I thought this would be a particularly cool matchup because of two reasons: One, it features two of the greatest Horror movie icons of our time, and Two, the main brunt focuses around not only the lead characters of The Tall Man and Pinhead, but their unique inventions in which to visit a whole new world of hurt on an unsuspecting human race. That said, I shall move on to my own insights into this arena...
Phantasm is indeed a creepy film and I believe it works on several levels. It's a Horror film and a Sci-Fi flick, it plays upon one of the darkest bastions of our fears of cemetaries and funeral homes and works wonders with the starkness of the scenery and shadows and what can emerge from them to drag you down into nighted depths.
The film is uneven in places and some parts really needed explanation to make the story flow with a smooth ambience. To this day, I wonder what was up with the old blind lady and her granddaughter, why Coscarelli put so much emphasis on the character of Jody when it was apparent that he was dead at the end of the film and Reg explained it away as he died in an auto wreck (was it a natural death, or did The Tall Man orchestrate the whole thing?) and finally, if this was all a dream of Mike's, did none of the other events upon awakening ever occur, or was all that followed including the subsequent sequels a dream as well? I will just take the movie for what it is, an original Horror film joyride and try not to sort out too many of the particulars. I think I enjoyed Part Two a bit more, and it was with this film that I believe that Reggie Bannister became a bonafide Horror Icon himself and not the first movie. Coscarelli I think realizes that he did indeed make mistakes with the first and hads wholeheartedly agreed with a remake. I just hope that before this travesty happens in a long line of Hollywood remake disasters that he should go ahead and make Phantasms End and bow out gracefully at that point; but what the hell do I know? It all hinges on money and what the producers think will make a buck flushing any chance that an original idea might have down the proverbial toilet.
Hellraiser. I agree with practically everyone of Zombie's observations of this movie and differ slightly in one other. For instance, I believe that I'm one of the only folks on the planet who thought Hellraiser: Bloodline was a cool Horror film.
One interesting obeservation I've made with the original movie is when Frank tells Julia that the Box opens the doors to the pleasures of Heaven or Hell, but in none of the movies do we see where it is linked with Pearly Gates and Harps, but irrefutably runs in conjunction with Pain and the stench of brimstone. Perhaps "The Lead Cenobite" (Pinhead) said it best when Kirsty asked who he and his cohorts were: "Explorers in the furthest reaches of experience. Demons to some, Angels to others," implying that it's all in the eye of the beholder to what is the definiton of paradise or perdition.
This is a dark fairytale that I believe the Brothers Grimm would approve of and appreciate. It is a moral fable that teaches us like with many of man's other desires that we shouldn't delve to deeply (or greedily) into things that we weren't made to understand.
I also chose Hellraiser because from start to finish, this is an almost flawless Horror film. I'm still waiting and hoping to see if Clive Barker gets the rights to the franchise so he can return dignity to the series by creating a movie that once and for all lays the legacy of Pinhead to rest. The movies need a chapter of finality and I believe that in order to do this properly they should have Ashley Laurence return as Kirsty Cotton to deliver the final coup de gras. Barker's and Ashley's return would be the only thing that could save face for this steadily spiralling series before it goes into complete oblivion.