An example of ambiance making up for incoherence, Don Coscarelli’s dream-like Phantasm is a film that benefits from repeated viewings, as its surrealistic story about a supernatural grave-robber, his demonic hooded dwarfs, and his deadly flying spheres makes next to no sense the first time around. Young Mike (Michael Baldwin) and his super-cool older brother Jody (Bill Thornbury) are the heroic duo tasked with uncovering the mystery surrounding The Tall Man (Angus Scrimm, in his iconic role), a pale-faced fiend whose malevolent modus operandi involves plundering graves, reviving the corpses and smushing them to 3-foot-tall stature, and then shipping them to another dimension (Hell, perhaps?) to be used as slave labor. What any of this means is – to put it diplomatically – “open to interpretation,” but though Coscarelli’s seminal low-budget horror indie is narratively muddled beyond recognition, it’s nonetheless also quite efficiently directed, radiating a nightmarish dread from an early jump-cut close-up of a murderous sex goddesses’ face (which transforms into Scrimm’s gaunt countenance) to the eerie peek through the doorway into the Tall Man’s home world. That the Tall Man’s globe of death only appears twice (and looks horribly cheesy in both instances) is somewhat disappointing, but those looking for more blade-impalement bloodshed always have the option of checking out Coscarelli’s inferior, more gruesome sequels.