It must be said "Phantasm II" benefits from an increased budget, with more sophisticated splatter effects and fluid steadicam shots. Unfortunately, it also suffers from an identity crisis: the emphasis on dreams and the portrayal of the Tall Man as a taunting supernatural menace means this, more often than not, feels like just another "Nightmare on Elm Street" sequel rather than a follow-up to the brilliant original.
Universal backed and released the second installment and gives an example of more resulting in less. The effects are bigger and the budget ten times the size but the end results pale in comparison to the first entry. Plot wise the pickings are pretty slim with little done to advance the series story. Director reportedly constrained with contractual obligations to the studio here. 'You think you go to heaven...'
Trades the quiet eeriness, laidback sensitivity and twist into painful psychological drama of the original for a kind of gonzo horror comedy in the tradition of Sam Raimi. The Hollywood budget gives Coscarelli an opportunity to indulge in all manner of gory, action-packed set-pieces (which are as good as anything in the Evil Dead II), but to the detriment of everything that made the first film so special and unique.