Tag Archives: Phantasm

Reel Terror

ReelTerror

Reel Terror
by David Konow

St. Martin’s Griffin – 2012
ISBN 9780312668839
$18.99, 608 pages   

I’m a lifelong fan of horror films.  I’ve read too many books to count and watched thousands of scary movies.  So when I went to start reading this written literary work I was looking forward to it, but I didn’t expect much.  When something covers the entire genre from start to present day is usually too general in nature to really make a dent with me, but boy was I wrong about this essay.  

What I like most about Reel Terror is David Konow’s conversational writing style.  The man definitely knows his horror history and is able to share countless fascinating stories about films and the people who made them.  The second best thing about this tome is that Konow writes about how the movies were made rather than reviewing the films.

I heard quite a few things about many of the horror classics that hadn’t before and the way Konow tells it, made me not want to put the book down.

I really appreciated the amount of time and attention given to movies like THE EXORCIST.  There were quite a few instances where quotes from Father O’Malley (who served as an advisor on the film) and the man responsible for the marketing of the film had me laughing hysterically.

There are chapters on; TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, JAWS, CARRIE,  THE OMEN, HALLOWEEN, DAWN OF THE DEAD, PHANTASM, ALIEN, THE FOG, FRIDAY THE 13TH, THE EVIL DEAD, RE-ANIMATOR, SCREAM, THE SIXTH SENSE to name just a few, which are all just simply stellar reading.  Konow is able to connect us to the people behind the films, rather than just being a glorified studio press kit.  I think it makes the stories more intimate and brings the people behind the movies closer.  He cuts the veneer of the normal corporate B.S. out of the loop.

To tell you the truth Reel Terror is one of the best books of its kind.  If I could only recommend one paperback for you to pick up this Halloween or even the rest of this year, it would absolutely be Reel Terror.

http://us.macmillan.com/SMP.aspx

 

Phantasm

Phant

Phantasm – Anchor bay Collection
Anchor Bay – 1978

Written and Directed by Don Coscarelli

Starring
Michael Baldwin
Bill Thornbury
Reggie Bannister
Kathy Lester
Angus Scrimm

PHANTASM is the first R-rated movie I ever saw without a parent or guardian.  It scared the crap out of me in the theater and I’ve loved it ever since.

The parents of Jody (Bill Thornbury) & Michael Pearson (Michael Baldwin) pass away.  The younger brother becomes fearful that his older brother will leave him too, so he starts following him around town.  When Michael trails his brother to a funeral, he sees something astonishing that changes the direction rest of the movie.  Michael (Mike) sees the Tall Man lift the casket with dead body into the hearse without help and then turns to look straight at Mike.

This leads Mike to follow the Tall Man to a local funeral home where he discovers the evil secrets within the creepy mortuary: the Tall Man controlling a legion of hooded killer dwarf creatures, and that within the mortuary there is a portal to hell.  Throw in the deadly fast flying silver orb that embeds itself into the heads of anyone who sneaks into the mortuary’s long haunting hallways, and these ingredients all add up to one of the better, more memorable horror films ever made.

The real success of this film for me, was the emotional attachment I felt to young teenage boy Mike (Michael Baldwin), because I was basically the same age at the time.  So when Mike stands up to fight the imposing Tall Man, I felt the amazing courage and conviction of this character and in some ways wished I could be as cool as him.  I mean for Christ sakes, he was battling demons, had a great brother and drove an awesome car (a 1971 Plymouth Barracuda).

PHANTASM is an instance where everything came together.  The story was never done before, it has the right combination of developed characters, a purely evil antagonist, excellent visual look, creepy music and the locations that add to the film’s overall scare quotient.

Writer Director Don Coscarelli has to be given his due for the film’s success.  He focused on the right things as a writer and director and he’ll always be remembered for this film.

The casting of this movie was also done right.  Michael Baldwin comes off as a believable kid who is scared of the situation he’s put into but is able to face his fears and try to battle The Tall Man.  Bill Thornbury is so likable and seems like the kind of person who you can count on.  Reggie Bannister who plays Reggie (the Ice Cream Man) is just so easy going and cool, you’ve got love him.

Anchor Bay does a bang-up job with special features:  Phantasmagora is a 30-minute documentary with cast and crew of PHANTASM.  Don Coscarelli and stars Michael Baldwin, Angus Scrimm and Bill Thornbury all join in for the Audio CommentaryDeleted Scenes, Phantasm: Behind-The-Scenes, Phantasm: Actors Having A Ball.  There’s also Phantasm TV interview, Fangoria TV Commercial with Angus Scrimm, TV Spots, Trailer and Phantasm III Trailer.

PHANTASM is one of the top 20 horror films of all-time.  If that’s not a good enough reason to add it to your collection, then don’t consider yourself a serious fan of horror.

www.anchorbayentertainment.com

www.phantasm.com

Phantasm

 

phatasm

 

Phantasm – Anchor bay Collection
Anchor Bay – 1978

Written and Directed by Don Coscarelli

Starring
Michael Baldwin
Bill Thornbury
Reggie Bannister
Kathy Lester
Angus Scrimm

PHANTASM is the first R-rated movie I ever saw without a parent or guardian.  It scared the crap out of me in the theater and I’ve loved it ever since.

The parents of Jody (Bill Thornbury) & Michael Pearson (Michael Baldwin) pass away.  The younger brother becomes fearful that his older brother will leave him too, so he starts following him around town.  When Michael trails his brother to a funeral, he sees something astonishing that changes the direction rest of the movie.  Michael (Mike) sees the Tall Man lift the casket with dead body into the hearse without help and then turns to look straight at Mike.

This leads Mike to follow the Tall Man to a local funeral home where he discovers the evil secrets within the creepy mortuary: the Tall Man controlling a legion of hooded killer dwarf creatures, and that within the mortuary there is a portal to hell.  Throw in the deadly fast flying silver orb that embeds itself into the heads of anyone who sneaks into the mortuary’s long haunting hallways, and these ingredients all add up to one of the better, more memorable horror films ever made.

The real success of this film for me, was the emotional attachment I felt to young teenage boy Mike (Michael Baldwin), because I was basically the same age at the time.  So when Mike stands up to fight the imposing Tall Man, I felt the amazing courage and conviction of this character and in some ways wished I could be as cool as him.  I mean for Christ sakes, he was battling demons, had a great brother and drove an awesome car (a 1971 Plymouth Barracuda).

PHANTASM is an instance where everything came together.  The story was never done before, it has the right combination of developed characters, a purely evil antagonist, excellent visual look, creepy music and the locations that add to the film’s overall scare quotient.

Writer Director Don Coscarelli has to be given his due for the film’s success.  He focused on the right things as a writer and director and he’ll always be remembered for this film.

The casting of this movie was also done right.  Michael Baldwin comes off as a believable kid who is scared of the situation he’s put into but is able to face his fears and try to battle The Tall Man.  Bill Thornbury is so likable and seems like the kind of person who you can count on.  Reggie Bannister who plays Reggie (the Ice Cream Man) is just so easy going and cool, you’ve got love him.

Anchor Bay does a bang-up job with special features:  Phantasmagora is a 30-minute documentary with cast and crew of PHANTASM.  Don Coscarelli and stars Michael Baldwin, Angus Scrimm and Bill Thornbury all join in for the Audio CommentaryDeleted Scenes, Phantasm: Behind-The-Scenes, Phantasm: Actors Having A Ball.  There’s also Phantasm TV interview, Fangoria TV Commercial with Angus Scrimm, TV Spots, Trailer and Phantasm III Trailer.

PHANTASM is one of the top 20 horror films of all-time.  If that’s not a good enough reason to add it to your collection, then don’t consider yourself a serious fan of horror.

www.anchorbayentertainment.com

www.phantasm.com