Phantasm – the 40-year anniversary

40 years have passed since the release of this movie. One of the most beloved and influential cult classics ever.

In a small town, the inhabitants start to mysteriously die from strange circumstances. While all of this is happening we are introduced to two brothers, the young Mike and his older brother Jody. They are living on their own since both of their parents are dead. This makes Mike want to be very clingy to his brother, often following him wherever he goes. Because of this, he begins to notice strange events around the town, mainly revolving around the mortician, known as “The tall man”.

One night as he is following his older brother who is fooling around with a girl in a graveyard, he gets chased by some sort of a dwarf creature. He manages to evade it but gets noticed by his brother, who asks him about the incident but unfortunately does not believe him. From there he tries to find some kind of evidence that the tall man is in fact not human and once he manages to do so things start to get very weird. The brothers, accompanied by their friend try to uncover the mystery behind the disappearances and get rid of the tall man for good.

Phantasm was directed, written, edited, filmed and co-produced by Don Don Coscarelli.  It stars the now iconic Angus Scrimm as the tall man and it has become one of the most beloved cult classics ever. But somehow it really did not stick with me. It’s not that the film is bad, I actually liked a lot of aspects from the film. The visuals are stunning, the villain is great and I liked the main characters too. I also am a big fan of strange films and the bizarreness of the film was done very well, a lot of ambiguities, unexplained things to keep you guessing and a constant struggle between dream and reality. And yet, having seen it twice already it has underwhelmed me twice. I know that some horror fans will not like this take but what can I do.

I really do commend the cast and crew though. Being a film with a very low budget and mainly crowdfunded by Coscarelli’s father and a few other people while his mother did the special effects and the cast was mainly comprised out of close friends and aspiring professionals.

Even if I did not like a film I can still respect it. I can definitely see why it became what it is today. It is clear that a lot of love and passion and love went into the film so I really do respect that and I definitely recommend watching it. It is iconic and it definitely deserves to be a beloved cult classic.

Since I rewatched it, it did remind me of a music video for a great song that I’d love to share which was definitely inspired by the movie and the infamous floating ball (and definitely inspired by Possession also)

 

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