Sunday Sesh: Let’s All Just Watch Phantasm

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“The funeral is about to begin, sir.”

Since the Toilet’s humble genesis, we have been haunted by a specter; long has the grim visage of the Tall Man stalked these marbled halls. His origin is mysterious, his demeanor gruff. In truth, all we know of him is his thirst for death.

And yet, I’ve somehow managed to endure the entirety of my two years of friendship with the enigmatic Scrimm without seeing the film from which he draws his namesake. That’s right. Until about 8:00 pm last night, I had never seen Scrimm’s chief love and inspiration, the cult classic Phantasm. That was a mistake.

It was a mistake because Phantasm is a nutty and utterly delightful film. Upon first examination, Phantasm seems every bit a product of 1970s horror. The plot is a bit kooky, the teenagers are horny, and the violence is schlocky. The film was initially panned for its bizarre plot and general incomprehensibility. Horror fans looked deep beneath the surface though and found a film that was very much a love letter to its genre, one with some excellent cinematography and characters to boot.

If you can get pass some of the odd pacing choices (and a bit of a frustrating twist at the end), I guarantee you’ll find a lot to love. The film is chock full of genuinely beautiful scenes. Both the spartan marble halls of the funeral home and the blood-red aurora of the dwarf planet leave strong impressions of the film’s bold art direction. The soundtrack is fantastic and perfectly accents the otherworldly and imposing nature of the film’s antagonist. And the Tall Man himself is an excellent villain, the kind of classic horror killer whose goals are unknown and whose menace seems unstoppable. It’s no wonder Scrimm chose the name of the Tall Man’s actor as his moniker.

If you’re a fan of the genre, you definitely owe it to yourself to watch Phantasm. The film isn’t perfect, but it is damn good and certainly deserves its place in the pantheon of classic horror films. It’s got dread, menace, and just the right amount of gore. What more do you need?

If you’re interested, you can watch Phantasm for $1.99 on Amazon Prime or just pay for it on the Youtube embed below!

Beware the flying balls.

(Photos VIA, VIA, and VIA)

  • Señor Jefe El Rosa

    The bluray should be coming out pretty soon, can’t wait for that. MUST BUY

    • Scrimm

      Tuesday

      • JWEG

        I’m waiting to see if HMV.ca gets a copy of the 4K restoration so I can
        order it in-store.

        Otherwise I’ll be on Amazon bright and early Tuesday morning.

    • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

      Speaking of “must buy”‘s, you’ll be pleased to know that I have some power metal stuff coming my way.

    • IronLawnmower

      I don’t believe in blu ray

      • HD DVD til i’m ded

        • Scrimm

          VHS!!

          • Xinen

            And Betamax!

          • Rob M

            Amateurs….its laser disc or nothing

        • ME GORAK™✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ
      • Stockhausen

        I don’t believe in Tuesday.

        • OH, so what day do you go to BDubz, mr. fancypants?

          • GL

            To be real for a minute: Bdubs food is soooooo terrible. Like not even worth talking about. Furthermore, their beers are not the cheapest. I do not even know how they stay in business. It is terrible. Terrible. Terrible.

          • GL

            Futher-futhermore, you have to nearly take out a fucking loan to pay for your meal… ONLY to have shitty service. Fuck that place. Twice.

          • I’m joking man. That place is terrible.

          • Scrimm

            Today

          • Stockhausen

            Uh, I’m never NOT at BDubz, brah.

  • KyleJMcBride

    Great soundtrack too.

  • IronLawnmower

    The Lord invented Sunday as the perfect day to spend the day stoned in your dressing gown watching arrested development

    • W.

      Dressing gown? Are you 60 years old?

      • IronLawnmower

        I have a Benjamin Button thing going on.

        • more beer

          As an old guy. Even I don’t talk like that.

          • IronLawnmower

            Well what the dick do you call them then. My family are weird and archaic.

          • more beer

            I don’t own a special outfit for sleeping.

          • IronLawnmower

            Me either I sleep naked. Gotta let the children breathe

          • more beer

            There you go.

          • IronLawnmower

            Here we are

          • KyleJMcBride

            sweat pants and a t shirt

          • W.

            We just don’t wear them

          • IronLawnmower

            Naked president

      • more beer

        I took Mr Putin out last night. To that show the Metal Maiden ladies we were talking to at Black Sky put on. A lot of fun and a whole lot of beautiful metal ladies.

        • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

          “beautiful metal ladies”

          Such a crying shame I haven’t come across any over here.

          • more beer

            Well there were an abundance of them here last night.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Beautiful metal chicks over here are few and far between. Most girls I met over here that like metal were always socially awkward weirdos, most of them being into the cheesiest, corniest power metal imaginable.

            Though I once met a metal chick who was from Algeria; which was actually quite surprising because while I know plenty of North Africans over here, I’ve never met one who even remotely likes metal. She was pretty hot.

          • where i live, metal chicks (beautiful or not) are a commodity. at any given show, there are several ugly dudes orbiting them wherever they go. also, we may see a beautiful metal chick grappling one sole ugly dude, but he may morph into a different ugly dude as the seasons change. and believe you me, the crowds whisper among themselves and point any time a new beautiful metal chick enters the scene; alas she is holding the hand of some ugly dude with a flatbrim hat and an Affliction shirt before long

          • more beer

            You guys are doing it wrong. I was discussing this with a friend from Minneapolis a month ago. He said it was the same there. As what you are describing. Maybe instead of whispering among yourselves. Then judging her for whatever ugly dude she is with. You should welcome them and actually talk to them. If they find the scene to be welcoming. They will convince their friends to go to shows with them. Just because one has an ugly boyfriend doesn’t mean she doesn’t have single friends. That would be willing to go to more shows. If the people on your scene knew how to act. Personality goes a long way with the ladies. If you have a good one. Ladies will recognize this and it really improves your chances with them. Or you can continue to talk shit about them and never meet one. It really isn’t that hard.

          • i’m just an observer, i don’t try to meet girls at shows. and because of the loud music and commotion, i really just hang with my friends and talk to the bands at the merch table before and after the show.
            spot on though! (and no, most people do not know how to act here, hehe)

          • more beer

            I am pretty social at shows. But I also know a vast majority of the people on the scene here. I also don’t go out of my way to hook up. If it happens it happens. But here if you step outside of a show it is usually to smoke herb. Almost everyone here smokes. So passing a joint to a pretty girl is always a good icebreaker.

          • HAHA word on that man! yeah i find that most guy whose goal is to “hook up” live a life that just isn’t as rewarding. friends and acquaintances tend to be long term rewards. and yeah, the devil’s mint is certainly the great unifier. not just at shows either, i cannot fucking wait for Missouri to go green, if for no other reason just to get the uptight motherfuckers around here to get along better

          • more beer

            Remember that to have it get the uptight motherfuckers there to get along better. Their uptight asses will need to smoke. Otherwise it won’t matter.

          • This man is not incorrect.

          • more beer

            It must be different there. Because most of the metal ladies I know here. Are pretty outgoing.

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            What’s wrong woth power metal?!?!

          • more beer

            Apparently it is cheesy and corny and attracts socially awkward people.

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            But I’m not…

            Oh wait…

          • more beer

            I wasn’t talking about you per say.

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            You basically described me, hahaha

          • more beer

            hahaha!

          • To be fair, a lot of metal outside of power metal attracts socially awkward folks. And a lot of the non-metal world views all metal as cheesy and corny.

            (They’re not wrong much of the time)

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            Oh yeah, I completely agree. Just one of those things.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Like any other metal subgenre – except for deathcore – power metal also has its good stuff (see my other upcoming post in 1…2…3…), but I don’t think stuff like Dragonforce, Hammerfall, Rhapsody, Sabaton…fucking Gloryhammer…qualifies as “good power metal”.

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            YOU TAKE THAT BACK FRANK!

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Sorry Boss, but any of those bands I just named have nothing but the following effect on me:

            https://68.media.tumblr.com/538e66e14b6cdd10075e3999a8cbed50/tumblr_mlo5pgOKlR1sonquko1_500.gif

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            FACEMELTING GREATNESS?!?!

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            More like: facemelting cringe.

            Facemelting greatness would be something like this:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIXrOEAG9tY

          • Sir Crawfish The Based

            “power metal also has its good stuff”
            That’s a lie and you know it!

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            I can’t help being a pathological liar!

          • Sir Crawfish The Based
          • i’ll send you a bullet-point list 😉

          • Sir Crawfish The Based

            Everything.

          • Rob M

            Theyre not so much a rarity over here, but Id say finding them when theyre single is still a pain in the ass. From what Ive noticed in my area, most of them are usually at shows with their boyfriends as opposed to the groups of girls you usually see at other places.

            …and I dont mean that in a “chicks dont like metal, theyre just there with their guys” kind of way, so much as in a “Some guy has already met them first” kind of way

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            When push comes to shove, metal shows aren’t really the type of venues I attend with girls on my mind.
            As crappy as it may sound, mainstream clubs are still the best places for that kind of activity. The big annoyance over there is that you have to act as if you’re remotely enjoying the shitty dancehall r&b and deep house over there. Good thing I can be a reasonably convincing actor.

          • Rob M

            Thankfully Im past the point in life where Im single, so Im not looking to pick anyone up, but like any red-blooded guy Im going to notice an attractive woman…and thats just how it seems to be in my area

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            COME TO AMERICA!

          • more beer
          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            Exactly

          • GL

            Great movie. 9/10

    • KyleJMcBride

      sweat pants and squidbillies

      • IronLawnmower

        That’s just the American equivalent of what I’m doing culturally.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Fuck that. Get outside. Snow hikes and beer.

      • IronLawnmower

        We don’t have snow we have very intoxicated and very violent chavs who look for any excuse to crack someones head. Beer sucks too.

  • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

    Haven’t watched Phantasm in years. Should rectify that asap.
    Today though I’m feeling a Kill List kinda mood.

    https://mylifeatthecinema.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/kill-list-poster.jpg

    • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

      Nifty stuff Kill List. And good for multiple viewings, to catch the clues sprinkled about. I’ve seen it get quite a bit of flack from fellow horror nerds for being over cryptic but I don’t think it is at all, just unusual in how its constructed.

      For more British hitman horror, try The Devil’s Business. Sort of a Pinter meets Wheatley (Dennis) deal. Creepy, tense and finely performed.

      • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

        Damn, I never checked out The Devil’s Business. Thanks for the recommendation.

        Kill List is definitely in my top 3 underground thrillers post-2010. One of my favorite things about it is actually Neil Maskell’s role. He really nails that “shady blue collar British criminal” type of character in this movie. A friend of mine’s dad is a native from Bermondsey in South London. I visited that area a couple of times. You’ll see those characters like Maskell portrays in the movie all over the place. These dudes can be pretty terrifying. He looks and acts the part really well.

  • KyleJMcBride

    This is how I first saw it.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygxBEGWb0qc

    • Scrimm

      Nice!

      • KyleJMcBride

        I saw this double bill at the old Broadway Theatre in Somerville. It was a run down hunk of crap in the sketchiest part of Somerville. I loved it, saw many movies there.

        • Scrimm

          Sounds awesome. For real

    • Rob M

      I know The Fog isnt usually considered one of Carpenters “big” movies, but man do I enjoy the flick…one of those quintessential Halloween movies as far as Im concerned.

      • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

        The Fog is an enjoyable movie. Like you said, good Halloween viewing. But…nothing Carpenter ever did was able to stack up against the almighty The Thing. That movie rules so fucking hard.

        • Rob M

          Oh yeah…thats another one I love to watch every year on Halloween

      • more beer

        The Fog was actually a pretty big movie when it first came out.

        • Rob M

          Admittedly I was only about 4 or 5 when it came out, but even Carpenter himself said it was only in later years that its become regarded as a minor horror classic (his words)

          • more beer

            Yea I was a little older than that. I remember it being a big deal of a movie when it came out in theaters.

      • Leif Bearikson

        Probably my favorite movie intro ever

    • Leif Bearikson

      Holy shit, that’s a great idea for a doubleheader

  • Scrimm

    This is pretty much the best post ever.

    • W.

      <3 u b

      • Scrimm

        I’m glad you were able to enjoy it. It is very much a movie that grows on you with repeat viewings, but I know a few people who just never got it. The pacing and incomprehensablility are largely a product of the way the film was made, on nights and weekends over the course of a couple years with Coscarelli still rewriting as they went along. the cast claims they never had more than a few pages of script at a time and were’nt really sure what they were making. There’s a ton of stuff that was cut, a large part of which was used(really well I think) in part 4. There was at one point a 3 hour version of the film I really wish we could see one day.

        • W.

          The incomprehensibility didn’t bother me much. I don’t much mind movies being hard to follow. The only thing I didn’t really like was the ending, because that type often feels like a cop out.

          • Scrimm

            I usually agree. This time it reaps rewards in the later installments go. One of the main constants of the whole series is not knowing for sure what was real and what wasnt. Time travel, alternate dimensions, it all comes into it. After Ravager there are some that concluded none of it was real. Not me.

          • W.

            Interesting! Thanks for that info. Has me even more intrigued by the sequels.

          • Scrimm

            They have hits and misses, but I love them all.

  • Rob M
    • rob it’s sunday morning, i haven’t eaten any food yet, and here i have to click my mouse once to see your image!!!
      i still haven’t seen the sequels. *dodges incoming empty bottles*

      have you all seen Bubba Ho-Top as well??

      • Rob M

        Allow me to personally apologize for making your morning more difficult…I completely blame myself.

        I actually like Phantasm 2 better than the original. I know with the Universal Studios producing it, Coscarelli was forced to include a few things in the story he didnt want, like using a new actor as Mike and the love interest (that he immediately killed off in part 3), but being a bit more straightforward plot-wise, I think it holds together much better.

        Havent seen Bubba Ho-Tep the movie, but I did read the short-story by Joe R Lansdale a long time ago

        • good to know! i’m going to get my butt in gear and make the second one my next movie to watch

        • Abradolf Lincler

          omfg Bubba Ho Tep is awesome

        • Scrimm

          2 is great too

      • Señor Jefe El Rosa

        Bubba Ho-Tep>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  • GL

    SUNDAY, SUNDAY, GOTTA GET DOWN ON SUNDAY. EVERYBODY IS LOOKING FOR TO…. NEXT WEEKEND? DAMNIT.

    GL

    • GL!!! i love it when it’s too cold outside and you have to hang with us computer nerds on the weekends

      • GL

        It is certainly not too cold, I just finished being outside all morning. I am just taking a mid-day respite, that is all!

        Tunes>>>>Movies>>>>>>>

        GL

      • Sir Crawfish The Based

        It’s never too cold.

  • Stockhausen

    No one tell Scrimm, but I also haven’t seen Phantasm. But this post makes me want to get on it.

  • Scrimm
  • Xinen

    I love everything about this movie, but the kid and the soundtrack are my favorite parts by far. Feels like a dream, at once surreal and implausible and yet disturbingly real. I waited some time to see it, but after I heard this I knew I needed Phantasm in my life.
    https://youtu.be/xc6ana1OYZc?t=3m49s

    • Rob M

      Ive heard some people talk about it from the standpoint of how its supposed to be Mike’s way of dealing with death/dying…like its a fever dream.

      “First he came for mom and dad…then Jody, and now hes coming for me”

      • Xinen

        Pretty crazy, I sympathize with it though. I’d probably end up doing something similar at a vulnerable age.

  • Abradolf Lincler

    ive never watched any of these movies. maybe i will one of these days

    • Scrimm

      You should