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31 Horror Movies I Own #22: Phantasm

Okay, okay, I know. Phantasm is not really that scary…it’s just completely bizarre, but I love it because of all its hilarious glory.

This 1979 low-budget gore-fest was the brainchild of Don Coscarelli, who managed to put together something that would become a cult classic, mainly due to an impressively creep-tastic performance by Angus Scrimm as “The Tall Man” and super-fast flying silver death balls that bore into your face and drain the blood out of your body.

So it goes like this: two orphans named Jody and Mike stumble upon a terrible secret—the local mausoleum is stealing bodies and killing townspeople to gain power and you know, eventually conquer the world. With the help of their friend ( ? – his role is never clearly explained), they decide to take on The Tall Man and stop the murdering.

The things that aren’t so scary are precisely what make this film one of my favorites. The giant fly that Mike stuffs down the garbage disposal, the grave-robbing minions that look a lot like Jawas, Reggie’s ridiculous ponytail and ice cream man suit, and Scrimm yelling “Booooyyyyy!” as he storms clumsily down the mausoleum hallways.

This is a definite must for horror fans that love humor, and really just fascinating overall to see. I’ve also viewed all the sequels, and while the second is equally ridiculous in an 80s way, the third and forth really aren’t worth watching (unless you want to see Reggie score with slutty chicks…and I can’t imagine who would).

Bottom line: over 30 years later, I still think Phantasm rules.

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