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“Don’t even mess with me…I have balls of steel!”
Before Elvis met the mummy in Bubba-Ho Tep, Don Coscarelli directed his first and finest legendary cult horror film known as Phantasm. A touching family tale about a boy, his brother, and a balding ice cream truck driver. Actually it’s more of a horrific story about a creepy mortician who steals bodies and makes them into dwarf slaves and protects his lair with flying head drilling sphere of death…but that’s splitting hairs (and heads in this case)
Jody the younger brother sees some weird things happening at the local cemetery when his buried uncle is dug back up and hauled back into the mortuary. Apparently a victim of a voided warranty. I was at first concerned that Jody was actually a motorcycle riding ugly girl due to his extremed feathers 70’s hair style…and the fact his name was “Jody” but luckily I figured the truth out after a while. Jody discovers that the recently buried are being shrunk down like human shrinky-dinks to fit into handy dandy dwarf containers for inter-dimensional slave trading. Shockingly his brother Michael doesn’t believe this totally plausible story. Jody brings back proof in the form a sliced off finger from the Tallman that mutates into a giant bug. A bug by which even the Orkin man would cower from.
Michael enlists the help of his local hippy friend Reggie. Reggie’s is a local ice cream salesman who cruises around in a pimped out ice cream truck convertible never seeming to actually sell ice cream but he does like to stop to play guitar solos on occassion. Michael, Jody, and Reggie fight the tall man along with his dominion of star wars inspired sand people in the cemetery mosoleum, all the while dodging brain drilling spheres and avoiding creepy ladies in purple dresses who are turned on by tombstones. The Tall Man played by Angus Scrimm, a great evil actor’s name if I ever heard one, stalks the two brothers in his hearse while they race to save their friends from the fate of slaved Oz munchkinism in their muscle car Barricuda. Some generally creepy moments and overall weirdness make this a must see. I say check it out as well as the great sequel Phantasm II.
Keep an eye out for…
– vague palm readers with cigar boxes
– sand people from Star Wars
– head drilling flying spheres
– t-top ice cream truck cruisers
– feathered hair styles that would make Donnie Osmond jealous
– gratuitous use of a guitar solo
– Hemi-Cuda coolness
– cemetery motorcrossings
– creepy women who hang out in cemeteries
– dull bladed garbage disposals
You can’t fake a Phantasm.
rated 9.2 out of 10 for the movie
Check out the trailer for Phantasm