Phantasm ★★★★★

In the early to mid 90's I was an expert at sneaking around my Dad's VHS collection... one day while in extra snoop mode I came across something he had taped off tv... a vhs tape with big block letters that read "PHANTASM". I thought it was the coolest word ever so, as inquiring minds do, I looked it up in our dictionary and BOOM... There was no way I wasn’t totally going to watch this mysterious sounding spectre of movie.

I was the perfect age to watch Phantasm, roughly the same age as our main character Mike, maybe even a little younger. I kept asking myself why he lived with his brother and it dawned on me... his parents were dead. My comprehensions of death up to that point were non existsnt. That moment, along with a death in my family pinpointed my understanding that once you're gone, that's it, you don't come back. You can imagine the effect that had on a young preteen.

By that time I was already a fan of Halloween, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street, but this one was different... the creepy sci-fi factor, little jawa dudes, mausoleums, bald hero with a ponytail and an ice cream truck, flying death spheres, creepy Tall Man, the soundtrack, and the insanely forboding atmosphere filled with surreal nightmare fuel at every turn absolutely drove my young imagination wild—and honestly, it still does. This is an all timer for me, containing a prime example of dreamy atmosphere that I go nuts for... sleepy lingering dread, the waking nightmare.

In a weird way every revisit feels like staring into a pictureshow time capsule of what it felt like to be young and all the soon to be dangers of adulthood in the form of a tall, lumbering spectoral reaper of innocence. Yeah, I love Phantasm.

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