If you’ve never seen any of Don Coscarelli’s “Phantasm” films, you’re really missing out! These sci-fi/fantasy/horror movies are true off the wall treasures that have won fans over worldwide with its peculiar but cohesive gelling of gothic themes with interstellar dangers. Interdimensional aliens disguised as morticians are invading Earth and converting the dead into an obedient midget army to help bring down civilization one town at a time. Only a vengeful boy and an ice cream man dare put an end to the secret invasion and chase the evil across America in their ’71 ‘Cuda. Earth’s fate hangs in the balance as they battle through possessed hearses, grave robbers, and deadly flying spheres loaded with fatal contraptions to reach the alien mastermind, the Tall Man.

Now available is a very thorough look at the history of the Phantasm series, in Dustin McNeill’s Phantasm Exhumed: The Unauthorized Companion. McNeill utilizes extensive notes and interviews from nearly all cast and crew from all 4 Phantasm films and even includes excerpts from Angus Scrimm’s (aka the Tall Man) personal journals reflecting on his experiences on those productions at the time. The book is an entertaining and fluent read and can serve as a great how-to guide for beginning filmmakers with Coscarelli as an example of an 18 year old kid directing his first movie in California. Only downside to the book are the pictures. There’s plenty in it to satisfy a fan, but they’re all black and white and look pixelated or like they were ran through a photocopier. The upside to that, however, is the book is a very reasonable price that most won’t mind paying for some insight and knowledge behind the making of one of horror’s more outstanding franchises. Because of the pics, I’d rate this read a 4/5 and worth the purchase!



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