Thursday, September 25, 2014

Phantoms (1998)

Starring:  Peter O'Toole, Rose McGowan and Ben Affleck

Run Time: 1:36:17

Quick Synopsis: The small town of Snowfield, Colorado has found most of its population mysteriously wiped out.  Now a small group wants to find answers.  

Just like Anaconda, Phantoms is a horror movie from the 1990s that combines an older actor giving a great over-the-top performance along with many well-known actors before they became well-known.  Unlike Anaconda these actors are have now proven that they know how to act.  While none of them will look back at the role they played in this movie and feel a great level of pride in their performance, they still helped to make the movie
great campy entertainment.  The movies first half does a good job of creating mystery around what has happened to the town.  Then the introduction of a ridiculous portrayal of the US government changes the make-up of the movie, but does so in a way that doesn't take away from what had proceeded it.  The concept of an organism that develops a consciousness through the victims it has taken is pretty interesting.  To further that idea to where the organism has been around for so long that it now believes that is a god due to the fear of the people it has consumed is extremely clever in my opinion.  Although, I enjoy the campiness of the movie, (To make sure I don't sell it short I would like to point out the movie as it is currently constituted does have some good scene of terror already.) part of me would have loved to have seen a more serious movie with a similar entity.   However that does not change the fact that this is a fun awful horror movie.

Fun Fact: Ben Affleck was the bomb in Phantoms, yo.

Hidden Gem:  There are several references to John Carpenter's The Thing, most noticeably is the scene with the dog in the church which relates to the dog/kennel scene in the The Thing.

Total Kill Count:
Hilda- Judith Drake (5:35) Offscreen Gore Rating: 2
Sheriff Henderson- Larry Odien (7:18) Offscreen Gore Rating: 2
Uncredited Old Lady (20:16) Offscreen Gore Rating: 2
Deputy Shanning- Nicky Katt (26:20) Disappears Gore Rating: 1
Deputy Stu Wargle- Liev Schreiber (32:30) Face Chewed Off Gore Rating: 6
Velazquez- Michael DeLorenzo (54:49) Taken away in sewer Gore Rating: 1
Lockland- Rick Otto (56:52) Attacked by insect-like creature Gore Rating: 4
Yamaguchi- Valerie Chow (56:57) Attacked by insect-like creature Gore Rating: 4
Scientist (57:01) Attacked by insect-like creature Gore Rating: 4
Church Soldier- Paul Schmidt (57:39) Attacked by insect-like creature Gore Rating: 4
Copperfield- Clifton Powell (59:14) Attacked by insect-like creature Gore Rating: 6

            Horror Film: 7
            Entertainment: 8
            Suspense: 5
            Overall: 6.75