Sunday, 8 May 2011

Phantasm (1979)

Written by Happywax  May 2011
Rating 8 out of 10

Director   -   Don Coscarelli

A. Michael Baldwin-   Mike pearson
Bill Thornbury-   Jody Pearson
Reggie Bannister- Reggie
Angus Scrimm- The Tall Man
Kathy Lester- Lady in Lavender

Hey all you Horror Hounds, Happys in the dungeon tonight and im bringing you one of my all-time favourite movies,Phantasm may not make a lot of sense, the story is confusing and seems to have been made up as it went along, but that's kind of the point. It's like watching someone else's fever dream...and that's exactly what it's supposed to be like, because it IS someone else's fever dream. Phantasm is a classic nightmare; totally unpredictable, claustrophobic, paranoid and frightening.

13 year old Michael Baldwin was perfect as the young protagonist, an amazingly refreshing, un-annoying child actor. I was totally convinced by his performance as the lonely teen, desperately chasing after his older brother and displaying just the right amounts of anger, confusion and frustration, yet never giving in to panic even as his world spins out of control. Bill Thornbury as older brother Jody seemed mysteriously detached, yet after repeated viewings, I realized how correct this was in light of the twist ending. He is, indeed, a ghost that Michael simply refuses to give up. Reggie Bannister was completely irresistible as the sweet and gentlemanly Reggie the Ice Cream Man, who manages to remain innocent and lovable even as he suggests ramming a stake through the Tall Mans heart. And the Tall Man, Mr. Angus Scrimm himself...BRRRRR!!! He doesn't have many lines (other than the now-infamous "BOYYYYYYY!") but he doesn't need any. His very presence is chilling, and the scene where he stops dead in the middle of a suburban sidewalk in the middle of the day and turns, ever so slowly, to face Michael through a mist of frost emanating from Reggie's ice cream truck, is more frightening than any murder scene set in the dead of night. And need I mention the flying balls? What an original, ingenious invention!
This is such an amazing blend of sci-fi, horror and fantasy that I really did not care if it didn't make a whole lot of sense. The flying balls, the dwarves, the yellow blood, and THAT FLY IN THE GARBAGE DISPOSAL!!! Wow. If nothing else, you simply have to give this film and its makers credit for originality,I dont really want to give away to much of the plot of this movie, just watch it for yourself and come to your own conclusion, but trust me you won't be disappointed, and make sure you check the trailer below.

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