Phantasm: 5 Movie DVD Collection Review

I’d heard of Phantasm, but didn’t know a damn thing about what it was or that it was popular enough to boast four sequels. The horror movie franchise is now in a single box set for the first time (on DVD, not on Blu-ray or Digital, oddly), so if you’re looking to invest in a new horror set, this may be the way to go.

Of the five movies, I’ve only watched the first Phantasm so far – released in 1979, it’s about a mortician called the Tall Man who is killing residents of a small town and then bringing them back to life as shrunken, mutated dwarfs because, you know, why the fuck not.

It’s a little weird, but not as weird as I expected; twisted, but not that twisted; slightly bloody, but not all that bloody given some of the horror movies that would be released over the coming few years. Phantasm is a little dated, and the victim of what is clearly a low budget – screen transitions are choppy and if the film were playing for scares, such frightening moments were lost to time. While Ken Jones has a presence as the Tall Man, he isn’t the most intimidating of villains – or at least isn’t anymore.

Nonetheless, the movie’s odd plot keeps you guessing (and I still don’t know exactly what happened) and it’s a largely entertaining affair. The flying orb that sucks blood out of your skull is a nice touch. Phantasm doesn’t compete with some of the horror classics that emerged from the 70’s and 80’s, but it stands above a lot of the trash that came out of those decades, too.

In short: it was good enough to warrant checking out the sequels, which I’ll do soon. I just wish the set included digital copies.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Horror Movies, Movie Reviews

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