tall Man.
But the plot is just so fucking incoherent. Look, I thought it was pretty cool that they explained how the spheres were made (more on this later), but pretty much everything else made no goddamn sense.
And the way they brought the characters together was like something out of a shitty 80s fantasy movie. Seriously, it’s like every scene after the opening credits was about acquiring a new companion. And with the character they picked for the badass, you could tell they definitely wanted Grace Jones and likely couldn't afford her.
You know what was weird, though? As awful as this movie was, it was actually entertaining. I'm not even sure how, I didn't even spend a lot of time riffing it. I just constantly found myself chuckling at all the absolute nonsense they strung together. The acting was abysmal; bad for even porn (save Angus). The writing was inexcusably poor, like a toddler had done it. And I can’t bomb on the plot any harder as it already resembles the forward trenches of WWI.
I have to say, it really did entertain in some obscure way, like Troll 2 is so bad it’s good… or maybe it was just causing brain damage. Either way, I'm not gonna recommend this movie even as a good-bad movie. Hardcore fans of the franchise only.
So, you're telling me that the black sphere gets to be the friendly little helper sphere? Um... why? Yeah, yeah, I get it, it was his brother's mind in one of the spheres and their bond helped bring him back, blahdy-fucking-blah. What the fuck is that crap? Is this the fucking Care Bears? I thought I was watching part of the "Phantasm" franchise. What's next, they're gonna have the Tall Man teach me to share my fucking juice box?
Then there was the undead fun gang. What a fucking pack of jokers. Look, turn them into mutant fucking rat men like the rest of the franchise. I just don't get why they needed to add zombies that looked like they danced their way out of the thriller video. This movie was made in 1994, not 1984. A decade passed people, get with the fucking program!
And someone wanna fucking explain to me how Michael turned out to be one of the Tall Man's people? How the fuck does that make any sense?! What, he's been one of them the whole time and he just now found out? You wanna fucking explain that one too me? First of all... why? What possible use could he serve the Tall Man? Second of all, at what point during the franchise could this actually fit into the plot other than a complete retcon of the back story. If Mike has been a sleeper this whole time, why not just wake him up in the first movie? Fuck that was a dumb twist.
But maybe the absolute ridiculousness of the completely incoherent plot is what makes this installment so charming. Maybe it's why I enjoyed it. Frankly, it still gives me a bit of a chuckle writing about it, even though I think I may have permanently lost an IQ point for watching it.