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E.C. McMullen Jr.
"'Some People' ... may be the standout story in the book."
- John Grant, Infinityplus
E.C. McMullen Jr.
"'Willow Blue' will burrow under your skin and stay there long after you've put the book down."
- Jeffrey Reddick, Creator of
IN OTHER BOOKS
E.C. McMullen Jr.'s
CEDO LOOKED LIKE PEOPLE
in the anthology
FEAR THE REAPER
"This Ray Bradbury-esque is one of the most memorable and one of the more original stories I've read in a long time."
- Steve Isaak,
The Silver Scream
E.C. McMULLEN Jr.,
GEORGE A. ROMERO,
and many more.
Extensively quoted in
The Unauthorized Companion
Robert S. Rhine's
CIRCUS OF HELL
GAHAN WILSON &
Featuring comics by
E.C. McMullen Jr.
Head Production Designer
JOSEPH CROSS, BRIANA EVIGAN,
Special Effects Make-Up
A SIERRA NEVADA
(MICHAEL MADSEN & JOHN SAVAGE).
Some movies induce good or even better sequels at first, then go swirling down the drain. ALIEN and ALIENS were two great movies, but 3 and 4 stank. HELLRAISER and HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER 2 were good movies, but again, 3 and 4 stank. A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET series was simply Good, Bad, Good, Okay, Crap, Crappity, Crap, Not bad!
Writer/Director Don Coscarelli (PHANTASM [all], BEAST MASTER, SURVIVAL QUEST) has never been the best writer, but what he lacked in storytelling ability, he more than made up for in vision and cinematography. I mean PHANTASM! WOW!
I've heard from many die hard fans of the series that PHANTASM IV: OBLIVION was so bad it hurt their fond memories of the other three. That's sad. On the other hand, there have been a few fans who swear that this is the absolute best PHANTASM ever, that the rest of us don't understand it, because we aren't "True Phantasm Phans"! I have asked two of them* to explain to me what it was I didn't understand. One gave me the ignorance disguised as genius remark:
"If you can't understand it, then I won't be able to explain it to you."
Which is another way of saying
"I am unable to explain it myself."
I'm pretty sure that if I can understand physics, genetics, and the Upanishads, then I can understand a lack-luster flick like PHANTASM IV: OBLIVION.
What is obvious here is that Don Coscarelli didn't have a story to tell, but he did have the money to spend. So he brought together the old crew and threw us a bone by adding a bunch of old never-before-seen footage from PHANTASM and topped it all off by introducing a few ideas that he didn't know how to end. To be very very forgiving, call it a transitional movie, one that takes you from PHANTASM III to PHANTASM V. It didn't have to be that way, but Coscarelli couldn't think of anything better. Considering the fact that he created this world in the first place, it's a shame that he did 4. Sort of like Ira Levin ruining ROSEMARY'S BABY with ROSEMARY'S SON (which has its Levin-can-do-no-wrong fans too), Ugh!
This movie does have its moments of course, and all those center around Reggie (Reggie Bannister: PHANTASM [all], WISHMASTER - Visit the Reggie photo Gallery). The Demon Cop (Bob Ivy: stunt car driver for PHANTASM III) scene is the best in the flick.
Fanwise, Reggie is the favorite character in the series after The Tall Man (Angus Scrimm: SWEET KILL [as Rory Guy], PHANTASM [all], SUBSPECIES, WISHMASTER), Reggie not only provides much needed humor and humanity to the flick, but his personal problems reflect our own. Reggie isn't worried about saving the world, he cannot conceive of saving the world; he just wants to get through the terrors of the Tall Man in one piece with his skin, and his friend's skin, intact: and maybe find some love in his life. Let other fans imagine themselves the super surrealistic heroes and villains; I identify with Reggie.
For PHANTASM IV: OBLIVION, there is no story and no movie and if the fans want PHANTASM V^ to be any good, then they need to knock off their pathetic "More Phantasm Phan than thou!" attitude and demand better.
There is a reason this one went "direct to video" and is for "completists" only.