The PHANTASM movies are pretty polarizing. Not the original; most Horror fans love that one. Most love the second one, too. After that? Some are able to get past the inconsistencies and plot contradictions, the wavering quality to appreciate the overall narrative. (Others wish they’d either stopped after the first two or, like myself, wish that the subsequent films had been, if not “better”—such definitions in terms of quality are so subjective as to be almost irrelevant—at least more cohesive. There’s a new one coming out, though, so hope springs eternal.) But fans are anything but ambivalent about the true star of the PHANTASM flicks. Pretty much everybody loves the Tall Man.
Angus Scrimm, whose real name was Lawrence Guy (and who won a Grammy for his work in the music industry, writing liner notes for stars as varied as Sinatra and the Beatles), was and is regarded as one of the friendliest, most humble, down-to-earth, all-around nice guys anyone could ever hope to meet, with a genuine affection and appreciation for his fans. His friend and collaborator, Don Coscarelli, suggests Scrimm’s name belongs amidst the lofty likes of a Boris Karloff or Vincent Price or Christopher Lee as one of the greatest Horror icons of all time. It’s hard to argue with that. Godspeed, Angus.