Phantasm (1979)

Written and Directed by Don Coscarelli.  Starring Angus Scrimm, Reggie Bannister, Bill Thornbury, Michael Baldwin, Kathy Lester and Ken Jones.

Plot: a teenage boy, his brother and some friends face off against The Tall Man, a mysterious grave robber with an arsenal of terrible weapons.

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When I talk about the plot, I’m speaking in the loosest of terms.  The plot is strange to say the least.  The Tall Men pretends to be a girl and lures men to graveyards and after – or during – sex, he kills them.  Why he actually gets into it first is a little pervy, but whatever.  Mike (Baldwin) sees too much of one of these encounters and is chased by The Tall Man, so he brings his brother Jody (Thornbury), in on it.  They also have a friend named Reggie (Bannister) that helps them out.

******SPOILER ALERT******

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I don’t really know how to address this movie completely without telling you about the whole thing.  You see The Tall Man has these little people monks as slaves and they kill for him.  There’s a portal to this red world they find.  We think that’s where the little monks come from.  Jody and Mike keep splitting up, which never works out for anyone.  The movie made me physically tired.  And of course, there was that ending.  The ending everyone hates, while at the same time a lot of people love the movie even though I swear they didn’t understand the shit anymore than we did.  In the end, it turns out that this whole thing has been Mike’s dream.  Jody died weeks earlier in an accident and ever since then he’s been having nightmares.  And Reggie is his caretaker now.  WTF!!!

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Still, there were some good points to it.  There were boobs, likable characters and a nice amount of innovation for the now-infamous little, silver balls of death.  It also had an amusing script, a happening soundtrack and it was overall hysterical, although not all the time on purpose.

DJ actually liked it a little more than me, but neither of us are recommending this to everyone.  If you’re a die-hard horror fan, you should probably give it a watch just to say you did.  Otherwise, stay away.  It’s far too strange to comprehend.

My score: 35.  DJ’s score: 40.

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