The best American movie ever made is Don Coscarelli's Phantasm. It asks important philosophical questions, such as how one deals with the knowledge one's deceased parents have been stolen from their tomb, placed into armored cannisters, and shrunk down to dwarf size because they are forced into indentured servitude on a barren desert planet with higher gravity than ours.

Also, it features chrome spheres with spikes that drill into people's heads, and an undertaker who is very frightening because he's always weirdly taller than anyone else in the room. There is no way to be able to predict the direction the movie is taking because I'm fairly sure that the script was being written in parallel with the actual shooting. I've seen it hundreds of times and it's always different, and I am always surprised by the outcome of the film.

What most people don't know is, Don Coscarelli also made the best music video in the history of the world. It is for Ronnie James Dio's song "Last in Line." It's about how "we're" the last in line. What does that mean? Well, it seems to mean that everyone who is last in line has metal shit coming out of their head for starters I guess.

Why is there a weird space tentacle? What was in the package that guy was delivering? Who needed it delivered? Or was is just a ruse to lure messengers into this place where they're the last in line? Why is the drummer a cave man? Whose side is Dio on? Etcetera.

Thinking about Phantasm and this weird music video made me revisit heavy metal. It seemed like it was time, since I've never really been the hugest fan of metal, Dear Reader, and as a genre it might be my biggest musical blindspot. I'm sick of not knowing about stuff, even if I don't like the stuff I'm ignorant about. So I got some metal, and have recently been listening to the Ukrainian black metal band Drudkh.

A favorite Sunday afternoon activity is to load some Drudkh on the iPod, get some Caribbean food from one of the numerous takeout joints in the neighborhood, and try to think about the future. I can barely see into the future at all anymore. This is embarrassing, really—I'm used to being able to see around corners and detect the tidal movements of the invisible world. Now my senses have been blunted, and I feel helpless.

Really, the thing I'm most worried about is the chance that my powers of perception will recede like an outgoing tide, dropping below the level of the present, and I won't know what the meaning of anything is anymore.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the phantasm phranchise is one of the best horror daisy chains in history! PH2 is crazy good, love it more then 1. its crazy how you think about all this weird stuff when a good B-movie is on.