Sitting through “A Very Joe Bob Christmas” on Shudder and getting the chance to re-watch four of the five Phantasm films was really fun. I do wish they would have had Phantasm II available with all that good info from Joe Bob, but no luck. So we got the chance to see Phantasm, the Phantasm III – Ravager, with Joe Bob and Reggie Bannister. It was a good time and the first time I had ever watched any of the movies back to back. I did not try and make sense of them, because in many ways, it is impossible. Anyone who says they understand the movies and get them 100% is lying.
But, it did make me realize how good each movie is, I mean, they are all pretty decent. I did not see a drop in any of the movies, story wise. Phantasm as a series is episodic, which makes it hard to judge each movie. Of course Phantasm is the classic and the last great horror film of the 1970s.
I love these movies, each of them and I do not believe one to be weaker than the next. Ravager, being the fifth entry, by rule of sequels, should be terrible, it isn’t. It feels like the next chapter, it is pretty messed up at times, but it ties the series together in an odd…Phantasm sort of way. While Oblivion was, kind of beautiful in ways, adding the scenes from the cutting room floor of the original movie were terrific. One thing Phantasm has that not many film series have, a story that involves the same characters, Mike, Jody and of course Reggie. We see these character for 37 years, sure Mike was replaced by a different actor in Phantasm II, but it was still Mike.
So, in making a list, or ranking them worst to first, I looked to the IMDB.com scores, which…only showed each movie was worse than the last. I guess that is fair.
So, how do we rank the Phantasm movies…? Easy, Phantasm is the best and each movie, is just an extension of the first. So, this now turns in to a “cop out”.
5 Phantasm Ravager (2016)
This is a good movie, when I saw it was coming, I thought…this cannot be good. But it is, it doesn’t feel like the end of the series, but I love it.
4. Phantasm Oblivion (1998)
Any movie with Reggie is a good one. But one of the best things about Oblivion is seeing, kind of an origin to the Tall Man. I really enjoyed seeing scenes filmed for the first movie, but cut added in Oblivion.
3. Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead (1994)
While we can argue that most Phantasm films are bat-shit, III may be the most bat shit. Maybe not, it is a fun ride and it was really great to see Reggie back with the original Mike and Jody.
2. Phantasm II (1988)
A big studio production and a recast of Mike. Reggie breaks out the 4-barrel for the biggest budget and some of the best effects of the series.
1. Phantasm (1979)
As Uncle Rayzilla would say, Phantasm is the last great horror movie of the 1970s. Anyone who says they completely understand Phantasm is lying. That comes from Joe Bob and Don Coscarelli. IT is weird, is it a dream, when did Jody actually die? Doesn’t matter, Phantasm is the longest running horror series, without straying from the original story or being reboot.
The Phantasm series is legendary and I honestly think it is hard to rank them. Each is the next chapter in the overall saga and every movie brings more to the story, even the myhos.
I would love to see more Phantasm movies. I am sorry if you thought would have some kind of alternate ranking, but it couldn’t happen that way. Phantasm is in no way perfect, but it is a good series and one that is great to marathon.
We also need to give some respect to Reggie, he really is the anchor of the series and the man never gets laid! I think Reggie is one of THE top Horror Heroes, no joke. All respect to Reggie Bannister!