Friday, September 11, 2009

HALLOWEEN HEROES 2: Phantasm

This time of year, as I stated is the best time of year for horror movies. In the last review, I looked at John Carpenter's "Halloween", the best of them all. Now, let's take a look at another horror movie smothered in atmosphere:


Now it would be ridiculous and pointless to try to give you the plot points of this wonderful and creepy horror ride. Much less go into the expansive twists and inter-dimensional space-time continuum haberdabber that went into it's 3 sequels, but director Don Coscarelli was onto something here.

Mike and Jody's parents just died. At the funeral home, the inquisitive Mike sees the funeral director, an impossibly "Tall Man" single handedly toss his recently deceased older brother's casket into a hearse. He's being followed by what appear to be exceptionally quiet Jawas from the "Star Wars" movies.

The "Tall Man" (legendary actor Angus Scrimm, who incidentally won a grammy for writing liner notes at one time, yep that's me as the wife calls me: "The Encyclopedia of Who Gives A Shit") also carries a silver sphere around with him that acts like a remote camera and when needed breaks out some serious Black & Decker hardware for skull alterations.

The cinematography, when considering the hyper-low budget Coscarelli had to work with is amamzing. The special effects ditto. If you are a total nerdlinger like I am and watch the special features of the DVD, you'd be even more impressed by the ingenuity the director and crew used to make what appear to be costly effects on a lunchbox budget.

The unnerving score adds to the environs of creepiness, and therefore you have it. Another one of my Halloween Heroes: "Phantasm". Seek out the sequels, they're all better than most horror sequels, because Coscarelli, taking care of his children, wrote and directed them all.

As a side note, a couple years ago, Coscarelli wrote and directed a vignette that was a featured episode of the Movie Channel's "Masters of Horror" series, called "Incident on and off a Mountain Road". A great short piece that is underrappreciated. Should be able to find it at a Best Buy. Happy Hunting!!

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