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Phantasm (1979) More at IMDbPro »

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Phantasm -- Trailer for Phantasm: Remastered
Phantasm -- A young boy and his friends face off against a mysterious grave robber known only as the Tall Man, who keeps a mysterious arsenal of terrible weapons with him.


User Rating:
6.9/10   24,174 votes »
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Don Coscarelli (written by)
View company contact information for Phantasm on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 June 1979 (USA) See more »
If you're looking for horror that's got balls...IT'S FOUND YOU. See more »
A teenage boy and his friends face off against a mysterious grave robber known only as the Tall Man, who keeps a lethal arsenal of terrible weapons with him. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A Start . . . See more (272 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

A. Michael Baldwin ... Mike (as Michael Baldwin)
Bill Thornbury ... Jody

Reggie Bannister ... Reggie
Kathy Lester ... Lady in Lavender
Terrie Kalbus ... Fortuneteller's Granddaughter
Kenneth V. Jones ... Caretaker (as Ken Jones)
Susan Harper ... Girlfriend
Lynn Eastman-Rossi ... Sally (as Lynn Eastman)
David Arntzen ... Toby
Ralph Richmond ... Bartender
Bill Cone ... Tommy
Laura Mann ... Double Lavender
Mary Ellen Shaw ... Fortuneteller
Myrtle Scotton ... Maid

Angus Scrimm ... The Tall Man
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dac Coscarelli ... Funeral Guest (uncredited)
Kate Coscarelli ... Funeral Guest (uncredited)

Directed by
Don Coscarelli 
Writing credits
Don Coscarelli (written by)

Produced by
Dac Coscarelli .... producer (as D.A. Coscarelli)
Paul Pepperman .... co-producer
Original Music by
Fred Myrow 
Malcolm Seagrave 
Cinematography by
Don Coscarelli 
Film Editing by
Don Coscarelli 
Production Design by
Kate Coscarelli  (as S. Tyer)
Art Direction by
David Gavin Brown 
Makeup Department
Kate Coscarelli .... makeup artist (as Shirley Mae)
Production Management
Robert Del Valle .... unit manager
Art Department
Mark Annerl .... architecture
Doug Cragoe .... set construction
Willard Green .... constructor: Silver Sphere
Stephen A. Miller .... set construction
Marc Schwartz .... set construction supervisor
Kurt Tiegs .... set construction
Sound Department
Gene Corso .... sound effects creator
Michael Gross .... sound recordist
Robert J. Litt .... re-recording mixer (as Bob Litt)
Lorane Mitchell .... sound effects creator
Colin Spencer .... boom operator
Robert Stambler .... supervising sound editor: restored version (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Paul Pepperman .... special effects creator
George W. Singer Jr. .... stuntman
Camera and Electrical Department
Mori Biener .... grip
Steve Chandler .... best boy (as Steven Chandler)
Daryn Okada .... grip
Roberto A. Quezada .... gaffer (as Roberto Quezada)
Roberto A. Quezada .... visual consultant (as Roberto Quezada)
Marc Schwartz .... first assistant camera
George W. Singer Jr. .... key grip
Jacalyn Welan .... second assistant camera
John Zumpano .... grip
Robert K. Feldmann .... grip (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Kate Coscarelli .... wardrobe (as Shirl Quinlan)
Editorial Department
James Becker .... editorial assistant
Bruce G. Chudacoff .... editorial assistant
Roberto A. Quezada .... assistant editor (as Roberto Quezada)
Dena Roth .... assistant editor
Music Department
Paul Ratajczak .... music recording
Other crew
Wendy Kaplan .... script supervisor
Adele Lustig .... production coordinator
Dena Roth .... script supervisor
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Never Dead" - Australia, India (English title) (poster title)
"Zombies" - Pakistan (English title) (informal English title)
See more »
Rated R for nudity, violence, and intense scenes (Approved No. 25327)
88 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:R18+ | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Finland:K-18 (uncut) (2001) | Finland:K-18 (cut) (1980) | France:16 | Germany:(Banned) (1991) | Iceland:16 | Italy:VM14 (new rating) | Italy:VM18 (original rating) (VHS) | Netherlands:16 | Norway:16 (video rental version) | Singapore:PG (heavily cut) | Spain:18 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:15 (video re-rating) (2005) | UK:18 (video rating) (1989) | USA:R (Approved No. 25327) | West Germany:18 (cut)

Did You Know?

The film's Turkish title, 'MANYAK', translates to 'Psycho'.See more »
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): As Jody is putting his Colt M1911A1 pistol in his pocket in preparation for the final showdown at the morgue, he tells Mike that the gun is an official Army Colt. However, the pistol is chrome plated; handguns with this finish were never issued by the Army.See more »
Reggie:Hey, guys.
Mike:Reggie! You ain't dead!
Reggie:No, and I ain't three-foot-two yet either!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in There's Nothing Out There (1991)See more »
Sittin' Here At MidnightSee more »


Who or what is the Lady in Lavender?
What exactly is The Tall Man?
Where can I get a copy of Kate Coscarelli's novel?
See more »
34 out of 54 people found the following review useful.
A Start . . ., 15 September 2004
Author: jaywolfenstien from USA

Phantasm is one of those movies where you have to look beyond the constraints of a non-existent-budget sci-fi/horror flick to see underlying talent. The film suffers from some hammed up acting, classical 1970s character naivety, make-shift and jimmy-rigged special effects that don't quite work, a score that might as well be a series of MIDI files, and a plot that's all but coherent; however, Phantasm maintains a certain original charm and resourcefulness that larger budget films frequently lack.

The above paragraph really isn't a complaint (despite how it may sound). On the contrary, I'm impressed with what director Don Coscarelli managed to accomplish with the hand dealt to him. Phantasm could have been an utterly forgettable film on all levels, but instead he managed to leave a number of positive impressions.

For one, the frame composition and some key scene transitions transcend budgetary implications (in particular, the Tall Man in the cemetery and the Tall Man slow-motion shot by Reggie's ice cream truck come to mind).

Fred Myrow also comes to the forefront with intriguing and memorable synthetic score. My only complaint on the music is the synthesizer it was performed on sounds like an old 80386 game. Still, the notes played transcends the quality of the instrument it's played on.

Phantasm's trademark bladed sphere effect, however, did genuinely bother me when they stuck into their victim's skulls. The fact that the soon-to-be-dead have no physical reaction after being slapped in the forehead with a fastball goes beyond my ability to suspend disbelief, and to my dismay the effect has never been amended in later sequels. A simple flinch is all that's needed to sell the effect! Something tells me that the effect, as it stands, is part of the Phantasm trademark, part of the Phantasm charm (for the cult followers anyway), and won't ever get a more realistic edge.

Minor silly plot elements aside (Jawa grave robbers, anyone?), my only major gripe deals with the sheer open endedness of the Phantasm universe (vastly exploited in later sequels.) Phantasm is not unlike a comic book, where nothing that happens seems significant since a character can so easily wake up to another reality. Anarchy governs the Phantasm series, no rules apply so reality, fantasy, and parallel universes co-exist in such a fashion that nothing seems to matter anymore. It's like playing a game with Coscarelli in which we must abide by the rules he sets down, and he sets the rules down as he goes when situations apply to him. Why bother playing? Why care?

Still, the film has its charms, and there's something fun in the sinister eye-brow raising and growling Tall Man played effectively by Angus Scrimm. I'd caught bits of Phantasm 3 in the past, and came into this film expecting to hate the Tall Man and this entire franchise, yet I found myself grinning at each of his lines.

I say if someone can look below a cheap and cheesy surface, Phantasm is full of a pleasant surprises.

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