“Phantasm” (1979) – Surreal Nightmare Fuelling Fun

Phantasm is like a terrible nightmare; it’s filled with haunting imagery, populated with garish characters and when it’s over you wonder what the hell just happened. Director/writer/producer/cinematographer/editor Don Coscarelli completely devoted himself to this bizarre sack of surreal images, utilizing limited lighting and creative camera moves to mask his lack of budget. Sometimes the masking doesn’t work to his advantage, but the gradual reveal of the machinations behind The Tall Man and his minions is consistently fascinating to watch thanks to the vast amounts of glorious atmosphere, a likable cast and an appropriately intriguing sense of humor. The biggest highlight of them all really is the now late Angus Scrimm as The Tall Man, who combines a mysterious sense of authority with a limited yet deafening use of his booming voice.

Date Rewatched: 1/11/16

Rating: 4 out of 5 Mustard Covered Severed Fingers

phantasm-poster

AVCO Embassy Picture

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