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Phantasm

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Posted 25th April 2009 at 12:55 PM by Sam@Cult Labs

Phantasm





Phantasm: the delusion of a disordered mind, a phantasm, a spirit, a ghost!



Early outing from Don Coscarelli (Beastmaster, Bubba Ho Tep) in which a sinister undertaker known as "The Tall Man" steals people, shrinks them down and sends them through a portal into a hell dimension where they work as dwarf slaves. Anyone getting in the way gets chased by his silver death balls, shiny spheres with spikes that attach to your forehead and drill into the skull, sending a fountain of blood arcing out. Of course, it's down to one plucky kid, his older brother and their ice cream man friend to try and stop The Tall Man who haunts the Morningside cemetery.

A screwy stew of Sci-Fi, horror and surrealist nightmare, Phantasm punches above its low budget weight because it's packed with original ideas. The 80s was full of abstracted fever dream horror movies like the Freddy films, where reality and dream sequences blurred in order to unsettle an audience but Phantasm predicted this trend in 1979. Some ropey edits and stilted dialogue, not to mention older brother Regies hilarious musical number, cannot detract from the wealth of ideas in the B-movie video store classic.
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