Friday, September 29, 2017

Film Review: Phantasm by Roberta J. Downing

Horror / Sci-Fi
Released: June 1, 1979
Director and written by: Don Coscarelli
Starring: A. Michael Baldwin, Bill Thornbury, Reggie Bannister and Angus Scrimm
A boy and his adult brother along with a guitar playing ice cream man must protect themselves from a mortician who is only known as the “Tall Man.” This mortician not only has minions but he has the most terrifying weapons anyone has ever seen.
Mike’s curiosity has gotten the best of him when he sees something he shouldn’t have seen. He can’t help himself but to go nosing around the funeral home after hours. The poor boy becomes terrified after seeing what I can only describe as demonic ewoks that try to keep in locked in and moreover, tries to harm him. He makes it back home to inform his big brother Jody who chalks it up to just a teenager’s imagination.
Jody takes his date to the local grave yard where the young lady is murdered. Jody scurries back home avoiding getting into trouble.
Later that night, the real trouble begins. Oh yes, the “Tall Man” (Angus Scrimm) in all his creepiness makes his reflection is seen through the mirror. The tall thin man udders his most famous word; “Boy” and the way in which he says it isn’t like a father. Oh no. His voice is most menacing and threatening.
The next night, Mike, Jody and Reggie head off to the funeral parlor only to find that the Tall Man had been expecting them and in fact, pulled out the most evil of weapons, that quite honestly when I saw this as a child scared the holy hell out of me, to unleash. A silver ball. Oh this is not just any silver ball. This ball flies through the air and has two metal spikes that come out of it. I not going to give away all of the ball’s little secrets!
This film won both the Saturn Film Award and the Special Jury Award. If you have not seen this film yet, this is a must! This is a true classic and the first of its kind in the type of horror it represents. The Tall Man will leave you wanting more, you’ll be rooting for Mike and grow to love Reggie. Be prepared for lots of jumps and some really awesome gore! Also as a warning, don’t be shocked and shaken if you end up with nightmares. And whatever you do, try not to laugh at the evil ewoks!
The chase is on but, who is chasing who? This single movie spawned several sequels that are just as good as the first. Truly brilliant! -Roberta J. Downing


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