I’ve taken a look at the first three Phantasm films and now I’m looking at the fourth which is titled Oblivion. The third film for me at least went a little too much with the comedy element, will the fourth carry this on or return to the first films surreal creepiness? Well it’s time to find out, here’s my Phantasm IV Blu-ray Review.
- Phantasm IV (1998) aka Phantasm IV: Oblivion
- Running Time: 90 Mins
- UK Rating 18
- Released By Arrow Video
- Blu-ray Released: 24th April 2017
The story follows on from the previous film with Mike taking off in a hearse leaving poor old Reggie pinned against the wall by The Tall Man’s Spheres. Once Reggie has to overcome that minor little inconvenience but decides against following Mike that is until Jody reappears via one of those spheres and tells him Mike needs his help and to simply drive south west.
Mike’s quest is to find out who The Tall Man really is…
The story is written by Don Coscarelli.
Style / Direction
Directed by Don Coscarelli Phantasm IV begins with an incredibly stylish intro that shows The Tall Man walking through a mausoleum at night whilst a car drives through the grave yard. This feels straight away like a scene from the first film and the film does indeed go back to the tone of the first two films. The Lord of the Dead was in my opinion a little too much on the comedy side whereas Oblivion goes back to the more strange surreal feeling that made the franchise so popular.
I much prefer the fourth films story to as it attempts to add more background to the mysterious Tall Man. Don’t get me wrong the film doesn’t really explain anything simply adding more mystery. That said Phantasm IV Oblivion is a far better experience.
The cinematography is handled by Chris Chomyn.
Music / Audio Effects
Whilst the main theme is not used as much it’s still present when required, the music is provided by Christopher L. Stone.
Acting / Characters
Whereas the third film was Reggie’s story Oblivion is Mike’s with Reggie playing more of a backup role. Don’t worry though Reggie still has plenty of bizarre scenes allowing him to use his trusty modified shotgun.
All the main actors return for the fourth film, with Michael Baldwin continuing as Mike, Bill Thornbury as his brother Jody and Reggie Bannister as Reggie. Oh and let’s not forget the films real star Angus Scrimm as The Tall Man.
To be honest the acting is good enough for the style of film and is better with comedy element toned down a little.
Conclusion: Phantasm IV Film Review
As you would expect the quality of the films generally reduces with the more sequels which is not really a criticism more of an observation. In essence sequels are just trying to find some way of re-telling the same story over and over again and this usually means by the fourth and fifth outings pretty much anything of interest story wise has already been explored. That said Phantasm IV unlike the previous sequel does attempt to add a bit more background to The Tall Man’s story. I’m not sure it truly succeeds but it does make for a more interesting if confused film.
Some of the reason of this approach may well be down to the ever shrinking budget for the sequels. In fact there are several previously unused scenes from the first film that are used in Phantasm IV as flashback scenes which is one way of getting around the obvious lack of budget. This for the most part works ok but is more of make the story around what footage we already have approach.
In the end Oblivion feels like it is merely setting up the next film posing more questions than it gives answers.
Only one film left to review and conclude The Tall Man’s story unless they make another film. If they do it will be without the iconic Angus Scrimm who is sadly no longer with us and I personally think it would be wrong to either remake or produce any more sequels.
If you like my Phantasm IV Blu-ray Review you may want to check out these films:
- It Follows (2014) Blu-ray Review
- Lights Out (2016) Blu-ray Review
- Phantasm (1979) Blu-ray Review
- Phantasm II (1988) Blu-ray Review
- Phantasm III (1994) Blu-ray Review
- Stonehearst Asylum (2014) Blu-ray Review
Conclusion: Phantasm IV Blu-ray Review
Like Phantasm 1-3 the picture quality is excellent, with the image is sharp and clear with the colours vibrant, furthermore the print is speckle free.
On to the extras and Arrow Video continues with Reflections of Fear: Realising Phantasm IV. This features interviews with cast and crew and their thoughts on the passing of Angus Scrimm.
Yet more interesting extras are included
- Reflections of Fear: Realising Phantasm IV (18 mins)
- Behind the Scenes (9mins)
On to my movie rating for Phantasm IV: Oblivion (1998)
- Movie Rating: WELL WORTH WATCHING
- Blu-ray Picture: PERFECT
- Extras: EXCELLENT
Phantasm IV: Oblivion (1998) is available now as part of the complete boxset on Blu-ray.
Amazon UK Links
For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…
Clip may not be representative of the Blu-ray version
So that’s Phantasm IV Blu-ray review, if you have any thoughts on this film you can leave them in the comment section below:
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Summary: Phantasm IV Blu-ray Review (1998)
Director(s): Don Coscarelli
Actor(s): Reggie Bannister, Michael Baldwin, Angus Scrimm, Bill Thornbury
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Picture Rating
Phantasm IV returns to the surreal and creepiness of the original.