In honor of the recent passing of Angus Scrimm, we bring you a film that’s near and dear to our hearts: Phantasm.

This unlikely cult hit kicked off a string of sequels – the latest of which should be released later this year. And none of them would have been hits if it weren’t for the iconic character of The Tall Man. We honor Angus Scrimm’s memory with a fresh, fair look at this classic from 1979.

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Phantasm (1974)

Episode 18, 2 Guys and a Chainsaw

Todd:  Welcome to another edition of Two Guys and a Chainsaw. I’m Todd. I’m Craig. And today, we are mourning the death of Angus Scrimm, a horror icon who died at the tender age of 89. 

Craig:  Yeah. It’s it’s sad. I, I read about his passing, earlier on this week, and, of course, I immediately texted Todd because he would’ve been the only one of my friends who would’ve really known who I was talking about or cared. 

Todd:  There’s so Few people who could appreciate this. 

Craig:  Right. I I I just said, oh, no. Angus Scrimm died, and, he knew exactly what I was talking about as I knew he would. And We decided that we would, do a little tribute, a little homage, and, watch Phantasm this week. That is correct. 

Todd:  You know, Angus Scrimm came from not Far from us in Kansas City, Kansas. We’re in Missouri, but not far from Kansas City. His birth name was Lawrence Rory Guy. 

Craig:  Very interesting. I did not know that at all. 

Todd:  Which is almost an odd enough, you know, name. He went by Rory Guy, I think, most of the time. Uh-huh. And then he took the name Angus Graham is sort of a stage name. 

Craig:  Do you have any idea where that came from? 

Todd:  No. I don’t. That’s a good question. But, you know, if he’s from Kansas, the word Angus, you know True. True. It it all it just sounds like a creepy name, though, and and it looks like he looks like an Angus. He does. He’s known for being really tall.   He’s actually 6 foot 4, which is pretty tall. Well, only about an inch taller than me. Not as tall as he looks in the movies, but, of course, they built that up for Right. 

Craig:  Right. I mean, this is He’s done other work, but this is kind of what he’s iconic for. And his character is just known as the tall man, and he’s just kind of this scary imposing figure. Like you said, he was, what, 6 3, 6 4? 64. But in the film, they put him in 3 inch platform shoes. They put him in, ill fitting suits that were too small for him to make him appear larger than life. And in at least 1 scene where he’s standing next another character. I know they had him standing on an apple crate to make him look more imposing.   So there’s a little bit of movie magic going on there, but He was a tall guy, and he definitely had a very, unique and and spooky look about him. 

Todd:  Yeah. And it’s, it’s interesting because It borders the line between really creep genuinely creepy and kind of mugging. Yeah. A little bit. 

Craig:  A little bit. 

Todd:  It’s it’s If he had been playing more serious character, let’s put it that way, he’s iconic as his character. The way that he played him is a sort of mugging, what really turns out to be, spoiler alert, a an alien. Yeah. Yeah. So you can get away with a lot when you’re an alien in a movie, you know, and Sure. Your facial expressions can be a little over the top, and he’s kinda known for that. I know that there’s a friend of mine and I who you know, we watch Fantasm a long time ago when we were in high school, and, We it’s kind of one of our inside jokes to every now and then turn to each other and go, boy. Yep.   So I was waiting for that. I I haven’t seen this movie in a long time. 

Craig:  Me either. Like, 15 years. This is and I I’ve only seen it that one time. This is one of those movies though that I remember from a kid. Now I’ve about this probably a a bunch of times, on the podcast already, but there’s just something about when we were kids going to the video store that, kids Today, we’ll never know. Oh, 

Todd:  that’s so sad. 

Craig:  And, you know, and and when I was a kid, I just remember my favorite, of course, place to walk around was the horror section. And just the video covers were always so eye catching, and this one is just implanted concrete in my mind. I mean, I I remember it Vividly, with, Angus Skrim on on the cover, and the the silver spheres that are also iconic and That 

Todd:  kind of white and deeper saturated red Yeah. Sort of a white and red look. And Yeah. 

Craig:  And, I mean, it was artistically done. And I You know, kids today can scroll through Netflix and see, you know, some artwork for the films, but it’s just not the same. It seems like a lot of Carrie used to go into that. And I imagine that was probably because they were trying to grab your eye, so you’d you pick it up off the shelf and take it home. I don’t know. This came out in 79, which was the year I was born. So I guess maybe I was just too young to see it at the time. My folks are pretty liberal in let me watch letting me watch what I wanna watch.   But as eye catching as that was, I didn’t see it until I was in college. Oh, yeah? Yeah. I I, Moved, to a different city to do my internship, right out of college, and, I didn’t have cable. I was living alone. It’s the first time I’d ever lived alone. So my mom bought me a $150 gift card to movie gallery. And every night, I would go to movie gallery and pick out a movie, usually a horror film. Uh-huh.   And it was then that I first saw this movie, and I watched them all. Like, just Oh, did you? Yeah. All all 4 of them, right in a row. And I I I really liked him. I loved him. So I was, like, it’s it’s a sad occasion to to return to it now, but I was excited to, to watch again. 

Todd:  That’s funny. You know? Well, I I was born in 78, so only a year older than you. And my friends and I in high Would do stupid movie night where we would get together and we would usually go to the horror section because we were all kind of into But it’s funny that you mentioned it. The horror section in the video store was by far the most interesting Oh, yeah. And I think you hit the nail on the head. Those covers really sold the movie, and they had to sell the movie because some of the stuff in there was Total and utter garbage, but should be so entranced by the covers. Absolutely. And phantasm being one of those that we knew was an iconic horror film.   We obviously we saw it. We saw the second one. I haven’t seen anything since the second one, but I know that my friend that I referred to earlier, Dakota, my Buddy and I, we definitely saw Phantasm 1 and 2 together. And it was really hard for me to be, Objective watching this film just because I have so many good memories wrapped up in it. You know? It’s one of those movies that when I first saw it, I’d really never seen anything like it. Yeah. It’s not like other movies. It it doesn’t make sense.   No. But it but it also it’s Fine that it doesn’t make sense. It’s got this dreamlike surreal quality that shouldn’t work, but it does. 

Craig:  Yeah. Oh, gosh. That’s so funny. You kinda took words right out of my mouth. There are so many things about this movie that shouldn’t work, and for some reason, they do. I mean, it’s it’s an entertaining film throughout. You know, the acting is a little subpar maybe. 

Todd:  Yeah. Just be to say it. You’re being too kind. 

Craig:  I well, and that’s the thing. Like, it was for me to be objective too because I I have such fond memories of it, and I I just kinda wouldn’t let myself be too critical in watching it. You know? There’s there’s some The cinematography, you know, it shows its age. I mean, it’s definitely entrenched in in the seventies. It’s a little grainy. A little dark in places. 

Todd:  Which is good, Actually, I’m in the darkness, but, yeah, it’s 

Craig:  All of those things, and I’m sure we’ll hit on more of them. I just didn’t care. Like, I I was just you know, I I’m I was in it for the ride, and, it’s it’s a good ride. And and like you said, I think that what I appreciate most about this movie and the whole franchise is that, it’s completely unique and original. There’s no other movie like it. It’s not really borrowing or stealing from anything, and nothing has really, I I’m sure people have been influenced, but you’ve never seen kind of a copycat movie. It’s it’s bizarre. It’s unique.   And, for that, I think it it deserves some credit. 

Todd:  Yeah. A lot of creativity born probably out of the production process. I was doing some reading up on this. Don Coscarelli, the director, who since Gone on to do the other fantastic movies as well as a few other films that some of them have been pretty critically acclaimed, but he’s never really broken through as a main screen director. He had done a couple movies before this. None of them really did very well. In fact, the one before this, I think, was called, Jim, the world’s greatest. Stop.   I have no idea what it’s about. I don’t know either. Must have been a comedy or a drama, and Angus Grim was actually in that. That was his first time working with him. 

Craig:  Yeah. Several of the actors had worked with him, previously. The the principal actors. In fact, I think most of the principal actors had. Yeah. 

Todd:  People he knew. And, he just was was decided, you know, horror movies seem to sell. He was inspired by Suspiria, We come out around that time 

Craig:  And you can definitely see some influence there. I was definitely you know, there’s 1 scene in particular, the first scene where, the metallic orbs appear and The 1st guy that’s, impaled by the orbs, the blood comes shooting out, and it’s that bright, bright red, that’s really typical The goal of and those other types of 

Todd:  The very saturated colors, the very over the top thing. Yeah. The music, especially. Yeah. And, To me, the music makes this film. 

Craig:  It’s great. It’s so atmospheric. It almost Does as much for the storytelling as the acting or the dialogue. 

Todd:  Oh, honestly, I was just thinking about that about halfway through the movie. I was like, if you were to strip the movie out of the the music out of this scene, for example, it wouldn’t have the same effect. Right? And and normally, that would be a criticism. A lot of times, if the music is sort of telling you how to feel or is trying to push your emotions. You spot it a mile away, you sort of sniff a rat, and and you don’t like it. But in this movie, it really does drive it, and it makes scenes that would otherwise be fairly pedestrian Yeah. Really creepy, and it just adds to that surreal quality. 

Craig:  Absolutely. It’s very much a part of the narrative, and it it doesn’t, in any way, like you said, pull you out. And and I think part of that is because it’s pretty consistent. I mean, there’s Not very many scenes in this film that aren’t underscored with something. 

Todd:  That’s true. There are a few. To the point where if there’s a scene without music, You kinda notice it, and it and it has its own effect. Mhmm. Yeah. It’s good that way. And it and it’s very reminiscent of, the music in and a lot of Dario Argento’s films, when he used goblin. Mhmm.   There’s a movie that he did. I think it’s called Phenomenon. 

Craig:  Yeah. Yeah. 

Todd:  And that It’s very reminiscent of this score, and, supposedly, Coscarelli himself admitted that the score that Goblin dead force Hesperia heavily influenced what he did for this film. Interesting. 

Clip:  And now 

Todd:  I don’t think he composed the music for this film, but he pretty much did everything else. 

Craig:  Else. Yeah. Wrote, directed, Produced. He was inspired, by a dream that he had, I think, when he was a kid. But regardless, he He dreamed that he was in this big marble hallway being pursued by some kind of force, and and there were these Chrome orbs that were were being shot out of some sort of instrument and were chasing him. And, obviously, you know, that features heavily in the movie, and, It’s cool. 

Todd:  It’s really cool. Part of that uniqueness Yeah. 

Craig:  That you’ve never seen anything like it before. Right. But for me, it’s so iconic. You know? I I see That you see that orb anywhere, anything that’s even reminiscent. It immediately takes you here. It’s it’s not generic at all. Oh, no. 

Todd:  Well, the movie starts out in a strange Place, there’s this sort of it almost feels like to me crammed in sex scene. Yeah. You know, it’s like one of those where the distributor said you gotta have some boobs in here. 

Clip:  Yeah. 

Todd:  Right. And so you slap something together last minute, throw it together. Although it turns out to be pretty Central to the plot where there’s a guy, his name is Tommy. Uh-huh. We don’t know that at the time, but he’s basically having sex with this woman in the cemetery Mhmm. And she stabs him. Right. And you see this quick flash, where it’s showing a close-up of the woman’s face, but then it’s like a man’s face, and then it’s a woman’s face again, and then it goes immediately As a lot of these scenes do, just immediately goes to something different. 

Craig:  Right. Now now, again, if I was being critical, which I’m not going to 

Todd:  You can be creative. 

Craig:  That would be one of the things that would be one of the things that I would say is maybe a kind of a weakness of this movie is the editing. It it it jumps from scene to scene, and there’s not a lot of explanation of what happens in the interim. Yeah. And I am 90% positive that that’s That’s because the original cut of this movie was almost 4 hours long. 

Todd:  Yeah. It was insane. 

Craig:  Yeah. And, Coscarelli, you know, he didn’t even need anybody to tell him too long. You know? He he realized that that was gonna be way too long to hold, people’s attention. So he cut it down to what? Like, an hour 40 something? 

Todd:  Yeah. 

Craig:  And, you can kinda tell. You can kinda tell that there are bits and pieces missing. They found some of that footage later, and, actually, I I think they used some of it and used The narrative part of it to inform the 4th movie, but some of it was lost, but not not all of it. But, you can you can tell. That part, you can tell. 

Todd:  You can. And I don’t think it entirely works out of the film’s favor. I think that that’s part of the charm of the movie, and it adds to that surreal quality, Especially so that the ending doesn’t seem as abrupt as it would otherwise. Mhmm. The ending and we’re gonna get to it later, but the ending does seem like, woah. Where did we how did we get here? Right. But because you’re hit with that throughout the film, like, woah. How did we get here? What what okay.   That was cool. That was abrupt. You’re set up for it, and it it just to me, it adds to that surreal quality. I agree. But what it does strip away, and my understanding is there was a lot more Character development, in the original cut, and a lot of that got cut out. Right. And that is what I would say is one of the Many admittedly weaknesses of this film is that it’s straight story. It is bare minimum.   Here are actions that are happening, and here are the characters’ reactions to them. You don’t get a strong sense of who these people are Right. And their backstory and their relationships with each other except for the fact that, oh, these 2 are brothers 

Craig:  Right. 

Todd:  And, oh, these 2 are friends. Right. You know? 

Craig:  Yeah. There’s at one point in the movie, the older brother, Jody, sends the younger brother, Mike. He says, take him to Sally’s at the antique store. And and so the the kid goes, and there’s Sally. And Sally apparently has a sister, Susie, and there’s there’s kind of a A scene with them, but we have no idea who they are. Susie and Sally. Right. And and then they kind of disappear, and then it’s kind of just Lane, oh, yeah.   We found them, and they got away. I mean, you get the sense that you’re missing big parts of the story. There’s 1 scene where the 3 main guys, Mike, Jody and Reggie, all come back. I couldn’t even tell really whose house it was, but they all converge at somebody’s house. And, This lady, I guess she’s supposed to be a a housekeeper or something just pops out of nowhere. 

Clip:  Hey. You boys back here. Jesus Christ Myrtle. Oh. You almost gave me a coronary. 

Craig:  And that’s the only time you ever see her. I have no idea who she is. I have no idea why she was in their house. 

Todd:  Is like, oh, Myrtle, you scared me. We’re like, who the 

Craig:  heck’s Myrtle? 

Todd:  And you never know. No. Because you never 

Craig:  scared me. You you kind of forgive it because it keeps the pacing going. I mean, there aren’t any laws in this movie. I mean, it keeps going. The action, although The the dots don’t always seem to connect exactly. We keep moving Yeah. 

Todd:  Throughout. And that’s fine. And and it’s almost humorously so. Right. You know, in the beginning after that that scene. The very next shot is a a shot of the house, which you said is the house from 

Craig:  From burnt offerings. 

Todd:  Bird offerings, which is standing in for, like a funeral home in this movie. Right. Mhmm. 

Craig:  And, yeah, it’s it’s a a really cool looking house, but You you’re right. We jump right to the Tommy’s funeral, and that’s where we’re introduced to, really, our main characters, Jody who it appears I mean, there’s a little bit of dialogue that suggests that Jody and Reggie, who is a bald guy who drives an ice cream truck, That’s kind of the extent of his characterization, but, Jody and Reggie and, Tommy, did you say his name was? 

Todd:  Tommy was the one who died. Yeah. 

Craig:  Who want I think they were, like, buddies. Like, they were like a trio. 

Todd:  Oh, it’s hilarious. It’s it’s like a guy who just got out of film school writing a script just been told be economical in your screenplay because you get the shot of the house, and then Reggie pops into frame and goes 

Clip:  Jody. Hi, Reg. How’s it going? Tommy’s gone. It’s, it’s a hell of a way to end a trio. It’s hard to believe that killed himself. Hey. I, I’m gonna go visit somebody. I’ll catch you inside.   Yeah. 

Todd:  And they leave, but at the same time, well, we might as well get along with the plot. Sure. Right. Let’s let’s keep moving. And it’s bizarre because then, Reggie Just starts exploring the mausoleum. It’s like he’s going for the funeral, but he decides to pop into the funeral home, which is also a mausoleum. 

Craig:  I think That’s Jody. Right? Isn’t it? Jody. Yeah. 

Clip:  Yeah. 

Todd:  Jody’s the one. 

Craig:  And he goes into this mausoleum. He had also said something. Reggie had said something to to him. It’s best that you didn’t bring your little brother, and the little brother is Mike. Jody says, yeah. When we had our parents’ funeral, here just a little while ago really kinda freaked him out, so I figured I’d better send him I I better not let him come. 

Clip:  That’s right. 

Craig:  So we don’t know what happened to their parents, but they’re dead, apparently. And so Jody goes in, and he’s kinda looking around. And we were commenting on this mausoleum. I mean, it it’s it’s kind of, Impressive in the way that it’s set up. I mean, it’s made to look larger than life. I I kept thinking, where in this house is this 

Todd:  Serial doesn’t match the interior at all. No. 

Craig:  And it it it’s it’s like this huge, you know, floor to ceiling marble white marble mausoleum, Which, you know, if if if you read up on it. 

Todd:  Yeah. There’s something off about it. When you look at the marble, you’re like, it I don’t know why it looks so fake, but it just It’s so patterned and fake and 

Craig:  Yeah. 

Todd:  You were telling me. It it’s because, I 

Craig:  mean, they just constructed the set out of plywood and covered it in contact paper. You know, like, people in the seventies would have, like, lined their counters with or whatever, faux marble. And it’s it’s funny because we were talking about it. It’s JJ Abrams, right, who We’re planning on doing a, 4 k restoration of this, and I wonder how that’ll play out because there are some of those, you know, that You 

Todd:  don’t Honestly, that’s a great deal. 

Craig:  Right? I’m afraid it’ll make it look cheaper than it is. And it’s already cheap, but but they do a good you know, You can you can work with cheap, and they work with it here. 

Todd:  Well, you know, that’s actually the criticism I had of the evil dead. Do you own the evil dead DVD? 

Craig:  The 

Todd:  remastered one. I thought it lost a little bit by remastering it in DVD and making bright all of the areas that Previously in my old dirty, grungy VHS copies were so dark and dingy and hard to make out. I felt like it cleaned up a movie that didn’t really benefit from being cleaned Right. And I would worry that a 4 k restoration of this film would do the same thing. 

Craig:  I don’t know. We’ll see. I will I’ll see. I’ll I’ll wanna watch it. 

Todd:  I will. Yeah. It’d be interesting just to see some how some of these special effects hold on. 

Craig:  Right. So you’re right. Jody is in there, and, I didn’t notice it the 1st time around, but he kneels down and and looks at, the spot where his his dad is, there in that moment. And then he stands up, and I think somebody puts a hand on his shoulder. And he turns around, and it’s Angus Skrim, the tall man looking, you know Sinister. Very sinister, and he he only has probably, like, 3 or 4 lines in the whole movie. It’s very true. He says something like 

Clip:  The funeral is about to begin, sir. 

Todd:  With the eyebrow raise. 

Craig:  Right. Right. And, so the funeral bins. Meanwhile, Mike is hiding out in the cemetery watching from afar. As it turns out, it seems like Mike is Keeping a really close eye on Jody because he’s afraid Jody’s gonna take off, and and leave him behind. So he sees part of the funeral, but then after everybody else has left, he’s still lingering around. And, Tommy’s coffin, you know, The pallbearers had had delivered it to the, gravesite. But after everybody goes, this Tall guy returns with, the hearse and by himself picks up this huge coffin and, loads it back in the hearse The hearse.   Yeah. Mhmm. Which is which is odd. And, so, So, Mike’s a little spooked out, so he goes to his friendly neighborhood psychic. Right. 

Todd:  And that’s one of the weirdest thing. It’s it’s, again, I emblematic of the strange cuts in this film. And the strange way that the story progresses is that he’s weirded out by it. So the next shot is him sort of sauntering down a road, and there’s a sign with the hand on it, you know, that means psychic. And he walks in the house, And this is a very bizarre scene. And this is, again, the scene that’s setting you up that this is just gonna be a bizarre movie. Right. There’s a woman at the door, a girl, And she says and she’s about his age. 

Craig:  Seemingly. Yeah. 

Clip:  Says Hi, Michael. Hi. Is your grandmother home? Sure. Come in. 

Todd:  And by the way, her acting is maybe the worst And he sits down, and it’s this room that’s just filled with candles like it’s always filled with candles, And she wheels out this woman who must be blind because she has these The blackout shades. Right? Mhmm. And the and she sits down next to her. She says, tell grandmother what you wanna say. Yeah. What’s on 

Craig:  your mind? What’s bothering her? 

Todd:  And he starts him with a little bit of exposition, which is basically, I’m worried that, it’s about Jody again. So we know that he’s been there multiple times and that Jody is a topic, and I’m worried that he’s gonna leave me. And we get this flashback sequence, and it’s It’s neat the way it’s edited because we don’t even realize that it’s a flashback sequence when it’s happening. At least, I didn’t. I thought maybe it was cutting from the reading until, you know, to the next day. And it’s just this moment where they drive the car in and Jody gets out, and he says, oh, They they pop the hood, and the Joey says, oh, I think it’s the such and such, and he gets under the car and starts to fix it. And then some other guy pulls up who’s clearly a A I’m sorry. Red, Michael is the one who fixed it.   Right. Another guy pulls up and gets out of the car and says, oh, hey, Jody. How you doing? And It’s like a buddy of his. Oh, I’m sorry to hear about, you know, your your friend, Tommy. They’re having this conversation as though Reggie’s not, You know, 12 feet away from them under the car, and he’s talking about Reggie. And 

Craig:  he’s You, Mike. Mike. This is Brent. Thank you. 

Todd:  I’m gonna get this totally messed up. Rames are hard. That’s right. Reggie’s the bald ice cream guy. You’re right. Alright. Jody and this other friend are talking about the the kid Mike, and they’re basically saying, well, I I, I’m worried about him. I’m thinking about, sending him away somewhere.   So you can kinda see that Michael’s feelings are not unwarranted. Right. It’s just really neat the way that that’s edited together where it goes from their conversation into a voice over, Into another section where Jody is, like, driving riding his bike down the street, and Michael is chasing after him. It’s interesting. This very artistic moment where we get the sense all in 1 scene that is a flashback that Michael is worried about Jody leaving him, and then you get that visual of him constantly chasing him around and and chasing him down the street as though he’s leaving him. And then it cuts immediately back to the psychic, and you’re suddenly taken out of it like, oh, yeah. That’s right. We were the psychic, and and that must have been a flashback.   Well 

Craig:  and it felt really economical. Like, they wanted to get that little bit of exposition in, and and they don’t get much But I’m glad that they did there because then you really kind of get a sense of what the relationship is between these 2 brothers, and that’s kind of important. If there’s gonna be you know, if there’s any important relationship, in the story I mean, the friendship with Reggie is kinda central too, but, really, it’s Jody and Mike looking out for each other, and I thought that scene did a good job of establishing that. 

Todd:  Yeah. It’s an understated moment in a movie that doesn’t have many under moments. Right? But, anyway, that that scene wraps up in a very strange way, and that the girl says, grandmother wants you she it’s like she’s She can channel grandmother? Yeah. Grandmother doesn’t talk. Yeah. 

Craig:  The other girl talks for her. 

Todd:  And she says grandmother wants you to play a little game, and Suddenly, a box just magically appears on the table. Mhmm. Literally magically appears on the table in front of him, and she says, put your hand in the box. And so he puts his hand in the box, and instantly, It’s like the box is grabbing onto him, and it hurts, and he’s trying to gag his hand out. 

Clip:  Hey. This thing really hurts. Don’t fear, Michael. I can’t get my hand out. Don’t fear. Can he bite my hand? Don’t fear. It was simply a reflection. Fear is the killer.   That’s what grandmother wants you to learn. 

Todd:  The idea being, I guess, he loses his fear and so he’s able to pull his hand out of the box, and that’s the lesson that he learns, which 

Craig:  comes back around in the end. I mean, it’s not really all that important or significant, but it does come back around in the end, and they it kind of helps him, to escape, in the end. But it is it’s kind of an odd scene. And that’s one of the things about this movie is you never really know what to expect. There are so many different elements of it. Yeah. A gypsy woman who can make things magically appear and disappear. You know? What’s that all about? 

Todd:  It’s odd because it seems to be setting up that they live in this sort of magical world, but they don’t. Right. But he’s doesn’t seem to be terribly surprised at all of this happening. It’s like maybe well, it’s a little unusual, but not unlike many of my other previous sessions or something. 


Craig:  guess. Well so the young girl tells Mike, you don’t have to worry about the Jody thing. We told you that before. The Jody thing is gonna be fine. If he leaves, he’ll take you with him. But then he says, well, there’s this other weird thing that And he explains what happened at the cemetery and seeing the tall man, and that’s when they do the test thing. 

Todd:  Oh, that’s weird. 

Craig:  And that’s that’s kind of that’s kind of it. That’s the end of the session. But after the I think the next scene is the young girl going to the mausoleum. I guess she’s just Checking things out. That was strange. 

Todd:  It was kinda weird. And she’s checking up on a story? Or 

Craig:  Yeah. I I guess. And so she she goes in there, and she walks through the place that we’ve already seen, the big marble place. But at the end of one of the corridors in that marble place is this, like, wooden door. And she opens it, and this Blaring white light shines out on her, and then it cuts to the outside of the house and you hear a scream. And so you know that there’s something sinister. Not that we didn’t already, But, obviously, there’s something sinister going on there, but we really have no idea what it is. And that’s another one of those things that just kind of goes unexplained. 

Todd:  You know? 

Craig:  We we don’t know what happened to that girl. At the end when, like I said before, Reggie at some point towards the end, they find themselves back in there, and he says, oh, I found a bunch of girls. They were fine, but they were scared, so I just let them go. Like, I I I felt like one of them. Yeah. That’s kinda what I felt like was being suggested. I don’t know. There are lots of loose ends, And normally, loose ends really bother me, but I just I I refuse to allow them to bother me here because the storytelling is so fun. 

Todd:  Yeah. You you almost just have to dismiss that as a and and wonder if it was a dream sequence at times, and who knows? It could very well you could explain it that way. It’s interesting, but it does set up that door. And that’s one thing this movie does at least do a very good job at, and that is They are setting up everything. Very little of this film comes at you that has not been forecast previously. Right? Right. Because I believe the next scene after this is just Jody hanging out on his at at a Oh, you’re right. You’re right.   Porch. Right? And he’s playing on electric guitar. And This is when we first well, when we see what Reggie does, when Reggie drives a ice cream truck, basically. He pulls up, and he sits down, and he starts to sit down and jam with Jodie on their front porch, and they actually are both playing. Yeah. That’s really quite impressive. 

Craig:  They sing a little tune. 1 of them wrote that. I don’t know which Fine. One of them wrote that little ditty. 

Todd:  I guess that’s what you do when you’re writing around the people that you know. Right? And he they play their tune, and it’s kind of a cute moment. It establishes them as Friends is something they do. It might be the most character development you get out of this film. 

Craig:  It felt very natural. You got the sense that those actors probably sat around on set and Yeah. Jammed, Together. 

Todd:  This is familiar. And at the end, he pulls out a tuning fork, you know, hits it across his hand and then puts it against the guitar, and you hear the And it’s interesting how the camera just Zooms in on that as though it’s significant. Mhmm. And it is. It is. Eventually. It is. And it’s just one of those things that, again, this movie really sets up and forecast things for you in advance.   And for all the faults of the screenplay and the writing and the dialogue, at least those aspects of it are pretty darn solid. Nothing ever really comes at you, like, except for the woman in the house. Right. Nothing else really ever comes at you where you go, where the heck did that 

Craig:  come up? Right. Right. As bizarre as it may be, they’re ties. And that’s one of the things when I watched this whole series, the ones that have been released so far, that was one of the things that I was impressed with. They really maintain a continuity throughout the whole series, And they keep the same actors throughout the series except for part 2. Now I guess that, this I don’t know how the film did at the box office originally Mhmm. But It established, you know, a strong cult following so that, 10 years it was 10 years after the first one was released that the sequel came out. And it got, I think, you know, studio backing, and they were given a budget and whatnot.   But what comes with that, of course, is then studio interference. And, the studio did not wanna recast either Mike or Reggie, and Coscarelli fought for it, and the only compromise that they would come to is they they demanded that he make them both audition. And then once they had both auditioned and he Still wanted to cast them both. They said you can’t. You can’t cast both. If you if you have to keep 1, you can keep 1. Really? And so he they he kept the actor that played Reggie, And the kid that played Mike was recast with a a more stereotypically Hollywood kinda good looking guy. 

Todd:  Was Jodie even in the second one? 

Craig:  I don’t remember if Jodie is in the second one or not. 

Todd:  At least the same actor is not in that second one. 

Craig:  Right. He does, however, pop up, at some point again in the franchise. I don’t remember when, but when by 3rd. When he does pop up again, I do believe it is the same actor. And I think Sally, who we don’t see really anything of in this movie 

Todd:  back of her head. Right? 

Craig:  I I think she she comes back and and plays more of a key role. But then for well and so the actor who plays, Mike in this film is bitter Yes. About the fact that he was not allowed be included in the second one. Is this the the later one? 

Clip:  He 

Craig:  is. They brought him back. They brought him back. And, you know, unfortunately, mister Skrim has has passed, but, They filmed the 5th movie, and it the the filming is complete. You know? It’s it’s just in postproduction. And that was, you know, my selfish thought when I heard that, Angus had died. I thought, well, at least they finished Ravager. 


Craig:  I’m I’m glad and it is selfish, but I really am glad that we’re gonna get the opportunity to see him screen. And that was a total diversion. But my point was the you know, as as much as they had to work with what they had to work with with editing Throughout the rest of the franchise, the continuity is really, really good. And and, I mean, it’s it’s a a good continuing story that doesn’t feel forced. I’m a fan. 

Todd:  Well, they’re setting up an interesting world, and I don’t think it was a conscious world building, at least initially. I’m sure Coscarelli wasn’t even conceiving the fact that there could be multiple sequels after this, but the fact that it could then hold up is really grounded In the world that’s built in the 1st film just being so unique and so different that you could go a lot of different ways with it. 

Craig:  Right. And and that may be, you know, Actually, because so little is explained here in this film, that really opens things wide up. Like, for example so, Eventually, Mike comes back, to kind of investigate the mausoleum, and, he breaks in. He busts in a window. He goes in. He’s almost discovered by somebody who I guess is, like, an employee of the mausoleum or something. I couldn’t really tell who 

Todd:  it was. 

Craig:  Comes and goes. He hides in a coffin, but then he he gets out, and he kind of hears these weird things, going on, but you never really see anything. And then you hear this sound, which ends up being the sound of the orbs flying around. And the guy who had almost caught him before does catch him, gets him in a Tokehold. He’s trying to fight, but then one of these flying orbs comes around the corner and a big, like, Spiky thing comes out of it, and it impales itself in that guy’s head Like his forehead. Right. His forehead. And then, like, a drill Comes out and, like, drills into his forehead, and the blood is gushing out.   It’s the only real gore in this whole film. 

Todd:  Yeah. Couple people get stabbed, but it’s not. It’s like an old school homestead. But, yeah, it’s interesting the combination of this Creepy old school mausoleum. You’re getting the sense that we’re involving the dead and we’re involving death in kind of an old school way, I think, Like a creepy old universal film. Yeah. You know? But here is this modern, very polished sphere coming through, Drilling into his head and then very clinically squirting the blood out of the back in just a very steady stream as though we’re performing some sort of surgical procedure. 

Craig:  Yeah. Creepy. It is creepy. And, Mike falls to the floor, and, the guy who died falls to the floor too and wets himself. And it’s it’s funny that Postmortem wedding. Postmortem. Right. It’s fun.   The film was originally rated x, and and that was one of the reasons Because the guy wet himself after he got killed. 

Todd:  Really? 

Craig:  Yeah. I have no idea. It was a different time. Yeah. Oh, I know. I’m I’m sitting watching this thinking, really? My gosh. Think how far we’ve come with what they can get away with showing. I mean, this is tame.   I I feel like today, this would be rated PG PG 13. 

Todd:  Of course. I don’t see where you get an x out of this. I have no idea. There’s not even thematically 

Craig:  Right. 

Todd:  Does it require an x. 

Craig:  And I guess I think it was Coscarelli just Called in a favor. He he knew somebody on the ratings board and said, can you help me out? And they were like, sure. And so he didn’t have to end up cutting anything. Just bopped it back down to the r. 

Todd:  Well, it was kind of unnecessary for him to wet himself. I mean 

Craig:  He right. 

Todd:  But you’ve already shot the footage. It’s a lot like he could reach you, 

Craig:  I’m sure. Right. But, anyway, so then Mike gets up, and, this was I don’t know if it was intentionally funny or not, but, Mike gets up and he kinda Starts walking away, and here comes the tall man around, the corner. Ed might just what does he say? He’s like, 

Clip:  Oh, shit. 

Todd:  It is The most honest piece of dialogue in this whole film. You’ve seen horror movies where people react in certain ways. This is the way you would really react. Totally. Totally. 

Craig:  And they kinda start walking towards one another, and then Mike hightails it out of there. But he before he gets out, And and we’ve seen a glimpse of these things before. They’re like these little oh, gosh. What would you call them? Dwarves, I 

Todd:  guess? They look like Ewoks or or what are they? The Jawas? Yeah. Star Wars? 

Craig:  I don’t remember what they were called, but those little short robed guys in Star Wars that were also parodied in, 

Todd:  Yeah. I think they’re the jaw the ones who, who were Scavenging at the very beginning who take the droids in. 

Craig:  Right. The ones who in Spaceballs, the 

Todd:  you know that? That’s right. 

Craig:  So it looks like those and and he gets attacked by a couple of those. And from then on, it’s really just A matter of kind of doing some more investigating, getting chased a little bit. In his Fleeing from the tall man, he slams the door behind him, and the tall man’s fingers get smashed into the door. And he’s got a big old Mike has a big buck knife on him, and he Slices the fingers off, and I guess he grabs 1. Eventually, he escapes. He goes home. 

Todd:  Right. But the fingers gush like a like a yellowish liquid. You’re expecting blood. You’re seeing yellow, and that’s one of the first moments where you’re just I mean, the movie’s already weird, but that just totally throws it off. Right. 

Craig:  And, I mean, it’s obviously establishes this guy is not Human is something else. Now Mike has the evidence. He goes home, and he’s he’s talking to Jody. 

Todd:  I love this dude. 

Craig:  And He’s like, look. I’ll show you. I’ve got it right here, and he’s got this box. And he opens it up, and sure enough, there’s the Finger in there, wriggling around, and Jodie looks at it for a second and goes, okay. I believe you. 

Todd:  It’s what you’d like to happen in every other movie. 

Craig:  Right. 

Todd:  But usually the evidence disappears. Right. Here’s the actual wriggling figure in the box like this. 

Craig:  And really from there, You know, it’s it’s kinda just some back and forth. Jody Jody goes and investigates. He gets attacked by the little dwarf people. He comes back home. Somehow well, no. He escapes out of the house, but the tall man follows him 

Todd:  in the hearse. Then, Bregy comes after him in the hearse. Mike. Mike. Sorry. Mike comes after him. 

Craig:  In the hearse. And then they had, like, a car chase. The nobody’s driving the car supposedly. It appears. You know, Jody goes all badass and, like, stands up in the sunroof of, like, shooting shotgun at the at the car, and he eventually gets the car Crash. And when they find it, it was being driven by somebody, but it was one of those dwarfs, which is why they couldn’t see. And, the dwarf has been entirely impaled, But they pull back his 

Todd:  Robe. 

Craig:  His robe, his hood, and his face is the face of Tommy, their friend who had died. And so we’ve kind of realized here, and it’s kind of explained a little bit further, that the tall man, whoever he is and for whatever purpose, is harvesting dead people to do his bidding. And then, apparently, somehow, he shrinks them down. 

Todd:  Kind of crushes them more than shrinks them because their head’s The same size, but they’re sort of digitized. 

Craig:  Right. And, like, they they pull, Reggie just shows up, and and they pull, Jody and Reggie pull Tommy out of there, and Reggie comments, well, he’s only 3 feet tall, but he still must weigh 200 pounds. And this is, Kind of explained later when the origins of the tall man are somewhat explained. I mean, it’s never fully explained. But, apparently, he’s from a different planet. And the reason that he has to shrink them down is so that, I guess their body mass will be about the gravity. Right. Their body mass will be more Condensed so the gravity won’t affect them as much.   And wherever it is, it’s really hot there. But Yeah. That comes up later. But then, you know, there’s the thing with Tina at the antique store. 

Todd:  Yeah. Even though Michael has pretty much bailed out his brother, Jody, in the 2 or 3 times that Jody’s gone out and insisted that Mike stay home. Mike, doing what Mike does, follows Jody and either with the car or whatever bails him out. Mike Jody still insists This last time that Mike really stay at the antique store with Susie and Sally, which Susie and Sally. Come on. I know. Come on. Right? Anyway 

Craig:  And it really seems like a totally inconsequential scene, and really it is, except Step 4, when he’s in that antique store, he finds a photograph, and I guess we’re supposed to think that the photograph kind of comes to life. 

Todd:  You know, that was where I was a little confused because I thought a stronger scene would have been that he would have found the photograph that’s obviously an old antique photograph that nevertheless shows the tall man back in the day as he as he is now. Right. 

Craig:  In front of the same mausoleum, but, like, with a with a horse 

Todd:  drawn The horse. Yeah. And I thought, oh, wow. That would be this creepy realization that this tall man’s clearly out of this world because he’s lived this long. But then the picture kind of comes to life in front of him. The tall man, it zooms in on the tall man. The tall man looks at him for a moment and then turns back. I wasn’t sure if that was supposed to be in his mind or if that was actually the photograph Like a Harry Potter 

Craig:  Right. 

Todd:  Right. Moving photograph thing that happened for his benefit. 

Craig:  Yeah. I I really don’t know. And the scene I mean, You get the sense that they’re trying to establish that this guy has been around for a long time. But beyond that, it doesn’t really seem to serve a lot of purpose. No. However, They return to it later on in the series, and they kind of explain the origins of not necessarily where the tall man came from, but why he looks like the tall man. Oh, interesting. There I guess there was, a minister named Jebediah something.   I’m not gonna remember what it was. And and he was, you know, the the What the tall man looks like is that guy. And this guy, you know, dealt with death a lot, and so he kind of became interested in, gosh, I don’t know, parapsychology or something. And he built a machine that ended up being kind of a cross dimensional transport machine. 

Clip:  Oh, okay. 

Craig:  And he went into it And I guess ended up on the planet of whatever the tall man is, presumably was killed by the tall man, and the tall man took his Form. 

Todd:  Oh, okay. 

Craig:  That makes sense. So you get that history. I think that’s in part 3. I don’t remember. It’s been so long since I’ve seen them. But Yeah. Again, it’s just one of those little things, and and I’m sure they didn’t have any of that planned. But there was that moment that they could draw from later down the line, and they utilized it.   And I I think that’s really cool. 

Todd:  That’s good. Well, yeah, it’s it’s definitely a weird moment. Susie and Sally, he he says, I gotta get home. I gotta get home. And so they drive him home, And they run across Reggie’s ice cream truck, which is on its side in the middle of the road. And he says, you girls wait here. I’m gonna go and expect this. And He goes and he sees that indeed Reggie is gone.   Body is gone from the truck, but there are still these noises happening. He runs to the car and says, we’ve gotta get out of here now, And these dwarf creatures attack them. Right. End up dragging the girls out of the car. 

Craig:  No. The girls stay in the car. 

Todd:  I can’t You’re right. They end up taking off. 

Craig:  Right. 

Todd:  And Reggie ends up, getting knocked out the back window. Right? By by 

Craig:  the end of this podcast, you’re gonna know that that 

Clip:  kid’s name is Mike. 

Todd:  Thank you. 

Clip:  I don’t 

Todd:  know I wanna keep calling is his is the actor’s name Reggie? 

Craig:  I don’t 

Todd:  think so. I don’t know. Reggie is Mike. The ball the Reggie is the bald. Mike is the kid. Right. Mike. Alright.   Mike is with the girls. Mike was with the anyway, Mike gets thrown out the back window of this, car and into the street. It’s an interesting moment where he is laying in the street and unconscious, and then you see a shot of Jodie almost like He has the the spidery spidey sense 

Craig:  that it Like, it’s some kind of psychic connection or something. 

Todd:  Yeah. Then there’s a shot of Mike again, and then there’s a shot of Jodie. And then there’s Each It’s convenient that he could just run home because supposedly, he was besieged by these guys who must be way more interested in the girls and dispersed into the woods. But, he comes home, and there they are. 

Craig:  And, again, it’s basically time for the final showdown, but, as Every other time in the movie, Jodie says, you’re not coming. 

Clip:  You have 

Todd:  to stay here. And he picks 

Craig:  him up. Picks him up, takes him up to his room, locks him in his room, like, jams a, A screwdriver in the door so he can’t get out. And then it’s it’s funny. Mike devises a way to get out, and I feel like you’ve referenced this in some other podcast. 

Todd:  This in a previous podcast Because let me tell you, this scene, maybe I’m embarrassed to say it after watching it now, but this scene up until this moment just impressed the heck out of me. And maybe it Still does to a certain extent because you’ll often have these MacGyver moments in a movie where a character grabs All these detrious that’s around the room and quickly assemble something, but it’s usually played like they’ve done this before where they know what they’re doing or a quick glance around the room and they know immediately what to do. Right. What I like about this scene is it plays to me as fairly realistic. It takes its Time. The kid tries the door. He can’t get out the door. He’s really ticked off.   He sits down at his desk in frustration. He sobs a bit. He’s sort of stops sobbing and just sort of staring at the wall trying to decide what to do. And to my mind, you can really See him clearly putting the pieces in place. He pulls the shotgun shell out of his, Shirt pocket. 

Craig:  Right. They’ve been armed for a while now. That’s right. Yeah. 

Todd:  There’s been a lot of the shotgun happening, and he’s just playing with it. And as he’s playing with it, it’s like he gets an idea, And he sees that the hammer is there on the desk, and and the hammer can be on the desk because, you know, he’s he’s mechanically minded. Right. And that’s actually, again, another case of where Coscarelli at least Did a really good job in the script of forecasting that this guy is mechanically minded. You know, he works on cars and things even though he’s only 13. Right? And he pulls a pin off the wall and he jams it and he has trouble 

Clip:  Mhmm. 

Todd:  You know, jamming it into the shotgun shell, but he gets it and he ends up taping it around. I just liked that scene. I liked watching an I the genesis of an idea and somebody slowly try to put it together in a kind of clumsy way like you and I might do at home. Right. Except in this case, it works. He slams the hammer with the shotgun shell attached to the end to the door, Blast a hole in it so he can reach through and open the door. Right. Right.   I don’t know, man. I I just like that scene. 

Craig:  Yeah. It’s it’s it’s kind of a cool scene. I mean, it’s, he he’s innovative. It it seems incredibly dangerous. I don’t know how he I don’t know how he came out of that without some buckshot in his groin or something, but, it works, and he gets out, and then he heads oh, no. Jody is headed to the mausoleum, but when Mike opens his Front door, there stands the tall man like he was there all along waiting for him. 

Todd:  And that’s a good unexpected moment. 

Craig:  Right. And the tall man grabs lifts him up in the air, throws him in the back of the hearse. 

Todd:  Oh, and when he does that, there’s another great moment, which again, you don’t see in a lot of movies is the tall man’s lifting him up by just by his 

Craig:  Like, the scruff of his 

Todd:  Scruff of his jacket. Mhmm. And Jody’s kicking, and he’s kicking for a while until the towman lifts him about 3 or 4 feet higher. When Jody you can just see the look on his face like, this is pointless. 

Craig:  Right. 

Todd:  Like, this will not kick because this guy, you know, is lifting you in the air. Another great moment that is so understated that may have been a happy accident, but I absolutely love it. Right. He the the tall man throws him in 

Craig:  the back of the hearse, And they head off presumably towards the mausoleum, but Mike’s packing heat, so he pulls out his, pistol. Like, it’s 

Todd:  like Jodie. I’m sorry. 

Craig:  I don’t 

Todd:  know what you called him Jodie about 15th. They’re used to 

Craig:  it by now, Todd. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about, folks. So, anyway, He’s got this it’s like a like a Glock or something. It’s like this huge gun. He shoots out the back window, and then he kinda shoots down into the wheel well and the tire explodes. He jumps out the back and the car crashes and is just immediately it explodes like engulfed in flame. So, you know, It would be reasonable to think that the tall man is dead, but, of course, this is a horror movie and he’s an alien. So, he’s not. 

Todd:  But they believe he’s dead. 

Craig:  Right. But then everybody somehow kind of magically convenes at the mausoleum. Like, Mike goes there and finds Jody there, and then Reggie just pops up. Oh, 

Clip:  that’s the door. Hey, man. I don’t know. Hey. Come on, guys. Rich, he dead. No. I ain’t 3 foot 2 yet either. 

Todd:  Like, hey, guys. Here I am. They’re like, Oh, nice to see you. And they go to open the door to the door, the the mysterious door. And inside the door and again, the first time I saw this movie blew me away because you are absolutely not expecting a pure white room with these 2 metal tongs sticking out of the ground, this Vibrating sound happening. Yeah. 

Craig:  And the sound effect was really cool there. 

Todd:  It really was. And then just stacks of Industrial looking barrels, 

Craig:  pods. Yeah. 

Todd:  Yeah. With, like, must be a little window on the front. Looks like it. Dark windows on the front. That in a movie that’s always been kind of throwing strange things at you, at least you have the sense that you’re dealing more with the supernatural. 

Clip:  Mhmm. 

Todd:  And then at this moment, okay. It’s sci fi now. 

Craig:  Right. It is very sci fi. Mhmm. And like Todd Said there are these 2 big metal posts. They stand, I would guess, maybe 3, 3 and a half feet high, something like that. High. Yeah. Yeah.   They’re sticking up out of the ground, and, Mike just happens to be standing by them. And as he turns, His hand just kind of brushes through and disappears. In between them. In between them. And so he he pulls it back out, and everything’s fine. Puts it back in. Pulls it back out. Everything’s fine.   He has kind of a mental flashback, you know, to don’t fear, you know, that whole box thing from earlier. He does that his hand a couple times, and then it seems like he kind of stumbles and falls through. 

Todd:  Maybe he gets sucked in a little bit. 

Craig:  Maybe. It’s hard to tell. And then this is such a bizarre scene. You go to you know, it he kind of, like it seems like he’s kind of falling through some red atmosphere, And then he can see below him, I guess, what is supposed to be the tall man’s home planet. It’s like this big desert. The sky is really saturated and red, And those pods have, like, crashed down there, and the little dwarf guys are coming out of them and, like, marching off into the horizon. And and luckily for for Mike, his brother, Jody, had seen him fall. He’d grabbed His, his waistband, yeah, and and pulls him back in.   And Mike’s power of deduction He is Supreme. Right. Tells him, oh. 

Clip:  Slaves. They’re using them for slaves. The dwarves. And they gotta crush them because of the gravity and the heat. And this is the door to their planet. Yeah. 

Craig:  And I know this from the 2 seconds that I was glance in there. But even though we only get a glance of that home planet, it’s really kinda cool looking. It it’s, Very different visually than anything else that we’ve seen so far. 

Todd:  Honestly, it’s impressive with the budget that they worked with, that they were able to get some visuals like that Right. In this film 

Craig:  Right. 

Todd:  Quite honestly. 

Craig:  And then and then what happens? 

Todd:  I mean, they I mean, and then they, they The lights go out. Yeah. That’s, 

Craig:  For an unexplained reason. Mhmm. And, it’s 

Todd:  kind of a cop out really, I think. 

Craig:  Mike lights his BIC and, 

Todd:  There’s a one of those One of those dwarf creatures in front of him, again, in the hood. 

Craig:  Yeah. And Jody has disappeared. Jody reappears outside. I mean, I’m not talking like he evaporates and then re, You know, materializes. There again. He’s just outside. We don’t know how he got there. 

Todd:  And they’re running Away, Jody’s encountering that girl who, you know, we remember from the beginning. 

Craig:  The lady in lavender who killed the 1st guy in the 1st scene. 

Todd:  Yeah. And we’ve Neglected dimension in an earlier scene in the film kinda gets seduced by him and almost pulls him in as well. And, in in the meantime, Reggie is inside the room, and he gets The same sort of flashback to his tuning fork Mhmm. And gets the idea of putting both hands on those vibrating posts. 

Craig:  Right. To stop the vibrations. 

Todd:  And when he stops that vibration, that’s sort of, I guess, interrupting the key or the flow or the whatever. Yeah. 

Craig:  It’s like turning off a machine or something. I I don’t know. 

Todd:  It causes a mass chaos. What basically happens is all of these big, barrels start getting Sucked in. Right. He starts getting sucked in. Becomes a vacuum. The wind kicks up outside, and, the tall man, At least momentarily anyway, who was disguised as the lady. 

Craig:  Right. Yeah. You you you you think that right. Well and then so he he turns it off, and it turns into a vacuum. He gets out. But as soon as he gets out, he’s confronted by that lady in purple 

Todd:  That’s right. 

Craig:  Who Stabs him in the chest, and then you see they do that close-up thing of her face again, and it kind of flashes in and out between her and the tall man. And, eventually, it’s just tall man. Mhmm. So you get the sense that they are 1 in the same, that he’s able to take on different forms Yeah. If he wants to. 

Todd:  He stands over the body of Reggie, and Reggie is is Deceased. Clearly. The other 2, you know, Mike tries to go and save Reggie, but Jody’s like, no. Don’t he’s dead. Let’s get out of here. And as they start to leave, even the house itself takes on a starts to shimmer, starts to flicker a little bit. You almost think it’s maybe getting sucked into the portal as well. It’s Right.   It’s almost like the end of poltergeist in a way, you 

Craig:  know, the 

Todd:  way it looks. Yeah. Although it never completes that action. 

Craig:  And Mike and Jody go home. They go home. And the plan is they know of this mine shaft a 1000 feet deep. 

Todd:  Oh, this is the weirdest thing. 

Craig:  And, Totally out of character. Jody says, Mike, you stay here at home and and get things ready. And Find some ammo. Right. Find some ammo, and I’m gonna go Take all the warning signs down for this thing, and then we’re gonna we’re gonna leave the tall man there. Well, Mike is not home by himself for more than 30 seconds before the tall man shows up, busts through a window, is is chasing him around. 

Todd:  Mike It’s a really lousy chasing, by the way. It is. He busts through the window, and then the next shot is that, Mike is Quietly sneaking 

Craig:  through a hallway. 

Todd:  Looking for him. Although, then the tall man’s reveal when the back door sort of blows open and he stands there, that’s when he says, 

Clip:  Boy. 

Craig:  And, so so Mike runs out, and he’s running down the road presumably towards this mine shaft, which I guess is just like a block away from their house. It’s it’s really bad. And, the the tall man is is chasing him in Pursuit. And I don’t remember if he actually He says these or if it’s just kind of a voice over. 

Todd:  And I thought that was really nice too. It was sort of an echo in his head, almost like he’s psychically connecting with him or it’s just an artistic way of Showing the passage of time. 

Craig:  But Yeah. The the tall man says, 

Clip:  you play a good game, boy, but the game is over, and now you die. 

Craig:  Mike runs to this mineshaft, leaps over. 

Todd:  Now wait a minute. Before he gets to the mineshaft, he’s running through the woods and he encounters all these Perils. He, suddenly stumbles into a That’s right. Sort of a mud pit that he can’t get his feet out of, and these hands come out of it, try to grab him, but he remembers he can’t fear, and 

Craig:  so he gets out of that. And then he’s The lavender lady shows up. 

Todd:  And but he’s got his knife. He kinda waves in front of him, and then he goes there was one other thing. I don’t remember what, but it was this weird almost nightmare in Elm Street ending kind of thing with Nancy trying to get up the stairs. Right. 

Craig:  Yes. 

Todd:  I guess the idea might be that the tall man is materializing these pseudo non existent dangers in front of him to slow him down. Yeah. 

Clip:  I think so. And and that’s 

Craig:  where his lesson, you know, fear is the killer. Mhmm. He’s able to kinda get himself out of these things, and he runs to the mine shaft. He leaps over it because apparently, 1,000 foot deep mine shafts are only about 2 or 3 feet wide. He leaps over it. The tall man, of course, doesn’t know it’s there. So he falls And he doesn’t fall straight down immediately. He kinda grabs on grabs Mike’s foot and is kinda pulling him, but Mike gets away.   And Jody was ready 

Todd:  With the well placed boulders 

Clip:  boulders 

Craig:  that he he rolls, like, I don’t know, I would say 3 or 4 decent sized rocks and one great big giant boulder down, And they immediately fill this 1,000 foot deep mine shaft. 

Todd:  Which makes you wonder why the local authorities hadn’t done that long time ago. 

Craig:  And then you see Jody up at the top of the hill, and he’s backlit, and he kind of throws his hands up in celebration. And then we cut immediately to a fireplace scene, and I swear that I do not remember this ending at all. And it’s so strange, and I really don’t know how 

Todd:  to explain it. It’s an Odd choice in a very odd movie. And, again, like I said earlier, if you had not been beset by so much oddness coming to it and so many things that you could have interpreted as dream sequences or whatever, you would feel cheated, I think, at this point. There’s a fireplace and it zooms out, And it’s Jody finishing telling the No. It’s it’s it’s Michael finishing telling the story to Reggie. So now Reggie’s alive, and you’re thinking, what’s the deal? And it sort of turns out that Joe that Mike has been telling the store this whole story to Reggie about this very vivid dream that he had. And that Jody, they that 2 weeks earlier, they buried Jody in from a a car accident. 

Craig:  Well and it’s really it’s I it’s confusing because it Seems like Mike is telling it as though he believes it happened, and Reggie keeps saying no. It was just a dream. The tall man didn’t take, Jody. He died in a car accident. And, you know, I’m I’m really sorry, but you’re gonna be okay. And, 

Todd:  I know that, you know, nobody will replace Jody for you, but I’m gonna switch it up. 

Craig:  Right. He says, you know, why don’t you go upstairs and and, get some rest or whatever? So, apparently, we’re we’re meant to believe that this whole entire movie was a dream. 

Todd:  Well, more than that though, I think and I think in this way, it’s a little bit of a genius ending Even though I’m not sure it’s executed well, it almost seems like not just a dream, but it’s Mike’s way of dealing with his brother’s death. 

Craig:  Mhmm. Because And he’d already lost his parents, so to lose his brother too would be very traumatic. Which seems to be the 

Todd:  one thing he was afraid of, You know, was losing his brother whether he ran off or whether he sent him to some school or in this case, whether he died. And the whole film Really centers around these ideas of death and the grave and Loss. Loss. And so it’s fitting in a way, but you’re right. You don’t know how to interpret it. Is it okay? So let’s get back to reality. Is it really a dream, or is it, another one of the tall man’s tricks? 

Craig:  Right. And so then Mike goes upstairs to his room, and he closes his door. And as the door, swings closed, of course, there’s a mirror on the other side of it. And in the mirror, there stands the tall man. And does he boy again? I don’t remember. But he reaches through the glass, grabs Mike pulls him through the glass, and that’s the end, which is 

Todd:  an interesting throwback to a number of other scenes where people are grabbed by hands. There’s the early on in the film, Mike himself has a dream where he’s in bed Mhmm. And suddenly the tall man appears above him and people burst out of the ground and pull him down. Then Jody himself has a dream where he’s sitting in a chair against the wall in the mausoleum, and suddenly the tall man appears, and then hands break out of one of the things behind him and pull him up. This is number 3. You know? This is very reminiscent. It’s now, Mike himself has had, this experience where, you know, the tall man sort of represents death is coming and here are the hands to take you away. Really interesting. 

Craig:  Now if I remember correctly, the sequel retcons the end of the movie. Oh, really? Yeah. It changes The end. So that just part of it, like, the very end, him getting pulled through the mirror, that was a dream. Oh. But the rest of it really happened. And, the rest of the series focuses primarily on Mike and Reggie. It really becomes kind of a buddy movie. 

Todd:  That’s interesting that it would focus on Mike and the Friend of his brother instead of him and his brother. 

Craig:  I wonder if they just couldn’t get the actor out. Yeah. Yeah. I I don’t know. 

Todd:  Well, if if you were to name I mean, if you were to look at that cast And you were to imagine who’s gonna go on to a better acting career after this, who would you have chosen? 

Craig:  Angus Scrim, I guess. Alright. 

Todd:  Let me let me put him out of the picture. 

Clip:  So 

Todd:  The 3 of the 3, who would you have chosen? I have no idea. See, I, myself, even though I thought his his ability was poor, I thought that Jodie had the more movie star look. Yeah. You know? He was the one who felt like a few more acting lessons and get him with the right director. Right. And he’ll go on to be a star because he just has that look, and I don’t think he’s been in much at all since this. 

Craig:  I don’t think I don’t think any of them really have except for these movies. And this is as far as I know. Reggie. 

Todd:  Reggie’s been in a number of horror films since this. 

Craig:  See, and maybe I recognize him from things, but he’s so reminiscent of Clint Howard. 

Todd:  He is. He looks so and plus, Clint Howard played a killer ice cream man. Right. They’re looking about the same. But, no, Reggie, the character the guy who played that has been in a number of horror film. Mostly horror Since then, but, a fair amount of work. But he’s the only one he and Angus are the 

Craig:  only ones. Right. 

Todd:  And I don’t think Angus really left the horror 

Craig:  John, not not very much. You know, I haven’t really seen him in a lot except for this. There was gosh. It’s been a long time ago now, but there was I think it was on HBO or Showtime, masters of Do you remember that series 

Todd:  Yes. 

Craig:  Uh-huh. Where different directors would just kinda do an hour thing every week or so? He was in one of those called something like incident on and off, mountain road or something like that. Right. And, I I remember him from that, but, really, this is what I remember him And it’s it’s funny because he is so sinister, in the movie, and he plays such a good bad guy and just the image of him is so iconic. But when you read about him, when you read about what people say about him, the people who’ve worked with him, the people who knew him personally, apparently, he was just one of the most gentle, Kind, genuine people, super easy to work with, excellent with fans. You know? He he he would do horror conventions and whatnot, and He was totally willing to meet and visit with his fans, pose with them as the character. He’d say boy for anybody who wanted to hear it. He just seemed like such a cool guy.   And and this this edition, the DVD edition that we watched has an introduction with him, and He’s significantly older. I I would guess this was probably 10 or 15 years ago. So he looks kind of more like, an older grandpa kind of figure, And he he he addresses, you know, the he’s introducing and talking to the camera, and he seems like such like, he seems like you would want him to be your grandpa. 

Todd:  Like, he 

Craig:  just seems like this nice, gentle person, and from every account he was. And so I I’m so glad that he has This legacy and his memory will go on, and I think that it will for a really long time. 

Todd:  Well and what he’s sad to say there was really funny too. He he mentioned that Don Coscarelli had approached him to be to play an alien in this film. 

Clip:  And that was all he was going to tell me about it for the moment. My mind raced with the dramatic possibilities. An eager immigrant from the old country, meeting the struggles, the heartbreaks, but the eventual triumphs In the land of opportunity, America. Would I play an Irishman, a Russian, a Chinese? I’d have to master the appropriate accent. Maybe I’d speak initially in another language. 

Todd:  Of course, it becomes this film, which Doesn’t provide a lot of opportunity for him to do much more than stand there, be menacing, and 

Craig:  say, boy. Right. 

Todd:  But he makes the movie. 

Craig:  He does. He does. He makes the movie. 

Todd:  The movie wouldn’t really have, I I doubt the movie would have been much of anything if I 

Craig:  don’t think so either. I I think without The iconic imagery of him and that VHS cover, I don’t think that it it would have stuck around. And, you know, I don’t know how people, I think, personally, that if you wanna count yourself as a true horror fan, you need to see this movie. 

Clip:  Oh, yeah. 

Craig:  You can’t get away without seeing it. I wonder how a younger generation would receive it because the effects are dated. The the editing is a little bit we’ve already talked about. The acting is, a 

Todd:  little bit subpar. It doesn’t make a lot of sense. 

Craig:  It doesn’t make a lot of sense. And, again, Still, you know, I I I saw it 15 years ago. I watched it again tonight, and I still it’s just fun. It’s so unique and creative that I’m So I’m just about willing to forgive anything 

Todd:  Oh, yeah. 

Craig:  Because I I believe that Coscarelli and the people involved in this We’re really giving it their all, and they cared about these characters, and they cared about the story, and it shows. And I I kinda Fanboy out over a little bit. 

Todd:  You can see the love in it, though. It’s Yeah. It’s very, very reminiscent in that way of The Evil Dead 

Clip:  Yes. 

Todd:  Where you can see that these are a bunch of Amateurs really pulling out all the stops and all their resources to make something unique and clever and creative, and you can’t help but get wrapped up in that Right. As well. Right? It’s so cool. And poor Lawrence, worry guy. He lived a good life to 89. Right. Before he got into film, the guy worked for Capitol Records and wrote liner notes, for the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, some of your favorite albums. Yeah.   So you can’t say that this guy, didn’t go out with a bang having lived, quite a full life. Absolutely. 

Craig:  And, you know, I I we’re wrapping up. I I feel like, We can’t go without saying that he wasn’t the only legend we lost this week. We also lost the incomparable David Bowie who is just the epitome of, an artist. As a child of the eighties, just everything about him is iconic to me. You know? What stands out of in my mind, is Labyrinth because that was such a beloved movie to me when I was a kid, but he wasn’t you know, he I don’t he was in his own right and appeared in many films. I I don’t think he ever appeared in a horror film, but, I just couldn’t let let it go without, giving A little shout out to to Bowie. 

Todd:  Well, thank you again for joining us for another episode of 2 Guys in a chainsaw. If you enjoyed this So please share it with a friend. Check us out on Itunes or Stitcher. Like us on Facebook, and join us again next week. Until then, I’m Todd. I’m Craig with Two Guys and a Chainsaw.

Clip:  chainsaw.

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