All Hail the Boob Spheres! The innovation of these films just keeps on coming. I am a recent fan to the Phantasm series and I have to say that after seeing all four that I am surprised I didn't find interest sooner. That absolute insanity of everything is awe inspiring. These films take twists and turns that leave you either confused or with a giant smile on your face...like the boob spheres.
Anyways, Phantasm 4. I felt this film lost a little bit of steam compared to the last 3, but when I say a little bit, I mean a very little bit. There are tons of flashbacks to the original film which turned me off a bit, but in the end it actually helped the story along. After doing a little research it sounds like the original footage was something like 3 hours long so half the movie was cut out. Knowing that made the flashbacks more comfortable because I just could not remember any of that stuff happening in the original Phantasm.
The story was great I thought. If you were to somehow jump into this installment without seeing the previous 3, you would hate it. My favorite part of all of these is how they tie together. Part 2 seems to be lost on them, but that was my favorite of the 4. The story does however get confusing. I am really going to have to have a marathon of all 4 back to back to truly understand what is going on...at least from writer/director Don Cascarelli's point of view. For the most part I caught on and very much enjoyed it. I enjoy how much of these films is left up to audience interpretation. No indepth explanation of certain things. I think this is a risky thing to do in this society because people want straight forward answers...but it is my feeling that if there were to come out and say it, this series would die. Too many people want to believe one thing or another and to just say it ruins the whole damn thing. Most likely the explanation could never live up to the speculation.
Which leads me to the ending. Wow, did not see that coming. The ending is completely open ended and explanationless. All of the films pretty much end open ended, but this one really kicked the door wide open for interpretation. Was it all a dream? Did they travel through time? Is it a flashback? etc. etc. In either case I desperately crave another phantasm movie...and soon! It is my understanding The Tall Man, Angus Scrimm, is coming up on his 80th birthday so this project needs to get moving, and quick! I need better closure than that. But, in the grand scheme of things leaving it like that is pretty cool...because I can create my own ending.
All in all - see the film. Watch them all in a row first otherwise you will go crazy. Even if the story confuses you, there is plenty of new spheres, creatures, and kick ass one liners throughout to keep you smiling. Lest not forget blowing away evil midgets with a four barreled shotgun. That alone is worth the wait...EVERYTIME!