Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dollar Bin Film:Phantasm


By Eric Polk of

Originally, I had planned for my comeback review, Black Sunday,Mario Bava's 1960 film featurning Barabara Steele. Sadly, I just couldn't get into it, but I'll try again at a later date. Instead, I plunged the depths of my Netflix Instant View and pulled out Don Coscarelli's 1979's Phantasm.

The story centers around two young men(Michael Baldwin,Bill Thornbury) noticing alot of strange deaths taking place in their neighborhood. They are joined by an odd ice cream man,Reggie(Reggie Bannister, seriously that's his real name)in their suspicious that the town mortician a.k.a. The Tall Man(Angus Scrimm) is person responsible for the killings.

Meanwhile,the younger man,Mike, relays his concerns to a fortune teller and her granddaughter about the possibilty of his brother, Jody,leaving town,along with his suspicious of The Tall Man. He is told to put his hands in a black box. After the box grips the boy's hand in a deathlock, the fortune teller tells him not to panic or be afraid which he does.

Soon, Mike is pursued by The Tall Man's minions including(and this made me laugh)little people dressed like Jawas from the original Star Wars movie. Turns out these people are actually made from bodies from the recently deceased.

After Mike convinces Jody and Reggie what happened, they wind up in a mausoleum which is the gateway to another dimension.

I have mixed feelings about this film. The bad stuff seems to me, yes the little monsters. I couldn't help but sing the Dink-Dink song from Spaceballs and make Jawa noises everytime they appeared. The ending was a great, big "F---You" though there were three more sequels to this movie. What I loved was The Tall Man,he was a genuinely creepy bad guy and The silver ball which made for a great death scene. Then, there is the psychological tension that comes and goes.

Overall, despite being #25 on Bravo's List of the 100 Scariest Movies, it's only good not great. Now if you'll excuse me, the funeral is about to begin!



Chris Regan said...

Love this film! It's probably a bit dated if you're watching it for the first time now as I'm sure it hasn't stood the test of time too well, but last time I watched it I thought the creepy, dream-like atmosphere still came through really well. And it has awesome music! Phantasm 2 is worth checking out, but I felt they went downhill from there. Also, you should definitely persevere with Black Sunday - that's an amazing film! Again, probably atmosphere over substance, but Bava at east knew how to make all kinds of nasty things look beautiful.

Eric Polk said...

Thanks Chris...When I watch an older film, I try to look at through that era's techniques. I found the tension very suspensful at the times. Again, the only real problem I had was the dwarves and the ending. Overall, it was genuinely good.

I do plan to give Black Sunday a proper viewing at a later date. I can say the opening scene was frickin' sweet!

MrJeffery said...

Tall Man is the highlight. And the music.

iZombie said...

Greetings HBA Member,
With the recent attention to the Horror Blogger Alliance and updates, I thought would be good to build a database for [over 350] the group.

For More Info:

Please Update Soon... and if you have updated your information, please disregard.

Jeremy [iZombie]
HBA Staff