THE TALL MAN             


The Tall Man is a villain from the Phantasm series of films written, directed, photographed, co-produced and edited by Don Coscarelli. The Tall Man was portrayed in the film and its sequels by Angus Scrimm. The character is a supernatural undertaker who turns the dead into zombies, in order to do his bidding and take over the world. He is known for saying the now infamous quote, "Boy!" on several occasions. The Tall Man's henchmen include Sentinels (flying silver balls, referred to as sentinel spheres by fans) that contain a lethal pair of spiked blades and a drill that eviscerates the victim's brain), lurkers and gravers (zombies dressed in nuclear suits armed with chainsaws), dwarves in monk robes (who are made from corpses), and the reanimated dead. He is also on the hunt for Mike Pearson and Reggie and their friends for reasons that are only hinted at in later installments in the series. The Tall Man has been in four Phantasm films and is still alive.

Relatively little is known about him. Once upon a time the Tall Man was a kind-hearted soul named Jebediah Morningside, and he was experimenting with inter-dimensional travel. After perfecting the device that would allow him to travel between worlds, he stepped through the gateway. Upon his return he was no longer Jebediah, but the cold and evil being known to Mike and Reggie as the Tall Man. It can only be speculated that while in a different dimension Jebediah's body was possessed by another intelligence. Ever since then he has carried out his duties of turning the dead into slaves.

In terms of his powers the Tall Man has considerable psychic and telekinetic powers. On numerous occasions he has shown the ability to levitate objects and people without physically touching them, merely by twitching an eyebrow. He also has tremendous physical strength. In the original film he lifted an entire casket by himself, and the effort seemed to cause him no strain. In the second film he flung Liz across a room after holding her by the throat. The Tall Man is able to invade the minds of his victims, and also to cause them to see images and hallucinations. He seems to be able to control the actions of the Sentinels, though in Phantasm II Mike was able to use one of the deadly spheres to attack him (which had no effect on him). In addition to the abilities listed above, the Tall Man is also seemingly immortal. Though it is possible to temporarily "kill" him, he is able to return in only a matter of minutes. Throughout the series the Tall Man has been hung, blown up in a car, embalmed with acid, frozen, and dropped down a mine shaft, and has always easily recovered. It should be noted, however, that in Phantasm III it was revealed that when one of his physical bodies is destroyed another exact duplicate enters our world through his dimensional gateway. Whether this is the same being or another separate entity is unknown. Added to his powers of resurrection is the ability to regenerate, as he has been shown to regrow lost body parts.









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