Tuesday, October 23, 2018

31 Days of Halloween - Day 23 - movie

Phantasm IV - Oblivion (1998) has the least going on in it of  any of the films this series, thus far, with the bulk of the film being made up of padding and flashbacks consisting of cut scenes from the first film.

Mike and Reggie are separated throughout most of the film. Mike spends what time he's not sitting in a car, or walking through a canyon, trying to come to terms with who he is now, now that he has one of the chrome spheres in his head, and yellow formaldehyde for blood. Is he still human, or one of the Tall Man's creatures? He has telekinetic powers, and the Tall Man, spends quite a bit of time waiting for Mike to accept his fate and to go join him. It's very much a Darth Vader/Luke Skywalker relationship now -- without lightsaber battles. Mike dimension hops a few times and sees the Tall Man's origin, which changes, nor really adds, nothing.

Meanwhile Reggie does even less, wanting to give up chasing after Mike and the Tall Man, but doing it anyway. To create the illusion that Reggie really needs to be in this film, he encounters a monster impersonating a police officer, and a damsel in distress, who ends up being a host to two spheres, and he fights some of the dwarf creatures, but that's pretty much it.

Even though this film was made with the shortest amount of time separating it from its predecessor, the inclusion of flashbacks to the time of the first film shows just how much the cast has aged in the twenty years since the original film was made. Unintentionally, the film is pervaded by a sadness for these characters who really seem to have thrown away their lives on their mad pursuit, because their visible aging shows just how long they've been at it. It would be almost 20 years before the final film would be made and released.

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