|release date||March 28 1979|
|starring||Angus Scrimm, A. Michael Baldwin, Reggie Banister|
|tagline||If this one doesn't scare you, you're already dead!|
Phantasm was – and is – an italian, low-budget cultclassic back in 1979. To me however, it sometimes seems that Phantasm is one of those movies that gets overlooked and perhaps, even forgotten.
But let’s not rush into things and start of with the story of the movie.
The movie opens with Tommy, being killed by a girl he is making out with on the Morningside cemetary. The girl however turns out to be The Tall Man, the man that runs the morgue.
After Tommy’s funeral, Mike – the brother of one of Tommy’s best friends, Jodie, sees The Tall Man picking up Tommy’s coffin all by himself and putting it in the trunk of his car.
Later in the story, Mike gets attacked by a little brown creature of some sort, while he is hanging around the cemetary. He decides to investigate what’s going on and breaks into the morgue. There, he gets chased by The Tall Man, but manages to get away and even cut off a couple of The Tall Man’s fingers. Mike decides to take one of the fingers – that is still moving – home and show it to Jodie.
After seeing the moving finger, Jodie believes Mike’s story and together they go out to investigate.
Eventually they find out the truth about The Tall Man’s business, that is even stranger, bizarre and terrifying, then they could have ever expected, but the question is – is it reality ?
Not only is the story truly original and bizarre, the movie also is terrific. Alright, I will admitt that the acting is not really convincing at all times – with an exception for Angus Scrimm who plays The Tall Man really creepy -, but at the other hand I must also say, that it is offcourse impossible to act natural in such a strange story, so that kind of makes up for it.
Secondly, there’s the music. Phantasm is one of the few movies, that is worth watching, just for the music. In fact, I’m downloading the theme right now, because I just had to have it.
And offcourse, there is the atmosphere. The thin line between reality and dream is perfectly visualised and is really chilling and dark. The movie manages to stay creepy by leaving a lot to the imagination of the viewer. Normally, this is just a lame excuse for not having any blood in your movie, but in this case, it really, really works and it was done with a great eye for atmosphere and detail.
Alltogether, this makes a great, almost perfectly stylish movie, that you should really watch a couple of times, to let the atmosphere work in on you. Phantasm once again showed me, why I find italian movies so facinating.