Very few horror movies are strong enough to be considered “great art,” but the ingenuity and unique mythology of PHANTASM earn its inclusion on this very short list. The plot of this cerebral nightmare epic sounds like something that you’d find scribbled on H.P. Lovecraft’s school notebook: A teenager discovers that an indestructible grandpa is harvesting the deceased. Luckily, the local weed-loving ice cream man is willing to join in the battle against the paranormal retiree. Shotguns and shapeshifting take center stage as unholy darkness threatens to swallow the town alive, complete with flying metal murderballs. Writer-director Don Coscarelli creates an absorbing otherworld ruled by the “Tall Man,” one of cinema’s all-time greatest villains, and the unparalleled score will haunt you for decades. This is truly one of the most effective reality-liquefiers in horror history.
Since its release in 1979, PHANTASM has captivated and terrified horror and sci-fi fans around the world. This stunning 4K remaster restores the film to its original glory, using the original elements and surround sound mix and overseen by J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot and Coscarelli himself.