• Fantasm Comes Again (Synapse Films) DVD Review

    Released by: Synapse Films
    Released on: February 16thth, 2004.
    Director: Colin Eggleston
    Cast: Rick Cassidy, Con Covert, Uschi Digard, Candy Samples, Serena, William Margold, Cheryl Smith
    Year: 1977
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    Fantasm Comes Again - Movie Review:

    This sequel to Richard Franklin’s 1976 film, Fantasm, was made cheap and fast to cash in on the success that the first movie found at the box office. Not surprisingly, it essentially follows the exact same formula as its more interesting predecessor. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

    Many of the same cast members where back for this one, though they're not reprising the roles they played in the earlier entry. John Holmes, Uschi Digard and Bill Margold are all here, this time out joined by Rick Cassidy, Serena, and cult starlet Cheryl 'Rainbeux' Smith (star of Lemora - A Child's Tale Of The Supernatural).

    Directorial duties are handled in this outing by Colin Eggleston and the narration is supplied by a new character, Harry, a man who has been writing for a newspaper as 'Colette' and answering a Doctor Ruth style sex advice question and answer column. Harry is giving up the position and training Libbie to take over. In doing so, they go over a few of the letters that 'Colette' has received as of late, and thus the bridging sections are set up for more short stories of sexy shenanigans.

    Highlights in this second film include Silence Please in which a Liz Wolfe and Johnny Legend do their thing in amongst the books, Double Feature in which Cherly Rainbeaux Smith is raped in the back of a seventies style porno van while watching the similar scene starring Rene Bond from the first Fantasm film on the big screen of a local drive-in, The Kiss Of Life where Bill Margold takes two girls for his own aside his lovely outdoor swimming pool, much to the chagrin of his butler, and the aptly titled True Confession where Serena visits a Catholic church in order to confess her wrong doings to the priest and ends up in an altogether different position than what she first went into the booth for.

    Both films feature a whole lot of tongue in cheek (no pun intended) humor and miles and miles of bad seventies styles. The porno performers of that era had a certain screen presence all their own and both of these films capitalize on that certain 'je ne sais quois' that they brought to their work.

    Both films were essentially cast by Margold, who the producers wisely contacted due to the fact that he more or less knew everyone in the industry and could tell them who would be 'problem children' and who would get the work done fast and cheap as required. Though these films were shot on the fly and for very little money there is still a certain amount of care put into the look and feel that they achieve, something that is sadly missing from the majority of modern day erotic cinema, be it sex comedy material or straight out hardcore fuck movies.

    Fantasm Comes Again - DVD Review:

    Fantasm Comes Again is presented in 1.66.1 anamorphic widescreen, transferred from the original 16mm negative. The clarity for the film is top notch, at least be DVD standards of the era. While there is the expected amount of natural looking film grain and the odd speck of print damage popping up to say hi every once in a while, there is really not much to complain about in regards to image quality here. When you take into account the fact that they were shot on 16mm film stock it's even more remarkable that these movies look as good as they do here. Flesh tones look, well, fleshy and life like and the black levels remain stable. Colors are nicely separated, no bleeding at all, and there aren't any mpeg compression problems or issues with edge enhancement or shimmering worth noting at all, which is a very good thing.

    The English Dolby Digital Mono soundtrack sounds fine. There's not a whole lot to work with in regards to channel separation or anything like that but you can't really expect a crazy surround sound track for a seventies sex film. Dialogue is clean and clear and there aren't any audible problems with hiss. A few scenes sound just a little bit flat but that's more likely due to the fact that they were made fast and cheap than anything else.

    Fantasm Comes Again features liner notes from Chris Poggiali. Some of the same material from the first set of liners is used here as well but in the context of the writing it makes sense. A theatrical trailer for Fantasm Comes Again is also supplied.

    Producer Anthony I. Ginnane supplies a commentary track on the second film as well. The commentary track on Fantasm Comes Again is similar to the first in that Ginnane gives a lot of good background information on how it was to work with some of the performers and some of the problems that they ran into while doing so. There were also a lot of budgetary issues that effected the making of the film. The man remembers and insane amount of details about making both of these movies and he shares a lot of that knowledge over these two informative pieces.

    Fantasm Comes Again - The Final Word:

    Fantasm Comes Again is an enjoyable sequel to the superior original film, again making great use of a fun cast. Synapse Film’s DVD release is a good one, presenting the film in a nice presentation and with some decent extra features as well.