The Greatest Horror Movie Moments!
by: Dr. Boogie

Phantasm II

They say you should write what you know, and so when Don Coscarelli wanted to make a horror movie, he wrote a story about his three greatest fears. The end result was a series of movies so scary that by the end, you too will be terrified of old people, dwarves, and ball bearings.

It's hard to pick just a single moment out of the Phantasm movies because the horror comes from the creepy atmosphere and expert pacing of the movie just as much as it does from Angus Scrimm's expertly raised eyebrow. In fact, his face may wind up being one of the Greatest Horror Moments in and of itself. Nevertheless, when I saw Phantasm II for the first time on the big screen, I knew there was one moment in particular that deserved to be highlighted:

The curtain really holds the tomb together.

Late in the film, our heroes Reggie and Mike (in order of importance) sneak into the Tall Man's mortuary to rescue Liz, the psychic McGuffin. Mike manages to find her without running into the Tall Man, but the two of them do have to fend off an evil mortician, and one of the Tall Man's newest toys: a gold sphere much larger than his regular silver spheres, and at least twice as deadly.


First of all, it has a laser. 'Nuff said, right? Well in addition to the laser and even more gruesome blades than the silver spheres, the gold sphere is strong enough to blast through wooden doors without slowing down.

The mortuary's having a door-buster sale

Suffice to say, you do not want to get caught by this thing. At one point, the evil mortician pursuing Mike and Liz gets his hand nailed to a door by one of the lesser spheres, and the gold sphere lines up to finish him off. The mortician then decides that he would rather lop off his own hand than face the wrath of the gold sphere! It's bad news, that's all I'm saying.

Anyway, Mike and Liz lock themselves behind a door thick enough to stop the sphere. They're just about to relax when ol' Lefty shows up.

Gee, your hair smells terrific!

With the hatchet in his one remaining hand, the mortician grabs Liz with his stumpy arm and winds up for what will at best be a clumsy chop. All of a sudden, the gold sphere blasts through the door and into the mortician.

My foot's caught on the dolly!

The sphere embeds itself in the mortician's back and carries him all the way into the corner on the opposite side of the room. But it's only the beginning.

Backscratcher provided by Sharper Image

Thank goodness for scotch guard.

Regular spheres have drills. The gold sphere, on the other hand, is the drill! After deploying a ring of blades around its circumference, the gold sphere bores its way into the mortician's back, the sheer force of the act lifting the mortician off the ground and slamming him into the corner again. At this point, the mortician is still not dead in spite of having a cantaloupe-sized metal sphere spinning around in his chest cavity. Even the gold sphere is starting to run out of steam, with a couple of starts and stops in the middle of its excavation. After a short break, it gets going for one last push.

A deleted scene from Junior.

The ravages of the mumps graphically portrayed.

The sphere burrows its way into the mortician's neck before it finally runs out of steam. Mike and Liz slowly advance on the dead mortician and flip him around to make sure he's really dead.

"Oh, great."

He definitely is, but the sphere is still struggling. Looks like one of the motors burned out, but you'll get that with your extra-large luxury model spheres of death. Oh well, I guess it's back to the silver economy model.

Raise your hand if you own your own hatchet.

Have any questions or comments about this piece?


Reader Comments

Forum Virgin
Sep 1st, 2011, 06:26 AM
Fuck yes another GHMM. And I LOVE Phantasm. 2 is probably my least favorite. But I still like it.

I like 4 better, even. Yeah, I said it.
Good Ol' Chum
Sep 1st, 2011, 10:20 AM
Holy Frikin' Crap! Best collection of gifs ever! lol
The Claw of Justice
Sep 1st, 2011, 11:46 AM
Every Phantasm movie has got at least one random, gloriously weird moment that goes down in history. Except number 4, but we don't talk about that.
Sep 1st, 2011, 10:04 PM
Oh man, that is pretty gruesome. I really need to pick these movies up and watch it with some friends. I KNOW HAVE HALLOWEEN PLANS!
teacup of sunshine
Sep 4th, 2011, 08:49 AM
Those silver spheres really got to me as a kid. I was always thinking I could see them out of the corner of my eye, if I caught a glint off some metal or something.
Sep 4th, 2011, 05:37 PM
probably one of my most favorite movie series! this was a great scene! <3
Cranberry Everything
Sep 4th, 2011, 08:41 PM
Phantasm II is my personal favorite of the series.
Now they just need to make the final one before any of the actors die from old age. At this point I'm almost more worried about Reggie Bannister than Angus Scrimm (who is apparently immortal).

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