- Film (1978). New Breed. Dir/prod/written/photographed Don Coscarelli, starring Michael Baldwin, Bill Thornbury, Reggie Bannister, Angus Scrimm. 90 mins, cut to 89 mins. Colour.At the independent, low-budget, exploitation end of the movie market, small miracles sometimes occur that could not take place inside a major studio. P is one such, a spirited blend of horror, surrealism and sf, in which the presumably alien and possibly supernatural Tall Man (Scrimm) steals bodies to be resuscitated and turned into malicious, deformed midgets with yellow blood, and then passed through a dimensional gate to be used as slave labour on a red desert planet. The teenager who opposes him, Mike (Baldwin), is troubled by a flying silver sphere that kills people by spiking their brains, by the Tall Man's severed finger that becomes a nasty insect, and most of all by the Tall Man's ability to confuse appearance and reality, to be there and not there, anticipating Wes Craven's Freddy in Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). P has the arbitrary, confused logic of a dream.A decade laterPhantasm II (1988), also written/dir Coscarelli, was a mostly failed attempt to capitalize on the earlier cult success; it is less a sequel than a remake with a bigger budget. The special effects are more sophisticated and disgusting, but the randomness is more of a mess than a dream; the acting is stilted; ideas that were wholly original in 1978 had become cliches by 1988, and there were no new ideas to replace them; the sf content is negligible.PN
Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. Academic. 2011.