Picks and Pans Review: Phantasm Ii

updated 08/01/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/01/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Back in the 1979 original, 12-year-old Michael Pearson was nearly murdered by the Tall Man (Angus Scrimm), a malevolent mortician who turns corpses into killer dwarfs and slices up busybodies with his flying silver sphere. Now 19 and played by James (Batteries Not Included) Le Gros, Mike hasn't learned a thing. He and his older buddy (Reggie Bannister) want revenge. Mike says a dream made him do it. A chance to make a few bucks on a sequel seems more likely. Too bad someone forgot that the original had spurts of imagination and wit as well as blood. Don Coscarelli was 25 when he wrote, directed, produced, photographed and edited the original. (Question: Who went for coffee?) This time he merely wrote and directed. Is Coscarelli getting lazy? His movie sure is. (R)

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