Phantasm



Release date: March 28, 1979

Director: Don Coscarelli

Cast: Michael Baldwin, Bill Thornbury, Reggie Bannister, Kathy Lester, Terrie Kalbus, Kenneth V. Jones, Susan Harper and Lynn Eastman-Rossi

The movie begins with a graveyard sex scene (pretty good start for a movie) once the sex is over the Lady In Lavender (Kathy Lester) stabs the poor boys she was with Tommy (Bill Cone) and then turns into an evil looking weirdo known as The Tall Man (Angus Scrimm). This Succubus idea is well thought out, since the succubus is really just a male demon that transforms itself into a female before attacking his/her victims.

Now it is up to our three remaining heroes to find out what the is going on at Morningside Cemetery and Mortuary. Our heroes are Jodie (Bill Thornbury), his brother Mike (A. Michael Baldwin: The whole PHANTASM series 'cept II), and Reggie (Reggie Bannister). These three must uncover the secret of The Tall Man and a pretty cool secret it turns out to be.

Sometime during the movie, the younger brother Mike goes to a fortune teller after witnesses The Tall Man single handedly robbing graves (pulling the entire casket out by himself). The Fortune Teller's Granddaughter (Terrie Kalbus) and the Fortune teller (Mary Ellen Shaw) give Mike the old Bene Gesserit Trick of Stick-Your-Hand-In-The-Black-Box. Coscarelli does the whole "don't give into fear" bit without actually saying "Fear is the mind killer!" This small scene works to Mike's advantage for the rest of the film, as he will come across some Really crazy stuff! Things like zombies, chopped-off dancing fingers that bleed yellow blood and the famous flying silver balls, which do stone-wicked things to one's head! So is this a well acted, directed movie? Or does it at least have a really good script. Not really the acting/directing/script are average.

What makes this such a great film is the chemistry between the actors, our great director Coscarelli doesnt miss any chances to throw a well thought out fright at us (not birds suddenly flying out from bushes, but the real get-right-in-your-head and scare the **** out of you), and the many gags that are dead on cue at every turn in the film. This is a bizarre movie indeed, as weird and strange as anything by David Lynch or Clive Barker. Except that this film never gets lost in the story it tells; and a cool story it ends up being. The director and crew the Bogeyman plot line, strip it to the bones, and replace it with something so totally fresh, freaky and unique that no one else has ever been able to duplicate it or improve it in any way. With fantastic Cinematography (again by our director Coscarelli) this is a classic that deserves to be on the list of top 50 horror films.







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