Phantasm is a perfect 70's horror film. Everything about it works. After the opening scene, the plot keeps you guessing continuously. The screenplay by Writer/Director Don Coscarelli is highly original, inventive and takes the viewer on a wild ride. The main funeral home set is marvelously well done and is as iconic as that house on Elm Street we all know and love.
The heart of the film is the relationship between two brothers, Jody and Michael. Jody, the elder brother, is played by Bill Thornbury with warmth and just enough toughness to be the protector of his kid brother. Michael is perfectly played by A. Michael Baldwin [Phantasm I-IV, Eight is Enough] who creates a teenager character we really care about rather than another body to be disposed of by things that go bump in the night. A major shout out also goes to Angus Scrimm for embodying The Tall Man. He is one of the creepiest guys I've seen on film other than Michael Berryman [The Hills Have Eyes]. He totally rocks the house!
I won't say more about this film because I don't want to spoil your enjoyment of it if you haven't seen Phantasm yet. It simply doesn't get much better than this. If all horror films were this well written we would be most fortunate, indeed.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.