Wednesday, October 24, 2018

31 Days of Halloween - Day 24 - Movie 1

Phantasm: Ravager (2016) is the fifth, and final, film in the series. The time-whimey dimension hopping aspect of the series comes front in center in this segment, which focuses on Reggie bouncing back and forth from several narratives. In one, we pick up shortly after the events of the previous film, with Reggie hunting for Mike and Jodie and the Tall Man while being pursued by a number of silver spheres. Following the pattern of previous episodes, Reggie picks up an unattainable woman and pulls her into the drama that he's involved in with supernatural forces.

There's also another time line, which is more in keeping with the nearly two decades that have transpired in the real world between this and the previous Phantasm world. In this one a discombobulated Reggie is rescues from a table where he's been lying for years, unconscious, with the top of his head thrust into one of the gateways to another dimension. Reggie is awakened by a group of freedom fighters, which includes Mike, Jody, and Rocky from the third film, in an Earth where the Tall Man has essentially won. Cities are now a burning wasteland occupied by the Tall Man's minions, and giant, Death Star sized spheres hover over the landscape. It is a bleak world, and one wonders if the freedom fighters can possibly win, and if they do, will there be anything left worth winning back.

The third narrative is the most interesting and completely colors the entire series. This one is set in the present day where Mike regularly visits Reggie at a nursing home where Reggie is being treated for dementia and nearing the end of his life. In this narrative, Mike has no experience with the Tall Man, other than Reggie's stories, which are taken as the product of his diminishing faculties. The worlds do all collide, and at the end, we're left with two bleak possibilities as to the true nature of the events in this series.

This is by no means a perfect film. It's obviously small budget is stretched with passable CGI which adds scope, and in terms of the weird fantasy established in earlier films, is not much of a detrimental element. The story would have benefitted with more scenes of the Tall Man, but Angus Scrimm was obviously in poor health during the filming and has limited, but memorable participation.

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