Some movies leave you with a lasting impression, others just don't. Phantasm belongs to the second group. It's not that it is a bad movie, or that I didn't enjoy it, but it just wasn't that good either. For me, it didn't have anything memorable within its 90 minutes, and even The Tall Man himself wasn't anything inspiring. I mean- after knowing The Slender Man, all I can say in benefit of this movie is that it was a nice inspiration for some great artistry. Too bad it's all I can say for this film.
Anyway, this movie's plot is pretty complicated, and not because of its presentation. You see, the movie twists itself quite a lot, combining gypsies with ice-cream men with heroic sensibilities, aliens and dwarfs, brotherly love and much-much grief over death in the family. Anything beyond that might be a spoiler, and I don't want that to happen.
Our protagonist, Mike, begins as a certain kind of stalker- he follows his brother anywhere, because his afraid of his brother leaving him behind, to leave his life alone. In a scene near the beginning, Mike follows his brother and witnesses his brother doing it, or at least beginning to do it.
And that's a great idea to use in our games. No, not this particular idea, but… one of the greatest GMing tips that can be given about portraying NPCs is that they should be given a sense of life. They should feel alive beyond the scope of their encounters with the PCs. A great way to do that is to have the PCs meet them in normal situations.
Imagine this scene- the PCs are doing their businesses in the city as usual, when suddenly they see the villain in a flower shop. "A-ah, this time we'll get ya!" they'll say to him, for which he'll respond "Can't I just but some flowers for milady?" or something along those lines. Or maybe he collects flowers because this is one of his hobbies? Or maybe because he is lonely and this is his way of escapism?
As an added bonus, try to think about ways to utilize these instances to make the players feel bad. "Look, if I'll try to kill this woman you'll be the first to know about it, and then you'll come and take revenge on me, and then you'll destroy my base (again) and then I'll have to start all over again (again)." Two benefits for the price of one, I'm taking it…
And that's it for today. How about you? Have you watched this movie? What have you thought about it? And what have you learned from it?
Tomorrow I'll cover the last five movies of this project, so I hope you'll enjoy it too.