PHANTASM - in 16mm!

2010-10-29

tl_files/images/films/phantasm1.jpgPHANTASM
Don Coscarelli | USA 1979 | 87min. | 16mm | English
 
Friday Oct. 29
Doors: 7:45pm
Film: 8:30pm

 

Directed, written, shot, and edited by a young Don Coscarelli (Bubba Ho-Tep), Phantasm tells the story of 12-year-old Michael who recently lost his parents and follows his gearhead older brother Jody everywhere, including the cemetery to snoop on him makin’ it with a lady – only to find out there’s something odd at the nearby Morningside Mausoleum.
 
  Cloaked, dwarf-like creatures wander about, and the scary-looking director of the funeral parlor seems to possess superhuman strength. 
With the help of local ice cream vendor Reggie Bannister, Mike and Jody discover that The Tall Man (Angus Scrimm), the funeral director, is actually an alien who takes the bodies of the recently deceased, squashes them into little dwarf people, puts them in canisters and sends them through a space gate to other planets to be used as slaves!  This isn’t the kind of story you come across every day.
 
Despite Phantasm’s low budget, it looks superb and remains one of the most endearingly charming and anarchic horror pictures from the 70’s. The plot is so demented that our curiosity can’t be satisfied quickly enough; dwarfs, the iconic Tall Man, deadly flying spheres, space-gates – it’s all here, and it’s one loveable riot from start to finish. The (mostly non-) actors keep this crazy story on the rails, which blends genuinely creepy horror and humour all the way.  Coscarelli’s film is a deliriously madcap funfest of a horror film told with life-affirming verve and imagination and remains one of the best, original and “out there” 70’s horror flicks. (Zomblee, eatmybrains.com)

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