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PHANTASM - 1 Slime
Rated R
Copyright 1979 New Breed Productions
Reviewed by KYGOTC on 7 May 2008

The Characters:  

  • Tall Man - Some tall guy that seems to be the ringleader of all the shenanigans that have been going on. He can also change gender at will.
  • BOOOOOOOYYY!!! (Michael) - A kid whose parents are dead; his older brother looks after him.
  • Older brother (Jody) - An older brother.
  • Reggie - Ice cream man and friend of the family.
  • Silver orbs of DOOM - This movie's saving grace.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Before I saw this movie, I had heard nothing but good things about it. Everyone that I asked about it said it was great. Everyone was 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." Key words 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 it turns out 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 halfway 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 Tatooine 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 by the Tall Man in his foxy lady form. Then it's 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 This Movie: 

  • Movies don't need plots.
  • Cars explode when they run into wooden things.
  • George Lucas has never seen Phantasm.

Quotes: 

  • *BONK*
    Jody: "Ahhhh! You hit my f***ing foot, man!"
    Michael: "Oh, damn. Look, I know you're not going to believe this, but these things were here, right in the garage, and they're going to get me!"
    Jody: "Give me a break, would ya?"
    Michael: "They were jumping on the car, and making these weird sounds."
    Jody: "Sure it wasn't that retard kid Timmy up the street?"
  • Michael: "That tall man picked up Tommy's coffin all by himself, and put it in the hearse and drove off."
    Jody: "You're crazy! I helped carry that sucker myself. It must've weighed over five hundred pounds."

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

FileDialog
Green Music Note phantasm1.wav Killer Jawa ROAR!
Michael: "Ahhhhhhhh!"
Jody: "What the heck? Wait here, it's my little brother. I think he has some kind of a problem." (Said with panties hanging from his teeth.)
Green Music Note phantasm2.wav Michael: "Okay, look, I was following you guys. I didn't mean any harm, but it's out there! It's going to get me!"
Jody: "What's out there?"
Michael: "I don't know. It was little and brown, and low to the ground."
Jody: "It's probably just a gopher in heat."
Michael: "It wasn't any gopher!"
Green Music Note phantasm3.wav Tall Man: "I've been waiting for you."
Green Music Note phantasm4.wav Michael: "What are we going to do without Reggie?"
Jody: "Reggie's the last he will ever get; 'cause we're gonna run that tall bastard straight down to Hell."

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 

ImageImageImage


ImageImageImage


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipphantasm1.mpg - 4.8m
Killer jawa!

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Internet Movie Database


Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 8
Re: Phantasm
Reply #17. Posted on May 11, 2008, 05:21:46 PM by The Dungeonmaster
Maybe you should start watching Hollywood s**t fest and give up pretending to be a B-movie fan.


Hmmm..."Hollywood s**t Fest". Don't think I've heard of that one, but it sounds promising. I'll youtube it and see if it's worth buying.

Good comeback  Thumbup
Actually, that was a pretty horrible comeback.

Phantasm is 100% classic.
Re: Phantasm
Reply #18. Posted on May 11, 2008, 05:55:34 PM by Menard
Maybe you should start watching Hollywood s**t fest and give up pretending to be a B-movie fan.


Hmmm..."Hollywood s**t Fest". Don't think I've heard of that one, but it sounds promising. I'll youtube it and see if it's worth buying.

Good comeback  Thumbup
Actually, that was a pretty horrible comeback.

Phantasm is 100% classic.

Maybe you Phantasm girls should go hang out in the same asylum with the Zardoz nuts.
Re: Phantasm
Reply #19. Posted on May 12, 2008, 05:08:46 AM by Spiff
Some sympathy to the reviewer, he obviously enjoyed the movie as little as anybody will enjoy reading his review. It really stands out on a website full of largely humourous reviews of bad movies as being completely humourless.
The big question is why you would write a lengthy whine about being unable to understand what was going on while admitting that you fell asleep repeatedly (and also indeirectly that you can't spot a dream sequence in a movie (maybe you're just to used to inserting your own dream sequences)) is beyond me. Regardless of anyone's opinion of the movie, if you're not bright enough to even follow what's going on, probably best not to do a review.
Re: Phantasm
Reply #20. Posted on May 12, 2008, 07:06:05 AM by Menard
Some sympathy to the reviewer, he obviously enjoyed the movie as little as anybody will enjoy reading his review. It really stands out on a website full of largely humourous reviews of bad movies as being completely humourless.
The big question is why you would write a lengthy whine about being unable to understand what was going on while admitting that you fell asleep repeatedly (and also indeirectly that you can't spot a dream sequence in a movie (maybe you're just to used to inserting your own dream sequences)) is beyond me. Regardless of anyone's opinion of the movie, if you're not bright enough to even follow what's going on, probably best not to do a review.

Quite pointedly, if the movie makers did not do their job well enough to communicate to the viewer, and in this case they failed miserably, then they deserve no better treatment that what they gave.
Re: Phantasm
Reply #21. Posted on May 12, 2008, 09:00:56 AM by Spiff
Equally pointedly, if you have trouble following a movie that many others do not, then it may not be the movie makers that are at fault. Certainly if you fall asleep during it and have trouble following it, then they're definitely not the ones to blame.
Above all, if you need a shot of somebody sitting bolt upright in bed, sweating to be able to spot what was very obviously a nightmare dream sequence, then perhaps you should just accept that the problem is with you.
I had no trouble following what was going on in this movie. You might well argue that it was ridiculous and badly acted (like a good many of the movies reviewed here) but hard to follow, I don't think you can make a case for.
Look:
Alien (possibly extra-dimensional) with shapeshifting powers uses an undertaker persona to steal corpses so he can reanimate them and use them as slaves on his home wrold (dimension). Local kid finds out and investigates. Whacky shenanigan ensue (fingers that turn into giant flies, flying killer spheres etc.)
Are you seriously saying that was hard to follow?
Re: Phantasm
Reply #22. Posted on May 12, 2008, 09:34:27 AM by Menard
Equally pointedly, if you have trouble following a movie that many others do not, then it may not be the movie makers that are at fault. Certainly if you fall asleep during it and have trouble following it, then they're definitely not the ones to blame.
Above all, if you need a shot of somebody sitting bolt upright in bed, sweating to be able to spot what was very obviously a nightmare dream sequence, then perhaps you should just accept that the problem is with you.
I had no trouble following what was going on in this movie. You might well argue that it was ridiculous and badly acted (like a good many of the movies reviewed here) but hard to follow, I don't think you can make a case for.
Look:
Alien (possibly extra-dimensional) with shapeshifting powers uses an undertaker persona to steal corpses so he can reanimate them and use them as slaves on his home wrold (dimension). Local kid finds out and investigates. Whacky shenanigan ensue (fingers that turn into giant flies, flying killer spheres etc.)
Are you seriously saying that was hard to follow?


No, more dramatically obtuse.

The split of like/dislike for this film seems to be about 50/50, perhaps with the dislikes edging out the majority just a little. Even those who like this film have admitted that it was hard to follow.

If you read what you want to into a film, that makes it better for you, but don't push that same viewpoint off onto someone else as an excuse to make up for the film's general incompetence.
Re: Phantasm
Reply #23. Posted on May 12, 2008, 09:44:48 AM by Spiff
I'm not pushing my viewpoint onto anybody else. The outline of the plot that I gave is in fact the plot outline.
My post is neither dramatic or obtuse (I would suggest you actually look those words up).
My original post was mostly making the (correct) points that
a) the review was poor - it was unfunny and dull to read and basically belongs with all the other 'worst movie ever' rants on IMDB rather than on a site of humourous reviews of bad movies.
b) that if you admit that you have fallen asleep during a movie, you have lost all credibility in claiming that there was something wrong with the movie because you couldn't follow it.

However, since we seem to have wandered off that point, in light of you last comment, perhaps you'd like to explain to me how the outline of the plot that I gave is incorrect. At the very least enlighten me with the parts of the movie that you had trouble following.
Re: Phantasm
Reply #24. Posted on May 12, 2008, 09:55:48 AM by Menard
I'm not pushing my viewpoint onto anybody else. The outline of the plot that I gave is in fact the plot outline.
My post is neither dramatic or obtuse (I would suggest you actually look those words up).
My original post was mostly making the (correct) points that
a) the review was poor - it was unfunny and dull to read and basically belongs with all the other 'worst movie ever' rants on IMDB rather than on a site of humourous reviews of bad movies.
b) that if you admit that you have fallen asleep during a movie, you have lost all credibility in claiming that there was something wrong with the movie because you couldn't follow it.

However, since we seem to have wandered off that point, in light of you last comment, perhaps you'd like to explain to me how the outline of the plot that I gave is incorrect. At the very least enlighten me with the parts of the movie that you had trouble following.

Bulls**t!

Since someone has seen this film (really stretching to call it that) in a different light than you, that somehow bothers you.

Someone falling asleep during a movie might suggest the damn movie was boring.

It might even suggest that it was a bad movie, period. Of course, not if it is contrary to your viewpoint; then it must be a bad review if the reviewer disagrees with you.


The primary context of the review is that a flurry of witless twits have said 'hey dude, like this movie rocks'. The reviewer discovered otherwise. Where do you have a problem following that?
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