phantasm (fānītāzīem) noun
1. Something apparently seen but having no physical reality; a phantom or an apparition. Also called phantasma.
2. An illusory mental image. Also called phantasma.
3. In Platonic philosophy, objective reality as perceived and distorted by the five senses.
[Middle English fantasme, from Old French, from Latin phantasma, from Greek, from phantazein, to make visible, from phantos, visible, from phainein, to show.]
- phantasīmal (fān-tāzīmel) or phantasīmic (-tāzīmîk) adjective
film _Phantasm_ (vhs/ntsc). a murky, well made horror film from the
seventies. unusually quiet and disturbing. it features a metal ball
with spikes. giant resonating
tuning forks as gateways to other dimensions.
most gimmicks and novelties leave a disquieting sense of
inexplicability. spawned several bad sequels.
from the journal archives: 3-21-90
just another horror movie? conceptually, yes. you can't do much with a genre that's only intention is to try and scare... but the key here is style.. presentation.. random elements that make this special.. the acting isn't that great, but it hardly matters. what exactly is it? i wish i had a recording of this so i can analyze it, but here's an attempt:
disturbingly calm throughout most of the movie... some parts are your usual campy stupid 'loud' elements of horror movies, but the quiet parts are the best... the mausoleum scenes for example is excellent... reminds me sometimes of the last scenes in _2001_... a sense of peace, but always on the edge.. the horror 'punches' are predictable, but those aren't the stuff i was impressed with... the sound is eerie and resonant. definitely surreal direction.. this is a thousand times better than it's insipid sequel, where the famous 'ball' was marketed to death (i.e. was made to make money, not a movie). the imagery is so innovative. it's like Magritte directed some parts (contrasts, paradoxes, Dali-like landscapes & lighting).
We begin with a digital dream. As computers, media and telecommunications technology continue to collect, manipulate, store, represent and transmit an ever-increasing flux of data, they are installing nothing less than a new dimension: the space of information. This proliferating multi-dimensional space is virtual, densely webbed, and infinitely complex, a vast and sublime realm accessed only through the mediation of our imaginative and technical representations. How powerfully we engage this information space depends on how powerfully we both manipulate and inhabit these representations, these phantasms ghosting the interface.
- Erik Davis -
_Techgnosis: Magic, Memory,
and the Angels of Information_
Director and writer Don Coscarelli is a big fan of Frank Herbert. There is a bar named "Dune" in one scene. There are also other, non-hidden references scattered throughout.
Genre: Sci-Fi / Horror
Tagline: If this one doesn't scare you, you're already dead!
Plot Outline: A young boy and his friends face off against a mysterious grave-robber known only as the "Tall Man."
Cast overview, first billed only:
A. Michael Baldwin .... Mike
Bill Thornbury .... Jody
Reggie Bannister .... Reggie
Kathy Lester .... Lady in Lavender
Terrie Kalbus .... Fortuneteller's Granddaughter
Kenneth V. Jones (II) .... Caretaker
Susan Harper .... Girlfriend
Lynn Eastman .... Sally
David Arntzen .... Toby
Ralph Richmond .... Bartender
Bill Cone .... Tommy
Laura Mann .... Double Lavender
Mary Ellen Shaw .... Fortuneteller
Myrtle Scotton .... Maid
Angus Scrimm .... The Tall Man
Also Known As:
Never Dead, The (1979)
Sound Mix: Mono
Certification: USA:R / Finland:K-18 / France:-16 / Germany:16 /Germany:(Banned) (uncut)
604 label Phantasm
- Mindfield - _Carnival On Mars_
- Manmademan - _Kraton 3_
- Subcouds - _My World Doesn't Follow Any Other_
- Orion - _007 In Heaven_
- Dimension 5 - _The Zarkon Principle_
- Metrognomes - _Rezurrector_
- Lunar Asylum - _Moondog_
- Shakta - _Solar Nomads_ MP3
- sample: "We drift through the universe..."; "...pushed on by the solar winds"; "From planet to planet..." - Leonard Nimoy from from the film _Invasion Of The Body Snatchers_ (1978)
- Moonweed - _Journey Inside_
- Nervasystem - _Venusian Illusion_ MP3
_Volume 1 / Fill Your Head with Phantasm_ compilation