Wednesday, March 7, 2012
So yes this is my surprise blog...a movie I know a lot of horror hounds have seen. There are those of you out there I hope who have not viewed this piece of cinematic, low budget genius so that I can talk about it. It was released in 1979 and had three sequels that I have yet to see because I like Phantasm as a film of its own merit that could have been one of those movies that needed no sequel at all (plus I like movies with vague endings and creepy twists.)
What's The Plot?
Jody Pearson (played by Bill Thornbury) and his friend Reggie attend the funeral of their friend Tommy, an apparent suicide. Because their parents died and he has been having nightmares, Jody's little brother Mike has been asked not to attend...but that doesn't stop Mike from watching the funeral from afar. When Mike sees the unusually tall undertaker (played fabulously by Angus Scrimm) lift Tommy's coffin from his own grave back into the hearse on his own he knows something strange is going on at Morningside Cemetery.
When Mike heads back to the cemetery and enters the mausoleum, he finds himself chased by a menacing silver sphere which then attacks the night janitor (in a gruesome, bloody fashion) and then by the undertaker he dubs "The Tall Man". When Mike accidentally severs the Tall Man's fingers in a door during his escape, he notices that the blood is a thick, yellow substance...he is not human but just what is he? Mike immediately runs to tell Jody and shows him the fingers, which he brought along to prove his crazy story, so now the brothers know that they have to find out just what is going on at Morningside.
They convince Reggie to help them but he is reluctant until they try to show him the fingers which have now turned into a large fly-like creature! When Jody goes back, he is attacked by a hooded, dwarf-like being and they follow him in the hearse until Mike arrives with a shot gun to stop the vehicle by crashing into a tree. Pulling back the hood, the dwarf is revealed to be...Tommy!!
How can Tommy be back from the dead and what happened to him? Who is The Tall Man and just what is he up to? Mike, Jody and Reggie are now ready to find out in a battle between something... beyond this world.
Director Don Coscarelli (I love that name by the way) provides a very creepy and terrifying atmosphere by setting most of the action in a mausoleum (which I usually find them serene and beautiful) and Angus Scrimm is wonderful!! He's supposed to be intimidating and otherworldly and he does his job well in the way he talks and lumbers his very tall frame...even just standing in one spot he is frightening!! Even though Mike is the main character and Jody and Reggie are important too, I enjoy watching Phantasm mainly for Angus Scrimm as The Tall Man to creep me out...and also because the silver spheres are awesome!!
It's hard to talk about Phantasm without spoiling the whole film and maybe even the series for you if you haven't seen it but if you have, I think I covered it very well. It's one of my favorite horror films and a stand alone movie...so check it out.
Speaking of checking out...
Next Blog: A little late but ... My Bloody Valentine