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Phantasm
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Phantasm More at IMDbPro »

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

One of the best horror films to come out of the 70's

Author: aaronzombie (aaronzombie@aol.com) from Yucaipa, CA
12 July 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

What an odd film. But does that mean I don't like it? Of course not. Next to Halloween and The Exorcist, Phantasm has to be one of the best 70's horror flicks i've ever watched. I'm also glad that sequels were made(Although I don't really care for Oblivion too much)and i'm hoping this fifth film gets made soon.

!!!POSSIBLE SPOILERS!!!A young boy watches as a strange man working on a cemetary takes bodies out of their coffins and into his funeral home. Everyone he tells thinks he's crazy until other strange and awful things happen. Little monsters lurk in the dark, people dissapear, and a tall man stalks the boy and his friends.

Exciting, suspenseful, great story, acting, and music score. ***** out of *****.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Just doesn't hit the high mark on my movies.

3/10
Author: movies2u from United States
2 June 2001

Phantasm wasn't as good as I expected. It had lots of twists and turns, which doesn't appeal to me. The movie had a strange plot. The story outline wasn't that great, and I just didn't enjoy it. The film had some things about it that I didn't like. I don't reccomend this movie, unless your a sci-fi fan, but I say I'd have to give this film a C+

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A strange trip indeed!

6/10
Author: Aphex97 from Nether Realm
17 May 2001



Phantasm is definitely a strange trip. I remember watching it when I was a child and thinking, "This is cool as hell!" Now after a second viewing of the special feature loaded DVD at the age of 21, I sat thinking the whole time, "What the hell is this?!?"

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS MOVIE: Some redeeming factors for the movie are the Tall Man, who does manage to be pretty scary throughout. Also the Tall Man's evil motivations (which I won't divulge for those who haven't seen the movie) are pretty interesting and refreshingly original. When Mike goes through the dimensional portal, I was very impressed with the visual of the alien surface and slaves. And of course the Orb killing scene takes the cake as by far and away the coolest scene in the movie and well worth watching at least once! The film also creates a nice horror ambience when inside the very scary mortuary halls.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE ABOUT THIS MOVIE: Amazingly horrendous acting...I'm usually pretty forgiving of actors but these actors were just plain bad. Poorly scripted (not to mention unbelievable) build-up to main action; I didn't understand why/what was going on half the time. The decisions the actors made were senseless (e.g. why did Jody keep leaving Mike alone when every time he was left alone Jody either needed Mike's help or had to go save him).

FINAL RATING: 6/10 - The very original, novel, and promising plot idea is nearly destroyed by a poor script, poor presentation, and poor acting. However, it is still a somewhat classic horror film worth watching at least once. Hardcore fans of the horror genre should enjoy. The overall strangeness of the movie also makes it interesting.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

An excellent representation of the genre.

8/10
Author: wbhickok (wbhickok@hotmail.com) from San Diego USA
5 May 2001

I remember when my friend had Channel 100 (now known more widely as HBO) and Phantasm was on when I was sleeping over one night. I can recall vividly watching this movie without a light on in the house, just being blown away at how incredible the movie was. Then in the mid 80s I saw it for sale for ten bucks, I bought it, what the hell. Now while it still didn't scare me as much as the first time I saw it, I was still impressed with the style of it all. Sure the dialouge is laughable sometimes. Is it incoherent: Yes. But for a film that had almost no budget, it carries alot of weight, and is better than most horror flix that come out today. The well worn copy I bought some fifteen years ago still remains in my collection, and I still watch it from time to time. An eerie soundtrack also adds to quite an effective little shocker.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

BOOOOOYYYYYYY!!!!!

Author: marleymom-2
7 January 2001

With a good number of horror films you really need to suspend disbelief, relax, and let your mind go. Phantasm is one of those movies where if you do the above 3 things you will be richly rewarded. My first memories of this film are fuzzy late night viewings on network! TV. Even with a substancial portion deleted for TV the point was driven home. The grainy images of flying spheres, twitching fingers,a tall man in all kind of nightmarish stances stick with me 15 years later. Now I am inspired to purchase the DVD version with all the groovy little extras. This is the first time I am treated to the uncut version and I was not disappointed. The mood is dark 70's horror at it's finest. The soundtrack makes Halloween's seem hokey. Phatasm is filled with suspense. Something that has since disappeared from horror movies almost altogether. The one critisism I'd have to make of this movie is that the plot jumps almost as many times as you do watching it. The relationship between Mike and Jody was an honest attempt to make you care for the characters and elevate the movie above the typical slash and dash genre that was on the horizon at the time it was made. Trouble was that we never devled too deeply into the Mike/Jody thing. It was almost like the story wanted to paint a deeper picture about relationships and friendships in the town that never made it to screen. But that aside Phantasm is a fear trip. Turn down the lights, fire up some candles, lock the doors and put this one on play. And tell me honestly when you lay in your bed at night you won't have some of this films images playing through your head.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Amazing, keeps you thinking what is in the closest....

10/10
Author: jjgoods2000 from Netherregions (fort lauderdale)
5 January 2001

First let me start off by stating that I am a huge horror buff, and I have seen the best of them, Evil dead trilogy, the exorcist movies, omen, aliens, haunting.....

I guess I am that way to get a good scare, and so far only one movie has come close. Those others were amusing, but the one that frighten me the most is Phantasm, and I mean FRIGHTEN.

I discovered this little gem late one night while up cramming for a test, on my little college B&W TV. For the next week I was afraid to open closet doors, or look in mirrors after midnight (spooky).

I definitely rank this #1 on my top ten horror films.

On a side note, I never expected a video game to give me the creeps, but if you are into survival horror, and you need a chill, Silent Hill (1999) (VG), for the playstation is quite insane. Whether watching Phantasm, or playing silent hill, make sure you a alone in the dark. And don't drink any fluids if you are prone to wetting your pants.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Good, yet strange, late night horror fun

7/10
Author: †HÈ Ñ宮‡Ør from Sydney, Australia
17 December 2000

Phantasm's originality mainly comes from it complete bizarreness. If you're going to watch it again because you didn't get, don't worry, it's not you're fault. Phantasm is not a movie you're supposed to understand, in fact, the word 'Phantasm' means something weird, I forget, but a lot of people have it written down in their comments. Phantasm is the story of a young boy who witnesses a strange, tall man stealing the coffin of a man who recently died near the town mortuary. This strange event, along with a few more incite the boy, along with his brother and their ice-cream man friend to find out what's happening at the morgue.

Phantasm was the debut feature and was written, directed and produced by Don A. Coscarelli, who was in his 20's when he made it. It is pretty impressive, and it's a movie that could have been a disaster, but the movie's so neat you forget about how absurd the going-ons are, and with a creepy music score, great art direction, lots of suspense, and a couple of good jump scenes, and a lot of cool gadgets (including a killing metal ball for which the movie's partly well known for), Phantasm is a nifty, fun, and scary horror movie that makes good, late night fun. 7/10.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Don't Fear

5/10
Author: GroovyDoom from Haddonfield, IL
9 December 2000

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I remember the effect that "Phantasm" had on me as a kid, and it really scared the hell out of me. Having recently watched the deluxe DVD that was issued for the film, it seemed that all of the film's mystery had faded after years of familiarity. What I noticed most was how bad the script is, and how amateurish the actors are.

Maybe "Phantasm" is best kept in the realm of 11:30pm on a Friday night as a 12 year old kid, staying up late to catch it on TV. Back then the severed fingers didn't look so fake. Neither did the plastic fly, and I never really noticed how much the boulders at the end of the film looked like styrofoam.

Since the movie is about a kid anyway, it makes sense that these ideas would translate well to a kid, particularly a young boy. As it stands, the movie still works pretty well as a nightmarish allegory about the passage into adulthood.

The problem that Coscarelli faced was his actors, with the exception of Angus Scrimm. The bonus footage on the DVD really underscores the lack of screen presence that they generate, particularly an excruciating sequence in which the characters make an ice cream sundae out of the drunken Mikey. It also features embarrassing footage of Scrimm at a horror/sci-fi convention hamming it up, reciting the Tall Man's few lines in the film to a wildly applauding audience.

While the inventiveness of Coscarelli's strange ideas often overcomes the script's weaknesses, it's only when the film relies almost totally on visuals to tell the tale that it truly succeeds. Watch the film again and you'll notice it, if you haven't already--the best (and scariest) sequences take place with almost no dialogue. Apparently there were some editing problems when the film was coverted to home video originally, and it makes for a weird experience. At times the narrative seems to screech to a halt, then start again from some new perspective, for instance the climactic confrontation at the mortuary. The characters find the source of the inter-dimensional travel, manage to stop the vibrations, and cause a vaccuum that sucks the entire building away. Then they are suddenly all outside together, seemingly from nowhere. Then they are back at their house, exchanging dialogue that makes it seem like no time has passed.

The horrible sequels that were made after this one really drove the point home for me that "Phantasm" was best seen and not heard. The more that was explained, the worse it got, particularly the awkward backtrack that occurs at the beginning of "Phantasm II".

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Weird, but I like it.

10/10
Author: vamptrampzombie
4 November 2000

You know, there is nothing I like more than little creepy dwarfs in brown robes and a tall man that bleeds yellow, and this film has both! But the really cool part is the ice cream man, Reggie Banister. This guy is great, and gets better in the sequels. I say anyone who likes really weird horror should check this one out. It is a classic.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

One of the best

7/10
Author: Ty-12
24 October 2000

Not very well written, hard to follow, cheesy lines but it has boobs, a Dodge Charger, killer Jawas, an ice cream truck, a house decorated by a 70's pot-head, an interdimensional rift, Reggie and The Tall Man. Some how it works beautifully.

I don't know if anyone else would agree with but the scene where the Tall Man walks down the street, scowls at the BOY!!! while being engulfed in ice cream truck "steam" is one of the best shots ever placed on celluloid.

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