Several days in the life of Kenny, a typical 12-year-old, and his friends. Kenny goes through all the activities that most of us went through as kids as he and his friends prepare for ... See full summary »
A bunch of city slickers from different backgrounds go into the wild mountains to be one with nature, but basically to have a good time. However, a paramilitary group has chosen the same ... See full summary »
A new street drug that sends its users across time and dimensions has one drawback: some people return as no longer human. Can two college dropouts save humankind from this silent, otherworldly invasion?
Taking off immediately where the last one ended, in this episode Mike travels across dimensions and time fleeing from the Tall Man, at the same time he tries to find the origins of his ... See full summary »
A. Michael Baldwin,
Mike, a young teenage boy who has just lost his parents, is afraid to lose his brother. This fear causes him to follow his brother to a funeral, where Mike witnesses the Tall Man lift a coffin on his own. Mike decides to investigate and discovers a horrible world where the Tall Man, along with his flying spheres, shrink the to half their normal size and reanimate them as slaves. It is then up to Mike, his brother, and Reggie the ice cream man to stop the Tall man. Written by
Chris Nickerson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
After Reggie makes the physical connection between the two nodes on the gateway, he falls backward onto the floor. In the letterbox edition, the ropes used to pull him back toward the gateway are briefly visible as he falls. See more »
There's this door down here. And I bet there's something behind it.
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With the exception of the title Phantasm appearing on-screen, there are no opening credits. See more »
A teenage boy (Michael Baldwin) stumbles upon a plot by a very tall mortuary worker (Angus Scrimm) to steal dead bodies and turn them into midget slaves for an alien world. With the help of his brother (Bill Thornberry), the boy hopes to cut the tall man down to size.
Many years later, Don Coscarelli is now seen as a master of horror and Angus Scrimm somewhat of a horror icon (though to a lesser degree than, say, Robert Englund). While the plot I have outlined above may sound silly, the actual execution of this idea makes it clear why this film has really lodged itself in horror history and spawned numerous sequels (all starring Scrimm).
This film captures the feeling of the late 1970s and early 1980s horror with the young boy stumbling upon a plot of large, sinister proportions. Horror geared towards the youth of a generation who have parents who may not believe them (or in this case, an older brother). I really like this theme, much like "The Goonies", "The Monster Squad" and "Lost Boys" -- a kid's film without being childish.
"Phantasm" has become known for the silver balls, and believe me -- when Angus Scrimm puts one of his balls in your face, you won't be happy about it. A bloody mess is all you will get! I really enjoyed the effect of this (remember, this is 1979 when effects still took some creativity).
Now, some things I did not understand. For example, why are the midgets bleeding macaroni and cheese instead of blood? And more importantly, why does the tall man have to transform into a woman to stab people in the cemetery? If he is super strong and has those silver balls, he really does not have to be very sneaky about the whole ordeal, does he?
Some of the acting is cheesy -- people deliver their lines in a way that sounds forced, and Jody (the older brother) looks like he belongs behind the wheel of the General Lee. And Michael spends half the film looking like a girl. (I have met the entire cast, and I can assure you that Baldwin grew out of this phase.)
But, seriously, check this film out. Roughly in the same time period as "Halloween", you are left with a similar feeling. Only this one is more light-hearted and "feel good" and less "the embodiment of evil". I suppose it depends on your personal taste or your mood for the day. Myself, I like a little bit of the unusual thrown in to a movie just to keep me guessing.
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