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Phantasm (1979)

Cast: Michael Baldwin, Bill Thornbury, Reggie Bannister, more...
Director: Don Coscarelli
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Studio: MGM
Genre: Cult, Horror, Zombies
Running Time: 88 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French
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Phantasm is a surprisingly artful and imaginative horror film, an impressive film for 23-year-old director Don Coscarelli who worked with a miniscule budget to create a small masterpiece. When Mike (Michael Baldwin) spies some sinister Jawa-like creatures stealing corpses from the local cemetery, he and his older brother Jody (Bill Thornbury) explore the mausoleum, where they find that the mortician (Angus Scrimm), a towering, emaciated figure with superhuman strength, has somehow bridged the gap between Earth and the afterworld and needs fresh corpses. Among the tools of his trade is a flying Swiss army pinball that bores into the skulls of its hapless victims then extracts their brains. Their allies die off one by one, until only the brothers are left to defend humankind against the nefarious "Tall Man" and his army of shrouded dwarves. While the film does contain a fair amount of graphic violence, the gore is never gratuitous and, relative to other movies of its day, is used rather sparingly. The effects are fantastic as is the highly stylized direction; the result is a memorable chiller with more than its share of genuine shocks. ~ Jeremy Beday, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Somehow I thought this was scarier.... by barbrakearney May 30, 2007 - 12:02 PM PDT
Maybe it was because I saw it the first time when I was still in junior high at the drive-in, anything is scarier when watched from the backseat of mom's station wagon. Dud.

Phantas-tic! by TEng November 12, 2003 - 3:00 PM PST
5 out of 6 members found this review helpful
Cool blend of sci-fi and horror genres (borrowing liberally from Dune and The Twilight Zone). Yeah, it's campy. . . but what did you expect? It's a 70's horror movie!

First-time viewers beware: Angus Scrimm's intro to the dvd gives away some secrets, so you may want to fast-forward.

An affront to the senses. by MLouv February 14, 2003 - 9:33 PM PST
6 out of 16 members found this review helpful
My god, I saw this at a friend's house and after it ended I wanted to run my head through the garbage disposal a few times. The worst acting/screenwriting I've ever seen (and that's including the last James Bond). Half the scenes are completely unnecessary, it moves almost as slow as The Omen, and is about as frightening as watching a baby being rocked into a peaceful slumber.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.07)
257 Votes
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