Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Favorite Movie Monsters: Chainsaw Graver from Phantasm 2!

Welcome to another installment of Favorite Movie Monsters. This is a segment in which I talk about the monsters that had the most effect on me over the years. In most cases, they're responsible for scaring the hell out of me, or giving me an irrational fear in the real world for a few months. So, without further ado, let's see who gave me the willies.

Let me paint a picture for you: It's late at night, I'm about 8 years old, and for some reason I'm sitting in the hospital waiting room. It wasn't anything like the hospital waiting rooms you see in movies and on TV. It was a small room, with enough seats for 15 or 16 people to sit along the walls. It was dark, too, like only half the lights were on because it was past 10 PM. I can't remember if I was injured or sick, but I remember thinking that as bad as I felt, I was still doing better than some of the other folks in there. I'm pretty sure one guy was just sitting there nonchalantly bleeding all over the place as he tried to hold his hand together. It's bad enough when you're not feeling well, but when you're not feeling well, in a dark room full of strangers who may or not be leaking their fluids all over, it can be a bit stressful for the average 8 year old.

So, I'm sitting in this half lit room, my dad on one side, strangers all around, and I looked up at the TV to try and take my mind off the situation. I'm not sure that was such a good idea. It started off well enough, with two guys breaking into a hardware store and improvising some bad ass weapons. I still want my own 4 barreled shotgun, by the way. And maybe a flamethrower. Anyway, I'm watching these two guys travel from deserted town to deserted town, not quite understanding what was going on when it totally went off the rails.

Our two adventurers break into a mortuary, and one of them goes down into the basement. While he's down there..well, just watch this little clip here.

Watching the clip now, it seems pretty slapstick. It's not even the most horrifying scene from the movie, but when you're sitting in a dark room, sick people all around you, looking up at this movie playing on a small fuzzy screen, it's absolutely terrifying. Sure, the Graver looks like the guy you'd call to spray around your house when you happen to see a cockroach, but then he whips out a chainsaw that looks like it's as big as a Cadillac and is fueled by the nightmares of children like me. I already had a thing about basements. And attics. Pretty much any dark room, really, and now I have to worry about 7 ft tall, gas mask wearing, chainsaw wielding weirdos hiding behind the door. I know some of the scenes with the Sentinel spheres are a hell of a lot gorier, but I knew that there really weren't shiny metal spheres out to get me. But some dude with a gas mask and some coveralls? That shit was a regular occurrence around here.

If there's an upside to all this, it's that I was more worried about musty chainsaw wielding zombies than I was about anything the doctor was going to tell me.

I got better, by the way.


  1. I love the Phantasm series! They're just such fun, unusual horror movies. They're my kind of films for sure.

    1. Same here! I love that they were able to keep the same actors through most of the films. I still need to watch the last one.


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