6.8/10
26,859
282 user 202 critic

Phantasm (1979)

Trailer
1:53 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
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.

Director:

Writer:

2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Phantasm II (1988)
Action | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Mike, now released from a psychiatric hospital, continues his journey to stop the evil Tall Man from his grim work.

Director: Don Coscarelli
Stars: James Le Gros, Reggie Bannister, Angus Scrimm
Action | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Mike and Reggie continue to hunt the mysterious Tall Man, discovering along the way that the invasion has already begun.

Director: Don Coscarelli
Stars: Reggie Bannister, A. Michael Baldwin, Bill Thornbury
Fantasy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Mike travels through time and dimensions to find the Tall Man's origins.

Director: Don Coscarelli
Stars: A. Michael Baldwin, Reggie Bannister, Bill Thornbury
Action | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

The final installment of the long-running Phantasm series.

Director: David Hartman
Stars: A. Michael Baldwin, Reggie Bannister, Dawn Cody
Re-Animator (1985)
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A dedicated student at a medical college and his girlfriend become involved in bizarre experiments centering around the re-animation of dead tissue when an odd new student arrives on campus.

Director: Stuart Gordon
Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton
Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)
Comedy | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Based on the Bram Stoker Award nominee short story by cult author Joe R. Lansdale, Bubba Ho-tep tells the "true" story of what really did become of Elvis Presley. We find Elvis (Bruce ... See full summary »

Director: Don Coscarelli
Stars: Bruce Campbell, Ossie Davis, Bob Ivy
The Howling (1981)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After a bizarre and near fatal encounter with a serial killer, a television newswoman is sent to a remote mountain resort whose residents may not be what they seem.

Director: Joe Dante
Stars: Dee Wallace, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

On the way to California, a family has the misfortune to have their car break down in an area closed to the public, and inhabited by violent savages ready to attack.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Suze Lanier-Bramlett, Robert Houston, John Steadman
Zombie (1979)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Strangers searching for a young woman's missing father arrive at a tropical island where a doctor desperately searches for the cause and cure of a recent epidemic of the undead.

Director: Lucio Fulci
Stars: Tisa Farrow, Ian McCulloch, Richard Johnson
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Alien brain parasites, entering humans through the mouth, turn their host into a killing zombie. Some teenagers start to fight against them.

Director: Fred Dekker
Stars: Jason Lively, Tom Atkins, Steve Marshall
From Beyond (1986)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A group of scientists have developed the Resonator, a machine which allows whoever is within range to see beyond normal perceptible reality. But when the experiment succeeds, they are immediately attacked by terrible life forms.

Director: Stuart Gordon
Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Ted Sorel
Basket Case (1982)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A young man carrying a big basket that contains his extremely deformed Siamese-twin brother seeks vengeance on the doctors who separated them against their will.

Director: Frank Henenlotter
Stars: Kevin Van Hentenryck, Terri Susan Smith, Beverly Bonner
Edit

Cast

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

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 you're looking for horror that's got balls...IT'S FOUND YOU. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 March 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Morningside  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$11,988,469
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (Visurama)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed at the same mansion as So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993). Dunsmuir House & Gardens in Oakland, CA. See more »

Goofs

(at around 12 mins) Mike crashes his dirt bike from a side angle but in the second shot, the bike goes from flying upside down to dead still. The bike was obviously just sitting there in the next angle while Mike jumps into the edit. See more »

Quotes

Jody: Now, remember: you don't aim a gun at a man unless you intend to shoot him. And, you don't shoot a man unless you intend to kill him. No warning shots. Hey, you listening to me? No warning shots. Warning shots are bullshit. You shoot to kill, or you don't shoot at all.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The remastered version begins with the Bad Robot logo appearing in one of the Tall Man's spheres. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Dead Pool (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Sittin' Here At Midnight
by Bill Thornbury
Thornbury Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Another Horror Classic, And With Good Reason
5 March 2007 | by See all my reviews

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 older 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). Some of the tricks they pull off are impressive considering computer technology of the day, and also considering Coscarelli himself was writing and directing at the unthinkably young age of 23.

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? But these are issues that can always be addressed in sequels.

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. Created 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. And, edging out "Halloween", this may be the longest-running horror franchise, running from 1979 through 2016 (37 years!).

Over the years, "Phantasm" has been released in a variety of ways, but I think the definitive release finally exists thanks to Well Go USA. I asked Coscarelli why he went with Well Go (known for their martial arts movies) rather than Arrow Video or Scream Factory, and his answer was quite simple -- they had the most enthusiasm. And they have put together a nice package, too. The remastered Blu-ray looks sharp. WGN host and super-phan Nick Digilio screened it in Chicago in August 2016 and audiences were shocked to see individual raindrops. The new scan is better than the original print. The disc also contains a vintage interview with Coscarelli and Scrimm circa 1979, and an episode of "Graveyard Carz" where Coscarelli and Baldwin drive around in a Barracuda tribute car.


14 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 282 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed