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Phantasm is a surprisingly artful and imaginative horror film, an impressive film for 23-year-old director Don Coscarelli who worked with a miniscule budget to create a small masterpiece. When Mike (Michael Baldwin) spies some sinister Jawa-like creatures stealing corpses from the local cemetery, he and his older brother Jody (Bill Thornbury) explore the mausoleum, where they find that the mortician (Angus Scrimm), a towering, emaciated figure with superhuman strength, has somehow bridged the gap between Earth and the afterworld and needs fresh corpses. Among the tools of his trade is a flying… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 64%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Strong point of the feature is that it's played for both horror and laughs."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"It's thoroughly silly and endearing."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"Extremely gory. Horror fans should delight."
‑ Kim Newman, Empire Magazine
"Coscarelli made this with very little money but with plenty of imagination."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Doesn't fall into any of the easily-classifiable genres, and I suppose that's one of the reasons it's so well-remembered all these years later."
‑ Scott Weinberg, FEARnet
"A spotty little horror movie, effective here and there through some appealing eccentricities."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"One of the definitive '70s horror pictures, in the last few months before '70s horror got steamrolled into oblivion... a raw blast of sensory information."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"With its blend of horror and sci-fi and crap and cool, and its deceitful story-line, Phantasm's certainly unlike other American films of the period."
‑ Daniel Etherington, Film4
"Phantasm isn't necessarily one of those films you see for the brilliant writing.... but all of this is forgivable for the groundbreaking vision of the film."
‑ Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
"Cult horror outing this is SCARY!!"
‑ Lori Hoffman, Atlantic City Weekly
"Although enough of a cult favourite to spawn a trio of undistinguished sequels, this low budget independent horror movie is a surprisingly shambolic affair whose moments of genuine invention stand out amid the prevailing incompetence."
‑ Trevor Johnston, Time Out
"Passable in spots, it offers dumb fun and turns out to be one of the best films that Coscarelli ever made"
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"A film filled with unique, personal, witty, and, at the same time, terrifying imagery rarely seen in low-budget horror films."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Phantasm can be viewed as a haunting fable of an adolescent grappling with his fear of death."
‑ Jeremiah Kipp, Slant Magazine
"oh so boring"
‑ Stefan Birgir Stefansson,
More reviews for Phantasm on Rotten Tomatoes