Phantasm (1979)

phantasm-posterTwo brothers deal with strange goings-on in a small Oregon town where people are dying and the most likely suspect is a creepy undertaker known as the Tall Man.

Phantasm achieved cult status and is well known for it’s original premise, iconic Tall Man character, and the deadly sphere object. These elements are explored in greater depth in four sequels. It’s fun seeing how later movies were influenced by some of the scenes in Phantasm. There is a scene in George Romero’s Day of the Dead that is very reminiscent of a dream sequence in this movie.

The movie holds up surprisingly well for being made in the late 70s. I mean, there are bell bottoms everywhere and it’s definitely got an old vibe, but the story still works and most of the FX aren’t too bad. I kept wondering how they got away with so much gore in those days.

Pretty much all of the acting is atrocious. Angus Scrimm is good as the Tall Man. He’s normally scary looking and he gives a menacing presence in all of his scenes. The younger brother is totally worthless and he curses like a sailor.

Bottom line: this is perfect for a cool October evening spooky movie night.