5 things we would have loved to see in Phantasm II
We all love and adore the action packed sequel of Phantasm II. This movie, made years after the original really showcased Mr. Don Coscarelli true talents. Universal Studios wanted to cash in on the huge horror villains that were overtaking the 1980's, so why not bring one back from the 1970's? This movie was a great film killed with amazing special effects, stunning music, great action scenes, and again one HELL of an ending. As near perfect as this film was, what are some things we would have wanted changed or added to?
1) Keep A. Michael Baldwin as Mike.
The biggest let down to this movie was the fact A. Michael Baldwin was recast due to pressue from the studio. Since Michael and Reggie hadn't acted in years, they gave Don the choice of keeping one actor, and replacing the other. I really have to hand it to Don since he fought so hard for Michael to return to the role he originally played as a young boy. He even auditioned for the role along side with such unknowns as Brad Pitt. Sadly, the studio kept their foot down, and in the end Don had to make the only choice that made sense and replaced Michael. This movie truly as amazing as it feels just doesn't seem right. Don decided to say YOLO with part III and brought back Michael to his role which seemed like somebody putting on an old comfy pair of shoes that finally fit right. Here above is a photo of Michael as a teen around the time part II was made. I somehow think this would have made the movie near perfect had the stuck with the original cast.
2) Have Jody return.
Another thing that always seemed to be missing was the character of Jody in part II. He's briefly mentioned but that's it. After basically being the lead in the original, it's a bit of a letdown not really seeing the character again, even though we learn he died in a car crash before the original film took place. I really love how Don got all the old gang back together in part III and did the clever twist of Jody being a slave/sphere by the Tall Man. Still even if they had shown him in a flashback or dream it would have grounded the character of Michael better.
3) Horror cameos!
Another thing that would have tickled me would be cameos in the film. Don does do little nods to fellow horror directors, and films (the best known is the ashes with the name Raimi on them) In all honestly if you think about it, Phantasm II is Evil Dead II with spheres. I would have LOVED seeing Sam or Ted Raimi play the funeral directors. How cool would it have been to see a Raimi brother die by a sphere!
4) Tone down on the love story. Wasn't buying it.
Another thing the studio pressured Don over was having a love story between the two young leads. Don was against this since the movie mostly focuses on Reggie and Mike fighting alone without any ties. I mean how heartbreaking was it when Reggie lost his entire family? (That scene in part III when Tim finds the photo of Reggie's daughter always gets me.) As much as I liked the female character, it all felt a little too cheesy and forced. I feel having a female lead wasn't bad at all. In fact, she kicked total ass in this movie. Still, the fact she was so connected to Mike just made me roll my eyes. I love how Don is so brutal about ending that character in part III giving zero fucks. I would have kept her just as a friend more than a forced romance. Who knows, maybe had A. Michael played Mike the chemistry would have been there.
5) Keep with the surreal dream like storylines.
YET ANOTHER thing the studio forced was the lack of dreamlike storytelling. They wanted a more straight and narrow plot that wasn't so confusing to the viewer. I for one like the mixed up plot. It stays better with my theory. Still, would have been awesome to keep seeing more nightmares, and strange moments. (Not that this film doesn't have any but I feel there could have been much richer storytelling in this!