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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They're Baaaack in a Visually Stunning Transfer but Disappointing DVD Edition.
I've been really disappointed at the way MGM has treated the "Poltergeist" trilogy on DVD. First things first, the original was a mega-hit grossing over 70 million in the US alone and eventually grossing over 150 million in domestic/international box office receipts. So it's fair to say that MGM made a lot of money on that particular film, so why is it that it was given...
Published on October 12, 2003 by E. Valero

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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a mixed bag here, MGM
I thought the original "Poltergeist" an amazing film full of great atmosphere, likeable characters, and nicely done frights. Remember the paranormal researcher pulling his face apart in the mirror? The crawling slab of steak loaded with maggots? The corpse filled pit in the backyard? The young son counting the seconds between booms of thunder and flashes of...
Published on February 13, 2004 by Jeffrey Leach


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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a mixed bag here, MGM, February 13, 2004
This review is from: Poltergeist II / Poltergeist III (Double Feature) (DVD)
I thought the original "Poltergeist" an amazing film full of great atmosphere, likeable characters, and nicely done frights. Remember the paranormal researcher pulling his face apart in the mirror? The crawling slab of steak loaded with maggots? The corpse filled pit in the backyard? The young son counting the seconds between booms of thunder and flashes of lightening? The original "Poltergeist" had thrills aplenty. And then it all fell apart. Hollywood, in its inimitably greedy style, promptly laid the groundwork for a sequel. Why not? The suits knew the dupes would line up at the box office like good little sheep, willing to shell out millions of dollars for what is essentially a rehash of the original effort. Well, "Poltergeist II" is better than your average sequel to a smash hit, but just barely. What will really feel like a stone in your shoe is the sequel to the sequel, the heap o' screeching metal and flaming wreckage that is "Poltergeist III." The final entry in the series is so bad, so utterly devoid of any of the elements that fueled the success of the original, that my DVD player loudly protested--with sounds I will not recreate here--my efforts to watch it.
"Poltergeist II" reacquaints us with the hapless Freeling family several months after the nightmare depicted in the first film. Still homeless after watching their spacious, modern abode implode into thin air, Steve and Diane Freeling (Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams) along with their children Robby and Carol Anne (Oliver Robins and Heather O'Rourke), now live with Diane's mother Jess far from the tainted ghost and corpse filled suburbs. Steve now sells vacuum cleaners for a living instead of real estate, and the couple spends most of their time fighting with the insurance company over compensation for the disappearing house. Grandma Jess likes the idea of the family staying with her even as she notices Carol Anne's amazing clairvoyant powers. When Grams dies in her sleep, the nightmare begins anew as the poltergeists from the first movie track down Carol Anne. The spirits seek to find a way to the "light" (don't we all?), and won't rest until they get their way. Meanwhile, psychic investigator Tangina (Zelda Rubinstein) and an Indian shaman named Taylor (Will Sampson) investigate the site of the Freeling's destroyed home. It turns out that a religious zealot named Kane brought a bunch of followers out to California in the 19th century and promptly killed them in the name of utopian glory. It is the ghosts of Kane and his followers who seek the attentions of Carol Anne, with Kane himself turning up in the flesh to torment the Freelings.
We should rightly classify "Poltergeist III" not as a horror film but as a disaster epic. On this outing, Carol Anne (once again played by the indomitable Heather O'Rourke) turns up in a Chicago high rise where she lives with her Uncle Bruce (Tom Skerritt), her Aunt Pat (Nancy Allen), and her obnoxious cousin Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle doing her best to look like Winona Ryder). Zelda Rubinstein reprises her role as the psychic Tangina for a third time. Sure enough, weird things start happening when a nerdy school counselor hypnotizes Carol Anne and opens a doorway through which the dauntless Kane returns. That's about all that happens in this schlockfest, although director Gary Sherman tricks up this installment with lots of dry ice and mirrors that provide little in the way of chills or thrills. "Poltergeist III" is a cheap, cheesy movie that deserves the obscurity in which it currently resides.
Fans of the original movie will appreciate the reappearance of Craig Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Oliver Robins, and Heather O'Rourke in the second entry. I always thought some of the charm of the original came from the slightly bawdy antics and great chemistry of this cast. Nelson and Williams in particular have great presence onscreen, and truly do come off as a married couple just trying to raise their family in peace. Will Sampson's often humorous Taylor character is greatly appreciated, as is the downright sinister Julian Beck as the evil Reverend Kane. Beck's emaciated appearance and creepy accent do much to elevate this sequel from the realm of mediocrity. As for the spooky paranormal encounters, Nelson coughs up a mutated tequila worm, Robins battles his braces in the bathroom, and Williams shrieks her way through a couple more corpse scenes. Overall, "Poltergeist II" is good. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same about "Poltergeist III." Nancy Allen and Tom Skerritt have the all the allure of speed bumps, Boyle grates as a giggling teenybopper airhead, O'Rourke is wooden as Carol Anne, and Rubinstein's hammy performance attains epic proportions. The effects are acceptable, but the dialogue is clumsy and the pacing slow. What really killed the movie for me were the late 1980's fashion styles seen throughout the film.
Thanks (I think) to MGM for releasing these films in their praiseworthy double feature collection. As usual, the only extras for both films are a trailer and scene selection menu. The disc presents both films in widescreen formats with excellent picture transfers. I think it would have been nice to have a commentary track with the actors for the second film; I would have liked to hear Nelson and Williams talk about their roles. Two actresses associated with the "Poltergeist" franchise, Dominique Dunne and Heather O'Rourke, have since died. Dunne's boyfriend murdered her after the first film and O'Rourke died during surgery. If you have seen the first film, you will probably want to watch these two as well. Just exercise extreme caution with "Poltergeist III," a movie so bad it has caused extreme cranial trauma to those poor souls who watch it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One good, one bad, October 1, 2003
By 
A. Gammill (Tupelo, MS United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Poltergeist II / Poltergeist III (Double Feature) (DVD)
I'm glad to have Poltergeist 2 on DVD, as it's one of the better horror sequels. Most of the cast is reunited, and it somewhat succeeds at taking a minor point from the first film (the Native American burial ground) and creating the interesting character of Taylor, played by the late Will Sampson.
But it's Julian Beck as the super-creepy Kane that makes this one worth seeing. You just might have nightmares after watching him do his best to cajole Carole Anne to the "other side."
On the flip side, the whole clairvoyant thing is overdone (Carole Anne has a connection to the spirit world, so her mother AND grandmother must have one too? Yeah...), and the ending is a pretty big letdown.
And speaking of letdowns, just try to get thru Poltergeist 3. Poor little Carol Anne has been shipped off to Chicago to live with relatives (Nancy Allen and Tom Skeritt. Yawn.) but Kane (played by another actor since Beck had passed away) finds her. What then ensues are a bunch of cheap effects and ridiculous plot turns that insult rather than frighten. As you're popping the disc out after watching (or abandoning) the film, just remember: you got the infinitely superior Poltergeist 2 for a great price!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They're Baaaack in a Visually Stunning Transfer but Disappointing DVD Edition., October 12, 2003
By 
E. Valero "Eterno" (Woodbridge, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Poltergeist II / Poltergeist III (Double Feature) (DVD)
I've been really disappointed at the way MGM has treated the "Poltergeist" trilogy on DVD. First things first, the original was a mega-hit grossing over 70 million in the US alone and eventually grossing over 150 million in domestic/international box office receipts. So it's fair to say that MGM made a lot of money on that particular film, so why is it that it was given shoddy treatment when released on DVD? It was released only with a theatrical trailer as an extra and fans were left disappointed. The first sequel, "Poltergeist 2" was a decent-sized hit in 1986 grossing over 40 million in the US and like the original, had great Oscar nominated special effects. Again, this film was released only with a theatrical trailer as an extra. The least successful film of the series was the love it or hate it and in my opinion, under-rated "Poltergeist 3" which opened in the top 5 the first week but fell off the box office radar soon thereafter. This particular film does have its fair share of fans (I read some recent reviews that rated it higher and more favorable than the first sequel) and it is presented here, along with "Poltergeist 2", with only a theatrical trailer as a bonus. Why is MGM being so inconsiderate to the fans? Especially when other horror movies that weren't as popular have been released in awesome DVD editions, loaded with extras?

With that said, I must say that I'm glad to see that both of these movies are finally released on DVD. Despite the lack of extras, they are both presented in widescreen format and the picture quality on both films is excellent. Movies, especially those that are special effects heavy need to be viewed widescreen and I realize now, after watching these films for years as pan and scan on cable and VHS, how much I didn't see because of the cropping done. This is especially evident in "Poltergeist 2".

"Poltergeist 2: The Other Side" was originally released in 1986 and did pretty good business at the domestic box office. Although many dismissed it as just another sequel, in my opinion, it has held up pretty good due to its elaborate and spectacular special effects and the performance of a very talented actor named Julian Beck who gives one of the creepiest performances ever in a horror movie. Although he does not get much screen time, the character of Reverend Kane, may send chills up your spine especially during that key scene in which Craig T Nelson and the sinister minister have a few words on the patio of the family's Arizona home. Kane's demeanor changes from friendly to absolutely menacing as he tries to trick his way inside the Freelings' home. Evil emanates from his stare, his voice and dialogue ("they dooon't trust you any more" ... "you're not man enough to hold this family together" ..." Let me in"... You're all gonna die!!") and if you scare easily, he may just haunt your dreams for days and weeks and months on end.

Other highlights include the now infamous vomit creature scene that is spectacularly gory and very well done and for me, aside from Beck's chilling performance, is the highlight of this film. The hilarious (but dazzling) braces scene is outrageous but the crafty special effects team pull it off with much gusto. The film has been heavily criticized for having an unsatisfactory ending that is more Sci-Fi than horror and I agree, but I cannot deny the dazzling setting of the other side and it's wispy, cloudy environment, and the final confrontation with the Beast is quite simply spectacular. Another criticism of the film, is that it's sloppily edited and I do agree. Having seen a recent documentary on the franchise and reading some articles off various websites, there were several problems in making this film and it appears several cuts were made to the finished film which may have resulted in the film looking all chopped up. Does this missing footage still exist in a vault somewhere? I do certainly hope so as I see the makers of this film were trying to create an epic sequel and I do hope that one day we get to see this film as originally intended with missing footage restored. One can only hope but until then ... fingers crossed.

"Poltergeist 2: The Other Side" is still a spectacular and creepy excursion into the supernatural. It is not as good as the classic original but it does offer more mysticism, mythology and fear as the main demon is personified as the ever menacing Henry Kane- although I wish Kane's background was expanded upon a bit more. The special effects are great as are some of the performances from most of the cast, again, Jobeth Williams is a scene stealer as is the slimy charmer, the vomit creature. This is one sequel that is definitely under-rated in my opinion.

"Poltergeist 3", as previously mentioned was the only film in the franchise that did not rake in the big bucks but has since its release in 1988, obtained a rather loyal following. This second sequel, as mentioned previously, is a love it or hate it type of film. Those who hate it view it as an insult to the original and curse the film for existing. Others however, enjoy it for what it is- an imaginative ghost story set in an unconventional setting and with some very creepy and inventive mirror effects. I do give "Poltergeist 3" a lot of credit for trying to change things up and steer the series in a new direction.

The film's main highlight are the special effects, which have received mixed reviews, some missed the elaborate, more expensive ILM effects work that permeated the previous instalments, while others have raved at the creativity of the live mechanical effects used here. For the most part, I think the effects were successful, only in the climax do I think the effects fall short. Anyone who states today's CGI effects look better are sadly mistaken in my opinion and I find that computer generated effects are causing the downfall of horror. They have their place in film and I do think they look good in a fantasy/sci-fi element such as "The Lord of the Rings", "Star Wars", "Harry Potter" etc, but they have no place in horror movies, at least not to the degree they are being utilized in current horror films (1999's "The Haunting" being the prime example). CGI effects, especially when not done right, look as realistic as video games and cartoons and they're just not scary. I have yet to see a scary movie, that was able to convince me the ghosts, werewolves or creatures that I am seeing on the screen are real. 2002's "The Ring" is an exception but that film did not over-use this tool. Which is why I find the live effects of "Poltergeist 3" so refreshing. Aside from being imaginative, they are actually 3 dimensional. The breathing door is an actual pulsating door, the crawling smoke is real smoke (or dry ice, not sure), the doubles used as characters mirror reflections are real actors. There are no floating phantasms or monsters like the earlier films which may disappoint some but you do get some creative tricks that do the job: fingers poking out of mirrors, a frozen swimming pool, a breathing door, a ghostly mist freezing everything in its path, a fantastic birth scene and the way mirrors were utilized in the film and story is chilling. This sequels main flaw is in its weak climax. Actually, who am I kidding? The ending is plain awful. Especially when compared to the original films spectacular climax. We now know that the ending was re-shot due to Heather O'Rourke's untimely passing. Gary Sherman had to re-write the ending and a body double (or "dummy"- I can't remember which one) was used in Heather's place. So there is a valid reason why the ending feels rushed and looks uninspired but I still can't give them a break on this because even I would have been able to write out a better ending than the travesty they decided to film. As a big fan of the series, I like "Poltergeist 3" and have re-watched it many times however I cringe whenever I get to the last 10 minutes when Aunt Pat (Nancy Allen) enters Carole's Anne's frozen room via the window washing rig. The ending is this film's greatest and most obvious flaw (along with the constant screaming of the name "Carole Anne" but much has already been said about that).

Anyone wanting to add 2 enjoyable and sometimes frightening films to their DVD collection, I recommend this MGM double feature. Although lacking in extras, which is a major disappointment, both films look and sound great and is priced just right. They're haunting additions to a classic chiller. Let's just hope MGM decides to re-release these films in a more deserving DVD edition. The fans deserve better than this.

5 stars for the transfer and for the cult status of both films, but 0 for the extras or lack thereof.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poltergeist II/Poltergeist III, January 26, 2010
This review is from: Poltergeist II / Poltergeist III (Double Feature) (DVD)
Poltergeist II: The Other Side: The Freeling family move in with Diane's mother in an effort to escape the trauma and aftermath of Carol Anne's abduction by the Beast. But the Beast is not to be put off so easily and appears in a ghostly apparition as the Reverend Kane, a religeous zealot responsible for the deaths of his many followers. His goal is simple - he wants the angelic Carol Anne; but the love of her family and the power of psychic Tangina once again unite, along with an elderly native American, to fight for her life. P2 is a compelling and most riveting sequel.

Poltergeist III: Carol Anne has been sent to live with her Aunt and Uncle in an effort to hide her from the clutches of the ghostly Reverend Kane, but he tracks her down and terrorises her in her relatives' appartment in a tall glass building. Will he finally achieve his target and capture Carol Anne again. "Poltergeist III" contains murder, suspense, tricky camera angles and most of all, the best acting I have ever seen from Heather O'Rourke. The concept of the mirrors work is amazing and I thought it was a great attempt at something new.

I enjoyed watching both movies very much. The excitement and fun has yet to wear off.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "THEY'VE FOUND HER...", July 14, 2004
By 
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This review is from: Poltergeist II / Poltergeist III (Double Feature) (DVD)
After the success of the original 1982 blockbuster hit, "Poltergeist" (Directed and produced marvelously by Tobe Hooper and Steven Spielberg) Brian Gibson went on to direct the sequel which turned out to be just as good as the first film carrying some of the same special effects and similarities. "Poltergeist III" on the other hand was a decent entry, though not the best and sadly, Heather O' Rourke died before the films release. It's really a shame, because I'm sure she would've grown up to be very beautiful, considering her act is still adorable and she hasn't lost her touch at all.
These two films which were released by MGM are on this special DOUBLE FEATURE disk and it is truly the best edition for anyone to complete the horrifying trilogy. Here's a complete description and details for both films:
"POLTERGEIST II: The Other Side" (1986)
RATING: ****
Once again, the Freeling family faces the supernatural of their new home after their first one was destroyed in the original. An evil demon named Kane takes the form of a church preacher who's out to capture Carol-Anne in order to bring her back to 'the Other Side' and get rid of her family in the process. With the help of a new character, the Indian Taylor (performed excellently by Will Sampson) they must return to the ruins of their old home (an underground tomb) and defeat Kain in a climatic battle where only love and hope can keep them together.
OVERALL: Almost as good as the original was! Zelda Rubinstein also returns in this one as the psychic, Tangina and is just as good as she was in the first. One of the main reasons I enjoyed this a lot was because of Julian Beck's wonderful and convincing performance as Kane. His image truly haunts you even after you watch him on the screen.
The acting was also very well done by JoBeth Williams and Craig T. Nelson and the storyline, while being a bit farfetched at times, was executed well. Fans of the first will especially enjoy this one. RATED: PG-13 for disturbing imagery, some scary moments, and mild language.
"POLTERGEIST III" (1988)
RATING: ***
The third and final installment to the "Poltergeist" trilogy, where young Carol-Anne (Heather O' Rourke's last role) is shipped off to Chicago to spend the summer with her aunt (Nancy Allen) and uncle (Tom Skerrit) and also to be examined and tested on by professionals who are studying her "gift". Living on the top floor of a skyscraper, everything seems to have returned to normal for our heroine. However, the evil demon Kane (This time played by both Nathan Davis & Corey Burton) is ressurected from his hellish grave after Dr. Seaton (Richard Fire) revives Carol-Anne's long forgotten nightmarish past. From there, all hell breaks loose as the ghosts from the previous films plot to pull Carol-Anne back over to the other side yet again along with her cousin (Laura Flynn Boyle) and eliminate all who stand in their way. Now, it's up to her uncle Bruce & her aunt Patricia to take a scary journey through the many hidden corriders and passageways of this tall urban funhouse and rescue both their children before the supernatural takes over the ENTIRE skyscraper! If you thought the first two films were scary enough for them to take over a house, wait until you see them move to the big city!
OVERALL: Not bad. Many people do not like this one as much, but I thought it was pretty good even though it's the weakest in the whole trilogy. I'm guessing the main reason it's not as popular is because of the REALLY cheesy special effects (which is still fun to watch) and the so-so acting. I wouldn't consider this as much of a high-budget (as was with the first two films) but low-budget flick that carries some of the B movie elements. I don't really understand why they couldn't have made the ghastly spirits effects or the objects moving on their own like they did in the prequels. I think Zelda Rubinstein who plays the role of Tangina saves the film and she still hasn't lost her touch to play her role. I know it's not the best, but it's still worth a watch to see the final chapter in the legacy come to an end and complete the trilogy. RATED: PG-13 for disturbing imagery, some scary moments, strong language, and a bit of blood and gore. To be honest, if I'd been directing this one, I would've given it an R rating because it's the most intense and crazy entry in the whole series!
Both of these films are in their WIDESCREEN anamorphic formats and the Special Features include the original theatrical trailers. They make a good bundle to watch whenever you're bored and goes good with some soda (or beer) and popcorn! Again though as far as Special Features are, there could've been more. As I explained before, there are no BTS footage, let alone cast interviews or director commentaries. But don't let that keep you from buying these two great films for one low price! The picture quality is excellent and the sound is also excellent. BUY TODAY! I also reccomend the original (and still the BEST) "Poltergeist" on DVD. It is one of the best horror series ever made and Kane's villain rules up there with that of Jason Voorhees and Freddy Kruegar. Don't miss it!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good But Thin Sequel Vs. Horrible Wrap Up., November 3, 2003
By 
This review is from: Poltergeist II / Poltergeist III (Double Feature) (DVD)
Poltergeist II is a good movie lost in a bad one. The back story to the original film is revealed and it quite good but the movie falls apart when it should deliver.
The film opens up with a Native American being given a "spirit" to help combat a strong presence located back on the property in which the house from the 1st film was located. He senses that the family is in trouble and goes on a search for them.
The movie eventually reveals the real reason behind the first haunting and why the Poltergeists are back again. The movies' main villain is "The Preacher" Kane. He will do anything to get Carol Anne back to lead him and his followers into the light.
All of this is quite interesting but the movie fails to deliver on its premise. For one, there are way too many false scares. Characters dream about being pulled underground by dead bodies. Dead bodies appear in a mirror. Dead bodies which turn out to be closet items appear. This really cheats the audience. Also, take the scene where about 50 ghosts are walking on the lawn. You look at that and get a chill but then, we never see them again. We hear some beating and stomping in the house and that is it. And another scene has a character in grave danger only for it to suddenly go away. Was he actually in trouble? When the ghosts come back, they do so through a plastic toy telephone and Heather O'Rourke delivers a weak "They're Back" line. No where near as chilling as "They're here."
The acting in this film is very good and keeps the movie from sinking. Once again, you really feel for these people. JoBeth Williams is effective but not as good as she was in the first film. Julian Beck is quite scary as Kane but he isn't given much to do and the film could have benefited from more scenes with him. Were there some scenes cut out? I would like to see deleted scenes with Kane. And of course, I still think Zelda Rubinstein was born to play Tangina and her presence is always welcome.
The "monster" and the ending of the film feel very rushed as if they had no time to develop them. Don't ask HG Giger to create a monster for a film that will hardly be used. And the final "battle" isn't much at all. It is a convoluted scene of special effects and confused editing.
There is a lot to like in this film, but you will walk away from it feeling empty, especially about the forced "funny" final moments. You get insight to the events from the first film but don't expect new and exciting scares.
Poltergeist III, on the "other side", it a bad, bad movie but it has a sort of "Mystery Science Theater 3000" charm to it.
This time, Carol Anne is living in Chicago with her Aunt and Uncle to attend a "gifted" school and the "ghosts" find her. That is the basic plot and given the fact that Kane and his followers went into the light at the end of the 2nd film, having Kane as the "main ghost" made this film fail.
The movie is filled with bad acting and dialogue. Tom Skerritt is just way over the top in his early scenes and gives his worse performance of his career. Nancy Allen doesn't help much and Laura Flynn Boyle was lucky she survived this mess. Then there is the dialogue, which many quotes have become part of my daily life in just the sheer silliness of it all. From "Give Me The Necklace" to "I've got the knowledge and the power" to the bloated face Tangina saying "Outside-In", the movie makes you laugh unintentionally many times. Oh, then there is "The Puddle!","Funny, funnier","We wont harm you..we love you."
While over the top, Zelda Rubinstein is the ONLY saving grace in this film. Her presence brings some of the creepiness that this movie needed. Yes, her final scene is pretty bad but here scenes in the middle of the movie are pretty good.
Poltergeist III fails on all fronts but mainly due to the fact that it needed a fresh, new idea for haunting Carol Anne one more time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Two sequels that can't compare to the original at all, February 28, 2005
This review is from: Poltergeist II / Poltergeist III (Double Feature) (DVD)
Collecting both Poltergeist sequels on one disc, neither Poltergeist 2: The Other Side or Poltergeist 3 could hope to live up to the original Tobe Hooper/Steven Spielberg classic. The second film, featuring the return of almost the entire cast, finds the Freeling family haunted by some malicious ghosts again. While it has some good special effects (for it's time) and some genuine scares, Poltergeist 2 lacks the creeped out atmosphere that made the original film so good, but it is better than the next sequel. Poltergeist 3 finds the late Heather O'Rourke as the only returning cast member, this time living with her uncle and aunt (Tom Skerritt and Nancy Allen) and being chased by the malevolant ghosts once again. This film, undoubtadly the worst in the series, lacks everything that made the original so good, and anything that made Poltergeist 2 somewhat redeemable. There are no extras included on the DVD, but I guess that's the price to pay when you get two movies on one disc at a cheap price.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this set, if anything, just to see Julian Beck!!!, December 29, 2003
By 
This review is from: Poltergeist II / Poltergeist III (Double Feature) (DVD)
Ok, I'll be the first to admit that in and of itself, Poltergeist II is one of the most well-plotted but weakly executed horror films ever. The abrupt and tacked-on ending seems to be just an excuse to throw in some fancy pseudo-CGI effects, and the end scene leaves you feeling dissatisfied if not completely cheated. But, to the infinite good fortune of the producers, a staff-employed psychic who had a hand in casting the film chose for the role of the evil Reverend Kane an actor whose bone-chilling countenance and blood-curdling voice will linger with you long after the end credits have ceased. The masterful two to three-minutes total screen time that Julian Beck was allotted is worth the ENTIRE price tag all by itself!!! He OWNS the screen. As soon as he walks into frame, you can actually FEEL the impending doom and death wafting off of him in thick, smoky waves. Reverend Kane IS death, in the flesh. He's also my personal pick for Scariest Movie Villain Of All Time! Oh, and Poltergeist III is pretty cool also!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Mixed Bag, April 24, 2005
This review is from: Poltergeist II / Poltergeist III (Double Feature) (DVD)
POLTERGEIST II works brilliantly. The original cast is there, and the addition of the Medicine man, and Julian Beck makes for a brilliant combination. Grandma makes the most subtlest contribution in the initial story arc, but is most apparent in the spiritual denoument.

Beck is the most malevolent character in this film, and is truly an original. For a man as talented as he is, he just makes the reverend work as a character.

POLTERGEIST III is a weak script that works thanks to Skerrit, and a good supporting cast. The theme of the spirits on the other side of the mirror is worked out well. What few people seem to have noticed is just how much this theme has been worked into other horror films.

I have enjoyed all two of these films. Heather O'Rourke works hard to make her role happen. It is very sad that she passed away before the film's release, and in true sordid PR fashion. Heathers death was milked for all the publicity they could get.

Brilliant films

ENJOY.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Worthwhile DVD!, January 7, 2006
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This review is from: Poltergeist II / Poltergeist III (Double Feature) (DVD)
The original "Poltergeist" was an addictive supernatural thriller with a Speilberg flavor. Obviously, to top this original would be near impossible... and neither of these films manage to do this.

Poltergeist 2 DOES manage to capture the family humor and dynamics from the original, although the oldest daughter is missing... and never even commented about. Craig T. Nelson still breaks me up, as he rants about "The amazing freelings, and their DISAPPEARING house" sideshow! How Nelson get's along with the Will Samson mystic is another funny and well done feature.

Another VERY NICE TOUCH is the actor who plays the preacher "Kane," a skinny and androngenous nightmare!

The end of this movie feels a bit "forced" and sappy, but all and all it's a strong film.

Poltergeist 3 had some very good ideas, about using mirrors and keeping the audience guessing as to what "reality" they are watching. Another strong point is the skeptical Psychotherapist, and his disdain for Carol Anne.

Where the movie falls apart is... no humorous family dynamic.... no Craig T. Nelson or Jobeth Williams! Tom Skerrit is a good character, but his shallow and cold wife will annoy you repeatedly.

The special effects are HORRIBLE! Fog machines and strobe lights? Any amatuer film maker could imitate the effects of this film. When plaster casts of people come apart or decay, the animation is reminiscent of "Gumby" effects.

Ultimately, the movie falls apart. Even the actor who played "Kane" looks like an unfortunate homeless person, instead of the very creepy original.

The ending (SPOILER) is UNFORGIVABLE, as the cult leader who merged with the demonic "beast" is simply a pathetic old soul, wanting to be "led to the light. Come on now!! The "Beast" of the Poltergeist films is angry and defiant... he is at WAR with "the Light," he doesn't want to be "saved!!"

Buy this DVD for the second movie.

Jeff Messenger, author of the novel "The Shroud of Torrington."
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Poltergeist II / Poltergeist III (Double Feature)
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