Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead
Phantasm 3.jpg
theatrical release poster
Directed byDon Coscarelli
Produced byDon Coscarelli
Written byDon Coscarelli
StarringReggie Bannister
A. Michael Baldwin
Bill Thornbury
Gloria Lynne Henry
Kevin Connors
Cindy Ambuehl
Brooks Gardner
John Davis Chandler
Angus Scrimm
Music byFred Myrow
Christopher L. Stone
CinematographyChris Chomyn
Edited byNorman Buckley
Distributed byStarway International Inc.
Anchor Bay (DVD)
Release date
  • May 6, 1994 (1994-05-06)
Running time
91 minutes
CountryUnited States

Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead (also known as Phantasm III) is a 1994 American science fantasy horror film and the second sequel in the Phantasm series, written and directed by Don Coscarelli. The film stars Angus Scrimm as the Tall Man, Reggie Bannister, and A. Michael Baldwin. It is followed by Phantasm IV: Oblivion.


Immediately after his apparent demise at the end of Phantasm II, a new Tall Man emerges from a dimensional portal. At the same time, the hearse that carries Liz and Mike explodes. Reggie finds Liz dead but saves Mike from the Tall Man by threatening to kill them all with a grenade. The Tall Man retreats with Liz's head and threatens to return for Mike when he's well again. After Mike spends two years comatose in the hospital, he has a near death experience in which his dead brother Jody and the Tall Man appear. As he wakes from his coma, he is attacked by a demonic nurse but quickly subdues her. Reggie arrives as she dies, her scalp bursting open to reveal a sphere which takes off through the window after it approaches Mike. Back at home, the Tall Man arrives via dimensional fork, fights off Reggie, transforms Jody into a charred sphere, and draws Mike through the gate with him.

The next morning, Reggie (with the Jody-sphere) travels to a deserted town and is captured by three looters, who lock him in the trunk of the Hemi-'Cuda. Reggie is rescued by a young boy named Tim, who kills the looters when they break into his house. After they have buried the looters in the yard, Tim tells Reggie how the Tall Man took his parents and destroyed the town. In the morning, Reggie and Tim find the three graves empty and their hearse gone. Reggie tries to leave Tim with an orphanage, but the boy hides in Reggie's car. Reggie enters a mausoleum and is confronted by a sphere, but he is subdued by two young women, Tanesha and Rocky, before he can destroy it. Reggie tries to warn them, but Tanesha is killed by the sphere. Tim appears and destroys it with his pistol. The three join forces, come upon a convoy of hearses driven by Gravers, and decide to follow them.

At night, Jody appears to Reggie in a dream and takes him to the Tall Man's lair, where they rescue Mike. As Reggie wakes, Jody opens a portal and Mike emerges. The Tall Man tries to follow, but Reggie closes the portal, leaving the Tall Man's hands behind. After fighting off the Tall Man's minions, including the undead looters, they enter a large mortuary. Inside, they find a cryonics facility, and Mike remembers that the Tall Man dislikes cold. While Reggie, Rocky, and Tim are separated and attacked by the looters, Mike consults with the Jody-sphere, who explains that the Tall Man is amassing an army to conquer dimensions: brains are harvested to turn into the killer spheres, and the bodies are shrunken and turned into drones. The Tall Man senses their presence, captures Mike, and straps him onto a table. Two of the looters wheel in Tim. Mike tries to give a message to Tim, warning him that "there are thousands of them", but Mike is paralyzed by the Tall Man.

Meanwhile, Rocky defeats her attacker and helps Reggie. Cut free by the Jody-sphere, Tim runs into the remaining looters, who are killed by the Jody-sphere and Reggie's 4-barrel shotgun. The trio crash into the embalming room, where the Tall Man is operating on Mike. Rocky impales the Tall Man with a spear dipped in liquid nitrogen, and they lock him in the refrigerator room. However, a golden sphere breaks out of his head and attacks them; Reggie catches it in a plunger and, with some help, manages to dump it into the nitrogen tank. Mike finds a golden sphere in his own head, and his eyes turn silver. Complaining of the cold, he leaves with Jody and warns Reggie to stay away. Reggie suggests exploring the mortuary, but Rocky declines and leaves too. Tim reports that Mike tried to warn him, but they find out too late that there are dozens of spheres left, and Reggie is pinned to the wall by them. As Tim is about to destroy the spheres by his pistol, a new Tall Man reappears, says "It's never over" and watches as Tim is pulled through a window by a creature.



After studio interference forced out A. Michael Baldwin for the second film, he was brought back in Phantasm III.[1] Kerry Prior handled the sphere effects.[2]


The movie had a brief two-week theatrical run in two markets in May 1994: Baton Rouge and St. Louis. In both markets, Phantasm III was the highest-grossing film the two weeks it played. According to Reggie Bannister, Universal Studios refused to theatrically distribute the film in a proper release due to a conflict with Coscarelli.[3] The film was released direct-to-video in October 1994. In 1996, the Los Angeles Times reported that Phantasm III was one of the top 100 highest selling direct-to-video titles.[4]

An unrated version of the film was released in 2007 by Anchor Bay Entertainment, featuring an audio commentary by A. Michael Baldwin and Angus Scrimm, a deleted scene, and behind-the-scenes footage.[5]


Rotten Tomatoes reports that Phantasm III received a positive review from 40% of ten surveyed critics, and the average rating was 4.6/10.[6] Scott Weinberg of Fearnet wrote that while the sequels lack the punch of the original, they're still fun.[7] Steve Barton of DreadCentral rated the film 3.5/5 stars and described the film's humor as hit-or-miss.[5]

The film won Fangoria's Chainsaw Award for best limited-release film.[8]


  1. ^ Sutton, David (2006). "Don Coscarelli". Fortean Times. Archived from the original on 2013-11-05. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  2. ^ O'Hehir, Andrew (2013-01-24). "Paul Giamatti and Don Coscarelli on "John Dies at the End"". Salon. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  3. ^ Johnson, Steve (2009-07-28). "30 Years of Phantasm: An Exclusive Interview with Reggie Bannister". Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  4. ^ Brass, Kevin (1996-04-19). "Video Invasion: B Film Makers Battle A-List for a Place on Shelf". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  5. ^ a b Barton, Steve (2007-04-08). "Phantasm III (DVD) Review". DreadCentral. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
  6. ^ "Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
  7. ^ Weinberg, Scott (2007-04-12). "Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead (1994)". Fearnet. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
  8. ^ "Phantasm III". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2013-08-24.

External links[edit]