Monday, 11 January 2016

Angus Scrimm

Even before Phantasm, Angus Scrimm was a horror stalwart from the get-go. He kicked off his career in 1972's Sweet Kill (directed by Curtis Hanson of L.A. Confidential fame), immediately following that up with a part in the 1973 proto-slasher Scream Bloody Murder.

Born Lawrence Rory Guy, Phantasm was the first film in which he adopted the stage name that he'd be known by until his death earlier this week. During the Phantasm years he also showed up in Chopping Mall, Subspecies, Mindwarp and Al Festa's bizarre '90s giallo Fatal Frames. He'd continue to work with Don Coscarelli throughout his life, appearing in the excellent John Dies at the End and Coscarelli's Masters of Horror episode Incident On and Off a Mountain Road. During this latter period he can also be seen alongside Larry Fessenden and Ron Perlman in the superior Hammer throwback I Sell the Dead.

Fittingly, his swansong will be a revival of his iconic Tall Man role in the upcoming Phantasm: Ravager. Currently in post production, Ravager will be the first entry in the series for 18 years and is intended to be the final.

Scrimm has been a part of my life since being terrified by the TV spots for Phantasm* as an 11-year-old in the summer of '79. The inevitable, eventual big budget remake won't be the same without his imposing stature and menacing presence.

*Released here as The Never Dead to avoid confusion with Richard Franklin's 1976 sex comedy Fantasm.

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