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Phantasm


Back in 1979, the little indie that could PHANTASM first hit theatres. Often hilarious in its low budget but effective gore, its been released about 100 times since on video and is now celebrating a Remastered version funded by Bad Robot and JJ Abrams.

Our story focuses on two brothers that live near a spooky mortuary and cemetery where craziness seems to be the norm.

Young Mike is following his brother when he watches The Tall Man (Angus Scrimm) pick up a casket by himself and put it back in a hearse. He also sees his brother seduced in the cemetery at night by a buxom blonde with a huge knife in hand.

Once Mike and his brother Jody get inside the mausoleum, they are greeted with a zooming metal sphere that sprouts a screw to drill into your forehead, spouting silly buckets of blood like Dan Aykroyd as Julia Child on SNL.

You also get to see dwarfs in robes chase around our actors, barrels with shrunken people flying through a portal to another dimension, sprinkled with plenty of boobs and blood for teenage boys of every age.

By the time the boys best friend Reggie (who drives an ice cream truck and plays guitar) is wrestling with a monster inside his ice cream freezer, you know that you're dealing with a writer/director with more drive than common sense, but hilariously so.

Don Coscarelli is the filmmaker and he hit a home run with this box office hit, making over $12 million at the box office on a $300,000 budget.

It's hard to believe, but PHANTASM was rated X four times by the ratings board because of those sphere attacks. After much politicking, Coscarelli got them to give it an R.

The acting is just horrible, the dialogue not much better.

It's all very goofy, cheap and in some crazy way, kind of fun as an old horror classic. It was followed by more sequels than you can imagine, but the original remains the best. You have to admire the bravery of a 24 year old filmmaker creating a camp classic on his first try.

Leave your brains at the door and get ready for some silly scares we'll give a blood drenched B-. I have countless memories of watching this on HBO in the 80's and it remains a goofy guilty pleasure today.

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