Phantasm (1979 franchise)

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  • Phantasm (1979 film)
  • Phantasm II (1988 film)
  • Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead (19 film)
  • Phantasm IV: Oblivion (19 film)
  • Phantasm V: Ravager (2016 film)


Phantasm is an American surreal horror film series that consists of five films about the Tall Man, a supernatural and malevolent alien undertaker who turns the dead into dwarf zombies to do his bidding and take over the world. He is opposed by a young boy, Mike, who tries to convince his older brother Jody and family friend and ice-cream truck driver Reggie of the threat.


  • Release Date: 1979-present
  • Country/Language: USA, English
  • Genres/Technical: Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy, experimental
  • Starring: Angus Scrimm, Reggie Bannister, A. Michael Baldwin (or James LeGros in the second sequel), Bill Thornbury
  • Director: Don Coscarelli (and David Hartman on the fifth film)
  • Writer: Don Coscarelli (and David Hartman on the fifth film)
  • Producer/Production Co: New Breed Productions Inc.
  • View Trailer: (link), (link), (link), (link), (link)
  • Film Website: (link)
  • IMDB: [link], [link], [link], [link], [link]


MPAA Ratings

  • Rated: R (Violence and gore, Brief Nudity, Adult Content)

Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • SS___ (Two Tentacles: Barely Lovecraftian; could be a very loose adaptation)

Not explicitly or implicitly based on any Lovecraft creation, but the strange, dream-like, Gothic/Science-Fiction/Fantasy setting, with its undead alien invasion from another dimension, is certainly the stuff of Weird Fiction.

Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.


Review Links:

  • (review needed!)


PHANTASM: The residents of a small town have begun dying under strange circumstances, leading young Mike to investigate. After discovering that the Tall Man, the town's mortician, is killing and reanimating the dead as misshapen zombies, Mike seeks help from his older brother, Jody, and local ice cream man Reggie. Working together, they try to lure out and kill the Tall Man, all the while avoiding his minions and a deadly silver sphere.

PHANTASM II: Years after surviving his encounter with the sinister Tall Man, Mike Pearson, now a mental patient, still has nightmares about the evil gaunt mortician. Upon being released from the institution, Mike and his friend Reggie set out to track down the Tall Man and end his murderous and macabre practices. Also involved is Liz Reynolds, a pretty young woman who has a psychic connection to both Mike and the Tall Man.

PHANTASM III - LORD OF THE DEAD: The evil alien known as the Tall Man has infiltrated the minds of Mike and Reggie. The two friends embark on a journey to find and kill him, only to discover that he has destroyed town after town, leaving zombies in place of the living. Along the way, Mike and Reggie meet several characters who share their goal, including a murderous boy named Tim and two young women who are excellent fighters.

PHANTASM IV - OBLIVION: With a hearse as his escape vehicle, Mike flees from the Tall Man, who wants to enslave him as an undead servant. Along the way, he investigates the origins of his enemy. Elsewhere, Mike's friend Reggie searches for him in a variety of dimensions, all the while battling mysterious spheres, including the ones he's discovered in the breasts of his beautiful undead companion. The friends must stop the Tall Man before he destroys them all.

PHANTASM V - RAVAGER: Brothers Mike and Jody join family friend Reggie to battle the Tall Man, a supernatural undertaker, and his evil minions from another dimension for the final time.


Comments, Trivia, Dedication

  • There was also a single comic book.

Associated Mythos Elements