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Phantasm (1979)

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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:

Don Coscarelli

Writer:

Don Coscarelli
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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During their Christmas break, a group of sorority girls are stalked by a stranger.

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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:

This ball wants to play with you...for keeps! 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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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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | 4-Track Stereo (Visurama)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

(at around 5 mins) The line of dialogue "The funeral is about to begin, Sir" was used by black metal band "Marduk" in their track 'Hearse', from the album 'World Funeral' (2003), and also by the death metal band 'The Ravenous' in a track from their first album "Assembled in Blasphemy" (2000). Death Metal Band Mortician used it as the Intro for the Song "Mortician" on their Album "Hacked Up For Barbeque" See more »

Goofs

(at around 38 mins) You can see the stick making the finger move when it's in the box. See more »

Quotes

Mike: [upon seeing the Tall Man] Uuuumm...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The cable TV version has a extra text in the credits that reads "enter the Tall Man's Mausoleum if you dare at www.phantasm.com" See more »

Alternate Versions

There is a confirmed first workprint cut of the movie that apparently went over three hours long in length. It's been speculated that most of the excised footage from this version though served as padding and unnecessary characterization that merely slowed the overall pacing of the movie. Despite there being over ten minutes of deleted footage being officially released over the years through previous releases of the movie and through recycling in Phantasm IV: Oblivion, much of the missing footage from this first cut has never seen the light of day. However, it has been stated by Don Coscarelli at a screening of Phantasm: Remastered (Frida Cinema, 10/13/18) that he may consider releasing this cut someday through limited distribution after having been asked by a fan. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Transylvania Twist (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Skip it...
30 October 2002 | by Obi311See all my reviews

I'll cut right to the chase. If you're looking for killer-jawas, horrible acting, a non-existent story and bad special effects, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better way to fill that void than watching Phantasm. The lone positive aspect of this movie for me was the "tall man" character. He's not the most imposing villain to be found but there was something creepy about him anyway. So to the films credit, they at least got that part right.

The films biggest flaw for me was that I honestly didn't care what happened to any of the main characters throughout the duration of the movie. Our "hero" for example spends the first half of the movie trying to repress his inner "Peeping Tom" and the latter half trying to figure out the weak plot like the rest of us.

Don't get me wrong here, I adore old-school and even obscure horror movies. I'll watch just about everything from tongue-in-cheek'ers like "Killer clowns from outer space" to classics like "Psycho". Unfortunately, the only reaction this movie got out of me were laughs due to some of the poor edits, effects and those aforementioned evil Jawas.

It's a skipper.


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