1978 Anchor Bay
Review by KYGOTCThe Characters:
Tall Man- Some tall guy that seems to be the ring-leader of all the shinanagins that has been going on. He can also change gender at will.
BOOOOOOOYYY!!!- A kid whose parents are dead and his older brother looks after him.
Older brother- And older brother.
Reggie- Ice cream man and friend of the family.
Silver orbs of DOOM- This movie's saving grace. The "Plot":
Before I saw this movie, I had heard nothing but good things about it. I asked a lot of people what they thought of it, and they all praised it's awsomeness and told me how cool it was. A lot of people were wrong wrong. Near the beginning of the movie, a kid is spying on a funeral and sees some weird things and mouths quietly, “What the f**k?” That boy’s words can pretty much sum up this movie. In fact, I’d be the one saying those words had I not fallen asleep while I was watching it. I’ve seen this movie twice now, and that’s 4 times more than I should have seen it. This movie made about as much sense as that last sentence.
I’m going to make an attempt to explain the plot of Phantasm. Keywords there are “make an attempt”. It starts out with these sexually aggravated humans fornicating in a cemetery. After the man thanks his girl for a good time, she stabs him in the chest and transforms into a tall, balding man. The next day, there is a funeral in that same cemetery for the departed man, and as luck would have it, the tall bald guy/woman thing works at the mortuary! Later, that boy that I mentioned earlier sees the tall man pick up the casket all by himself, where as usually it takes about four people to lift it. The kid panics and goes to some psychic old lady and her creepy granddaughter to tell them what happened. After he leaves, the grandma laughs at him, probably because she knows that that kid will never act in another movie again after this piece of trash.
That night, the boy’s older brother meets the tall man at a bar, but he’s in his sexy lady form, so they decide to go do the nasty. Can you guess where? I’ll give you a hint: it rhymes with “cemetery”. The Boy follows them to watch his big brother in action. What little brother wouldn’t want to see his older brother’s junk? While he’s hiding in the bushes, a freaky brown cloaked creature growls at him so the boy jumps out of the bushes and runs by his brother and the lady, screaming. As you can imagine, older brother won’t be playing “hide the weasel” tonight, so he’s less than happy. He chases his brother down and tells him to go home. The boy goes to bed, but soon realizes that his bed is in the middle of the cemetery and a bunch of zombies drag him off of his bed while the Tall Man watches. The next morning, the boy walks around town while enjoying a lollypop. Oh, what’s that? You want to know why he’s not zombie chow anymore? Good question. I’d like to know myself, actually.
That night, the boy decides to break into the mortuary and snoop around to try and figure out what’s going on. While he’s in there, he gets attacked by this flying silver orb. It chases him around for a while until it hits one of the Tall Man’s henchmen instead. It sticks into his forehead with these small knife things and then drills a hole into him. Then, a hole appears on the back of the orb thing and it starts shooting out all of the guy’s head blood. This part is actually pretty cool, but I still have no idea what the thing is or why it’s there. After the guy’s dead body falls to the ground, the boy turns around only to see the Tall Man about 15 feet away, staring at him. They walk toward each other slowly, as if they were going to hug, then the music gets loud and the boy runs away as the Tall Man chases him. The boy get into a closet with a metal door and locks it, so he thinks he’s safe, but he looks to his left and the Tall Man’s fingers are stuck in the door. The boy decides to chop them off. At this point, mustard sprays out of the Tall Man’s finger-stumps. The kid is safe, until a freaky hooded-creature attacks him! He escapes thru a window and runs home.
What just happened was the climax of the movie. All the most interesting things happened right there. Whoever wrote this movie must’ve thought it would be cool or revolutionary to put the best part of the movie at the half-hour point. So just letting you know, it’s all downhill from here, not that it was very far up any hill to begin with.
The boy goes home and tells his brother what happened, and he doesn’t believe him until he is shown a severed finger in a box with mustard all over it. He responds to this by saying in the calmest voice ever, “Ok. I believe you.” Later, they decide to go show this to the police. The boy goes to his room to get the box with the finger in it, but he notices something different about it. He opens it up, and there’s not a severed finger in it anymore, but instead a little bug thing that flies around and sounds like a dying lawnmower. They catch the thing and throw it in the garbage disposal. With their evidence now gone, the brothers decide to go check out the mortuary. While they’re there they get attacked by another short hooded thing. Seriously, George Lucas should sue and use the money to make better Star Wars prequels. The thing looks like it should be selling stolen droids and cruising around the dunes of Tatoine in a sand-crawler. Anyway, they leave the mortuary and get in their car only to be chased by another car which appears to be driverless. The older brother shoots the car’s engine and it crashes into a tree. They go to take a look and it turns out there was indeed a driver, and the driver was the guy who got stabbed by the Tall Man/lady in the beginning of the movie!
After a few more hooded-creature attacks, the brothers and their friend Reggie go to the mortuary one last time to put a stop to all of the freaky stuff that’s been going on. They open a door that leads to a room that has a bunch of hydrogen tanks in it, and there’s also two poles sticking out of the floor. While the two older guys are looking around, the boy goes in between the two poles and slips into another dimension. This place is a desert planet with a bunch of the short, hooded-creatures on it. It’s bad enough that the things look like Jawas, but the fact that they live in the same environment makes it even more laughable. Anyway, the kid is in this place for all of three seconds until his brother pulls him out of it. They ask him what he saw, and instead of saying, “Well I was only in there for three seconds, I didn’t see much.” He says, “They’re using the dwarves as slaves and they have to make them shorter because of the gravity on their home planet!” to which his brother responds “Of course!” When that happened, I busted up laughing. Anyway, Reggie puts his hands on the two poles and the whole mortuary starts collapsing on itself. The two brothers escape, but Reggie gets killed buy the Tall Man is his foxy lady form. Then its cat and mouse for a while with the Tall Man and the brothers until they lead him to a mine shaft and make him fall in it.
Now I’m thinking, “Hooray. Movie over.” But as it turns out, that’s not the case. The boy wakes up and goes downstairs to tell Reggie all about it. It was all a stupid dream. In reality, the boy’s brother has been dead for a while because of a car crash and Reggie looks after the boy now. There was never any Tall Man, silver orbs of doom, or blatant Star Wars rip-offs. It was all a dream. Ok, that’s simple enough. It’s stupid and predictable, but simple. So the boy goes back up to his room and gets attacked by the Tall Man. The end.
I don’t even want to make any sense out of this crappy movie. Plot-holes, bad writing, and bad acting is all this movie provided. All that and a headache. So don’t be fooled by its’ trailer that makes it look awesome like I did. Just pretend it doesn’t exist, and maybe it will go away. Things I learned from PHANTASM:
*Movies don't need plots.
*Cars explode when they run into wooden things.
*George Lucas has never seen Phantasm.