- Movie Rating -

Phantasm (1979); ★

| March 28, 1979

The horror movies of the late 1970s seem to have this hazy, dreamy, hangover feel to them.  Everyone looks like garbage; the music is interminably bad and the hairstyles are especially ridiculous.   This falls on no film quite like Phantasm, a movie that is not only steeped in the feel of 1979, but also seems randomized in any order.  There’s no real sense of build-up.  The movie keeps throwing in new curveballs every few minutes.

What stands for a plot?  Well, I found that I had to read a synopsis to really understand what the movie was trying to do.  It involves a kid named Mike whose parents just died.  Bereft of their comfort, he now fears for his older brother.  At a cemetery, he witnesses a very tall man (Angus Scrimm) pull a coffin into his hearse.  The movie then spends what seems like three days of real time trying to get down to this man’s nefarious plan.  If I got the plot right, it involves stealing bodies from a local cemetery so that he can reanimate them and make them his personal servants.

Okay, yeah, as horror plots go, I can at least say that I haven’t seen that one before.  I haven’t experienced a live ritual killing either but that doesn’t mean that I’m clamoring to see one.

The only real point of interest here are the flying silver balls that The Tall Man surrounds himself with.  They have a reflective surface and, if they catch you, the drill into your skull.  That’s pretty neat and to see them do their dirty work is pretty cool.  But the rest of the movie is just random nonsense, arriving at an ending that I didn’t care about or even care to try and explain.  I’m sorry.  I just have things to do.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1979) View IMDB Filed in: Uncategorized
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