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I know a lot of people love this movie but....it made no bloody sense. So the tall man's an alien? Then how can he cause zombie hands to pop out of mirrors and kill you? Is that something aliens can do? Why does he turn into a lady sometimes? Does he really have THAT hard a time kidnapping people that he needs to entice them with tits? Why does his severed finger turn into a bug? Why are there evil Jawas? Who are the old woman with the "makes your hand hurt box" from Dune and the blonde chick with her? What's the flying death ball thing? Try coming up with any explanation you like, this is just nonsensical!
So the Tall Man turns corpses into Jawa-sized slaves because of . . . heat and gravity . . . ? Consequently, the fortune teller's advice of "don't be afraid" comes naturally.
Don Coscarelli's Phantasm is a big bag of "what the hell am I watching?" and normally, that wouldn't be a problem. It spawned a number of sequels (impressively using the surviving cast into the 2000s), and though none of them are subtitled Phantasm: The Explanation, I'm sure this tale of an alien(?) undertaker turning people into slaves eventually pins down its mythology. To me here, it's a collage of ideas. Halloween's music, Argento atmospherics, heck, they even steal a scene from Dune... though the crossbreed of horror and sci-fi is most analogous to Hellraiser. What sinks Phantasm for me is the acting. The emotions are way off, and the actors often just seem like improv players blanking on what to do next. There's some stylish imagery - the disembodied finger, the killer ball, and so on - but I felt so disconnected from the whole, disjointed thing, that I'm in no hurry to sample the follow-ups.
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In 2 official lists
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This movie ranks #32 in 366 Weird Movies
This movie ranks #109 in TSZDT's The 1,000 Greatest Horror Films