Thirteen-year-old Mike (Michael Baldwin) is filled with anxiety. His parents died two years before and he's afraid his twenty-something brother, Jody, is going to leave him. So he follows his brother around, all over their small town. Things begin to get strange when a friend of Jody's, Tommy, dies. He's killed while having sex in a graveyard by a creepy blonde woman that also turns into a man. While Jody is at the funeral, Mike spies through some binoculars and sees that same man, "The Tall Man" (Angus Scrimm) lift the five-hundred pound coffin back into his hearse after the services. And after Jody picks up a woman in a bar, the same woman who killed Tommy, and is in the graveyard about to have sex, interrupts when he's chased by a sinister dwarf. Jody chases after him and doesn't believe his high strung younger brother. Eventually, though, he's convinced, especially when Mike brings home a severed finger-with yellow blood-that he gets when narrowly escaping the Tall Man in the mausoleum. This same finger transforms into a monstrous fly, which they have a hard time killing. They have a friend, Reggie, who has an ice cream truck, and he's brought up to speed with what's happening after the two brothers manage to kill a dwarf-and see that it's their deceased friend, Tommy.
Phantasm remains one of my favorite horror movies. Yes, some of the acting and writing is stilted but it does lend to it being more surreal. It has the "dream within a dream" feel without being irritating. At one point towards the end we believe Reggie is killed by the Tall Man and later find out that it wasn't him who is killed, but Jody. The best thing is that the image quality is much improved on this Remastered edition from what had previously circulated around. You no longer have to settle for a grainy, murky experience. Plus, there's cool new artwork for the dvd box. Highly recommended.