A teenage boy and his friends face off against a mysterious grave robber, known only as the Tall Man, who employs a lethal arsenal of unearthly weapons.

Director:

Don Coscarelli

Writer:

Don Coscarelli
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Popularity
4,078 ( 511)
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
A. Michael Baldwin ... Mike (as Michael Baldwin)
Bill Thornbury ... Jody
Reggie Bannister ... Reggie
Kathy Lester ... Lady in Lavender
Terrie Kalbus Terrie Kalbus ... Fortuneteller's Granddaughter
Kenneth V. Jones ... Caretaker (as Ken Jones)
Susan Harper Susan Harper ... Girlfriend
Lynn Eastman-Rossi ... Sally (as Lynn Eastman)
David Arntzen David Arntzen ... Toby
Ralph Richmond Ralph Richmond ... Bartender
Bill Cone Bill Cone ... Tommy
Laura Mann Laura Mann ... Double Lavender
Mary Ellen Shaw Mary Ellen Shaw ... Fortuneteller
Myrtle Scotton Myrtle Scotton ... Maid
Angus Scrimm ... The Tall Man
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Storyline

Mike, a young teenage boy who has just lost his parents, afraid to lose his brother follow him to a funeral, where Mike witnesses the Tall Man lifting a coffin on his own. Mike decides to investigate, and discovers that the Tall Man, protected by his flying spheres, is shrinking dead bodies down to half their normal size and reanimating them as slaves. It is then up to Mike, his brother, and Reggie the ice cream man to stop the Tall man.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If this one doesn't scare you, you're already dead! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for nudity, violence, and intense scenes | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Don Coscarelli notes they had the run of a local funeral home one night to shoot. The man who was in charge of making sure they didn't break anything was an embalmer who would come watch them shoot between working. The director remembers one night when the embalmer was eating a doughnut, heard the backdoor bell ringing, and said, "Oh, I got another one." He promptly left, doughnut in hand, to receive the corpse. "It was really morbid," recalls Coscarelli. See more »

Goofs

When Mike falls off of his motorbike, the stunt double used is obvious. Also, the area around him looks changed, or at least the angle. See more »

Quotes

Mike: There's this door down here, and I bet there's something behind it.
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Crazy Credits

With the exception of the title Phantasm appearing on-screen, there are no opening credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

Due to a mix up while transfering from film to video, early VHS releases were missing part of the scene when Michael, Jody and Reggie are in the "dimentional doorway" room when the lights go out. Originally the scene had them arguing, Michael lighting a lighter and he and Jody running when they see a dwarf, accidently leaving Reggie behind. The mistaken version has the scene jump from the lights going out to where Jody is searching for Michael outside, completely throwing off its continuity and having the scene make no sense. See more »

Connections

Featured in Trailer Trauma Part 4: Television Trauma (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Sittin' Here At Midnight
by Bill Thornbury
Thornbury Music
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User Reviews

 
A Weird and Original Cult Movie
23 December 2012 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

After the death of Tommy (Bill Cone), who was stabbed by a woman at the cemetery, Jody (Bill Thornbury) and his friend Reggie (Reggie Bannister) attend the funeral at the Morningside funeral home. Jody is followed by his teenage brother Mike (Michael Baldwin), who has just lost his parents and is afraid of losing his big brother that intends to travel.

Mike snoops around the cemetery and sees the mortician known as The Tall Man (Angus Scrimm) carrying Tommy's coffin alone without any help. Mike breaks in the mortuary to investigate the mystery and discovers weird dwarf creatures with yellow blood and dangerous flying spheres that protect the location. When he is chased by The Tall Man, he cuts his finger and brings it home to show Jody to convince his big brother that there is a dark secret in the mortuary. Jody, Reggie and Mike discover that The Tall Man is from outer space and is transforming dead bodies in dwarfs to work as slave in his world. Now they decide that The Tall Man must be destroyed. Will they succeed in their intent?

"Phantasm" is one of the most weird and original cult movies that I have ever seen. The surrealistic and dreamlike story entwines horror with sci-fi with many twists and bizarre characters and situations.

I saw "Phantasm" for the first time on VHS in the early 80's and I have just seen it again on DVD and surprisingly the film has not aged, only the clothing, the hair style and the special effects. But for fans like me, it is still attractive and entertaining. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Fantasma" ("Phantasm")


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 March 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Morningside See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$11,988,469

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,988,469
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | 4-Track Stereo (Visurama)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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