Phantasm

Phantasm is a 1979 American horror film directed, written, photographed, and edited by Don Coscarelli. The first film in the Phantasm franchise, it introduces the Tall Man (Angus Scrimm), a supernatural and malevolent undertaker who turns the dead of earth into dwarf zombies to be sent to his planet and used as slaves. He is opposed by a young boy, Mike (Michael Baldwin), who tries to convince his older brother Jody (Bill Thornbury) and family friend Reggie (Reggie Bannister) of the threat.

Phantasm was a locally financed independent film; the cast and crew were mostly amateurs and aspiring professionals. And it shows; in some places the acting is down right terrible and artificial but most of it is from cast members who are there in just one scene and have only a line or two of dialogue. What I was surprise by was the quality of the transfer to bluray; this does not look like a movie released in 1979 but more like a few years later. If only the acting and the storyline as well as the direction was as good.

There are way too many scenes that are like too sudden and at times seem ridiculous. The way that Mike keeps following his brother Jody on foot, the sudden change of scenery, the overall ridiculousness of the reasonings and decision making makes no sense. Anyways, the Tall Man turns out to be an alien who is getting people killed – by morphing into a chick and banging guys and then stabbing them right after orgasm – abducting the corpses, then somehow shrinking them to dwarfs, reanimating them and making them work for him on his planet. In the end I don’t know if these events actually happened or did Mikey dream it all? His brother is dead in a car accident and Reggie is taking care of him.

But Reggie was shown to be killed in the events earlier or the dream. What was going on? In the end the Tall Man appears in Mike’s bedroom and abducts him through the mirror. To…I suppose his home planet. How? I dunno! It’s all so strange. I don’t get why this film has so much praise piled on it going by reviews. I give it a ….6.5 outta 10! I am not sure about checking the remaining 4 films in the franchise now.

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