When Mike (Michael Baldwin) spies some sinister creatures stealing corpses from the local cemetery, he and his older brother Jody (Bill Thornbury) explore the mausoleum, where they find that the mortician (Angus Scrimm), a towering, emaciated figure with superhuman strength, has somehow bridged the gap between Earth and the afterworld and needs fresh corpses. Among the tools of his trade is a flying Swiss army pinball that bores into the skulls of its hapless victims then extracts their brains. Their allies die off one by one, until only the brothers are left to defend humankind against the nefarious “Tall Man” and his army of shrouded dwarves. —allmove guide
In much the same way that director George A. Romero creative output has been primarily centered around the highly successful “Dead” series of zombie films, then fellow fantasy director Don Coscarelli has for over two decades seen his universe swirling around the lesser successful, but equally cult, and much loved “Phantasm” series of horror movies.
Coscarelli was born in Tripoli in North Africa, but raised around Southern California, and was interested in the cinema from a young age and together with his friends they made several low budget movies that aired on community TV stations to very positive feedback.
After a low key start with his first feature film embracing the trials of a young teenager caught in a world of alcoholic abuse Jim, the World’s Greatest (1976), Coscarelli followed this up with a lighter comedic tale about another youngster and his view of the world as an impressionable 12 year old in Kenny & Company (1976). However, the imaginative Coscarelli… read more
Cheap effects, bad acting, incoherent plot, stoopid scares: clearly Coscarelli made this shit up as he went along. Still I enjoy it for its groovy randomness and humid seventies drive-in vibe. Also essential for fans of watching a 1971 Plymouth Barracuda getting repaired (by two dorks), then driving slowly back and forth between dreary locations.