‘Phantasm’: Is Original Classic The Most Phantastic and Phrightening?


Don Coscarelli’s classic ‘Phantasm’ series is set to end with ‘Phantasm V: Ravager’. We’re reviewing the entire series for the next seven days. Welcome to ‘Phantasm’ week.


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Growing up, living as the weird kid with others  distant from my reach was a way of life. With remote in one hand and horror film in the other, founding a home in the manically macabre saved my life. So, I’m an oddball if you will – I’ve always felt Phantasm is the oddball of the horror genre.

A black sheep among more popular horror franchises, it’s easy telling true horror fans by their love of the flying-ball series. So with Phantasm V: Ravager premiering this week, 1428 is dedicating the whole week to the Don Coscarelli classic series. Welcome to “Phantasm Week.”


In 1979, the horror world saw independent filmmaker Don Coscarelli creating a film unlike any had ever seen. Weaving a terror tale of alien invasion, inexpiable happenings, and brotherly love, Phantasm is truly a unique film.

Reggie Bannister as Reggie in in Don Coscarelli’s ‘Phantasm’- Courtesy of Well Go USA Entertainment

You play a good game boy, but the game is finished, now you die.- Tall Man

If you’re familiar with the film, skip this paragraph. It not, get ready to have your mind blown. The plot is as follows:

Jody, a young man living with his brother, living life is hard enough. Only, he never imagines stumbling onto an unimaginable situation. After the murder of brother’s friend, he, his brother Jody, and their friends Reggie, must fight the sinister “Tall Man”. With time running out, the terror trio must face all odds if they want to see tomorrow. Not to mention being turned into little dwarf slave and sent to another dimension….crazy right?

The true definition of independent cinema, Phantasm was mostly made in the editing bay. In a classic filmmaking story, Don had a lot of film on his hands and told an amazing story out of it. With its dreamy demeanor, it’s shocking how the film is so fast paced. Focusing little dialog in terms of character, all character development is done through plot. Truly, Coscarelli’s classic is a film unlike any other in horror; in cinema as well.

Next: ‘Phantasm’: 1988 Sequel Faster Ball Than Original Classic?

Spawning four sequels, including Ravager (debuting this week), Phantasm is a masterwork basing its narrative in love of family and fear of loss. Films which have a deeper meaning always resonate much more. Phantasm is no exception. In fact, it may just be the catalyst.


Aiding the outstanding score by Fred Myrow and Malcolm Seagrave, the film is truly a paralyzing experience. Directed by the great Don Coscarelli, with decent but genuine performances throughout, especially by the late Angus Scrimm (“Tall Man”), Phantasm is perfect. It’s the only film like it in the horror atmo…SPHERE!!


Join us tomorrow as I take a look at 1988’s Phantasm II, all leading up to Ravager. Silver ball buffs, “Phantasm Week” has just begun.

Looking forward to Phantasm V: Ravager? Loving our opening of “Phantasm Week”? Let the other silver ball buffs know how you fell in the comment section below.