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Phantasm IV: Oblivion

Phantasm IV: Oblivion (1998) Movie Poster
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  •  USA  •    •  90m  •    •  Directed by: Don Coscarelli.  •  Starring: A. Michael Baldwin, Reggie Bannister, Bill Thornbury, Heidi Marnhout, Bob Ivy, Angus Scrimm, Christopher L. Stone, Chloe Kay, Sylvia Flammer, David Gasster, Sasha Kassel, Aidan Kassel, Eric Avary.  •  Music by: Christopher L. Stone.
       Taking off immediately where the last one ended, in this episode Mike travels across dimensions and time fleeing from the Tall Man, at the same time he tries to find the origins of his enemy, and what really happened the night that his brother died. Meanwhile, Reggie (accompanied by a beauty he picked up on the road) battles the spheres and the undead in a quest to find Mike before the Tall Man can complete his transformation.

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Review:

Image from: Phantasm IV: Oblivion (1998)
Image from: Phantasm IV: Oblivion (1998)
Image from: Phantasm IV: Oblivion (1998)
Image from: Phantasm IV: Oblivion (1998)
Image from: Phantasm IV: Oblivion (1998)
Image from: Phantasm IV: Oblivion (1998)
Image from: Phantasm IV: Oblivion (1998)
Image from: Phantasm IV: Oblivion (1998)
Image from: Phantasm IV: Oblivion (1998)
Image from: Phantasm IV: Oblivion (1998)
Image from: Phantasm IV: Oblivion (1998)
Image from: Phantasm IV: Oblivion (1998)
Image from: Phantasm IV: Oblivion (1998)
Opening up with a recap on what has happened so far, "Phantasm IV: Oblivion" begins with the ending of "Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead" and continues the ongoing struggle of good vs. evil with Mike (A. Michael Baldwin) and The Tall Man (Angus Scrimm). We see Mike driving a hearse down a desert road in effort to get as far away from the mysterious Tall Man with Reggie (Reggie Bannister) following Mike. While Reggie deals with demon cops and a sexy lady (Heidi Maranhout), Mike travels through multiple portals and discovers how The Tall Man came to this dimension and if his brother Jody (Bill Thornbury) is really what he seems to be.

Phantasm IV is the most recent entry in the series to date but thank god it is not the last as there will be one more film on the way. While Phantasm II and Phantasm III were both very straightforward, Oblivion brings back the strange and unique feel of the original. So in short, you often have no idea what the hell is going on. ANd the fact that they show deleted scenes from the original Phantasm as part of the story really doesn't help either. I consider Phantasm IV to be a little better than the disappointing (but still good) third entry of the series, but my issue with this one is that even though you are entertained throughout and your eyes will probably be glued to the screen, nothing really happens when you think about it. You see a lot of Mike driving. Then Reggie driving, then Mike sitting in the desert. Reggie driving some more. Mike still sitting in the desert. Had the movie had more than one setting (not counting the ones in the portal jumping) it may not have felt this way. Towards the end it gets a lot more interesting and a lot of stuff happens but everything else was more or less a build up. The other thing is the ending. Thank god Phantasm V was announced because this has an extremely vague and unsatisfying ending. If you have seen 1-3, which all have the same ending more or less (which is vague also), this one blows it out of the park. Basically the film reaches it's climax, drifts to something completely random, and just ends out of the blue. And this is ten years (1998 at the time) before another film will be seen. Wow...

Continuity errors are what really disappointed me about the third movie, but aside from The Tall Man's need for Mike to be alive carried over from the third, one this one luckily has none. The amazing Phantasm score isn't really played, but a slow violin version that sounds great is herd often which adds to the drama of the film (also herd in 2 and 3). Despite that there isn't much going on in the middle, the film manages to be extremely entertaining and if you are a fan of the series your sure to really like this one. Reggie Bannister serves as the source of humor and bad-ass hero who once was an ice cream vendor once again gives a great performance as does Angus Scimm as the sinister Tall Man as usual. Michael Baldwin gives a much better performance than in Phantasm III which was good to know. Like Phantasm III, Bill Thornbury is just kind of there but unlike Phantasm III he actually has importance in this one.

The Breakdown:

PROS: Captivating story, Great score, Likable characters, Dosen't contain many continuity errors unlike it's predecessor, Attractive women (Heidi Maranhout), Very surreal, And who wouldn't like to see a bald and middle-aged ex-ice cream vendor dressed in his old uniform shooting demon midgets with a quad barrel shot-gun?

CONS: The ending will really annoy you for a really long time, Though the film contains many of silver spheres, there arn't any real drilling's:(, and you occasionally have no idea what is going on.

OVERALL: It isn't as good as "Phantasm" or "Phantasm II", but "Phantasm IV: Oblivion" is yet another satisfying entry to this amazing fantasyhorror series. While the series tends to be more horror, this one seems more of a fantasydrama. Not that thats bad thing though. If you haven't seen any of the Phantasm movies I recommend you do as it is a great franchise. Also Reggie Bannister does a surprisingly good song called "Have You Seen It?" played in the credits and was made for th film.


Review by ZeldaFan2929 from the Internet Movie Database.