YMMV / Phantasm

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: One for the Tall Man given by Scrimm:
    Scrimm: "The Tall Man is....bored. He's bored. He's been doing the same job for so long. And here comes a boy who will play a fun game. And that's all it is to him, a game. He doesn't think he's killing people. He doesn't get it. There's no life and death to him, really".
  • Awesome Music: Fred Myrow and Malcom Seagrave's dark and atmospheric synthesizer score for the first film.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Really, Big Lipped Alligator Moments are what this movie and its sequels are all about, and the fourth one goes Up to Eleven by out-BLAMing even the original.
    • There's a scene in which the fortuneteller's granddaughter goes into the mausoleum, enters the room leading to where the lurkers are made and screams. She's never seen again and her absence is never noticed.
    • The sequence after Mike is pushed out of the car that seems to imply a psychic connection between him and Jody.
    • The fortuneteller scene itself, which is only there because Coscarelli read Dune.
  • Complete Monster: The Tall Man is a mysterious, but monstrous being either possessing or wearing the skin of a kindly old man named Jebediah Morningside. The Tall Man roams from town to town, leaving death and destruction in his wake for the purpose of creating corpses that he can use in his undead army for eventual world domination. The Tall Man seems to fully understand human feeling as he murders the innocent family of Reggie Bannister for no real reason, solely to hurt him. He tortures the young hero Mike and killed his older brother, Jody, as well as Mike's girlfriend while transforming the former into one of his magic spheres and the latter into one of his undead servants. Sadistic, relentless and brutal, the Tall Man has remained an icon in horror for his monstrosity.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The Tall Man can never be defeated. Every time it seems like he is, he pulls a new power out of his ass to survive. Our heroes have no hope of doing anything but staying ahead of him for a few more seconds.
  • Even Better Sequel: Many fans like Phantasm II the most. It even got a BD release before the original!
  • Faux Symbolism: Fans have wondered if there is any deeper significance to having the book My Name is Legion on Mike's desk with the cover prominently displayed in some scenes of Phantasm. Coscarelli says the crew just thought it had a nice cover.
  • Foe Yay: The Tall Man sure tries to seduce Reggie a lot.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Being about two men in a Cool Car hunting evil, the second film now feels a lot like Supernatural: The Movie.
  • Hype Backlash: The Phantasm's End script. After years of people talking about it being a fitting Grand Finale to the series, the reception fans gave to it after it leaked online was....lukewarm at best.
  • Narm: The whole series is a goldmine of it.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: The original may be a victim of this, since it predated and probably inspired a lot of Eighties horror films.
  • Sequelitis: There are many who felt the sequels beyond the first were unnecessary (and some dislike Phantasm II as well).
  • Uncanny Valley: The Tall Man himself, at times. Angus Scrimm manages to move in a way that's just slightly off, occasionally aided by slow motion.