Phantasm (1979)

Phantasm was a low-budget independent horror film from 1979 that had a second life on VHS in the eighties.

161015 Phantasm

J J Abrams loved it as a teenager. Recently he got in touch with the director, Don Coscarelli (on the right of the photo), and arranged to get it restored. He did this by stealing the odd hour or two at a time in the lab when they should have been working on Star Wars! Tonight it was shown in its restored glory at the London Film Festival.

And what a strange and fun film it is! Dead relatives turned into growling zombie dwarfs. Swift floating silver spheres with protruding knives. A guitar playing ice-cream man saving the day. The director acknowledged influences from Invaders From Mars and Suspiria, (and I think Carnival of Souls played its part) it makes no logical sense.

It was great fun and the audience of adoring fans loved it.