Sunday morning brought with it the sad news of yet another horror icon’s passing. Angus Scrimm, best known for his role as the Tall Man in Don Coscarelli’s Phantasm and its sequels, died on Saturday, aged 89. While most celebrated for this career-defining portrayal, the towering actor returned time and again to the horror genre, and worked with his friend Coscarelli on no less than seven occasions.
Before adopting the stage name Angus Scrimm for Phantasm in 1979, the man born Lawrence Rory Guy appeared in sleazy psycho-thriller Sweet Kill in 1972 (his film debut) and lurid exploitation gem Scream Bloody Murder the following year. His third film – Jim, The World’s Greatest – marked the debut of a then 18-year-old Don Coscarelli and the start of a long and fruitful friendship. As well as starring in all four Phantasm sequels (part 5, titled Ravager is currently in post-production. It is the first not to be directed by Coscarelli), Scrimm starred in Coscarelli’s indie hit John Dies at The End, as well as his 2005 Masters of Horror entry, Incident On and Off a Mountain Road.
Coscarelli said this of his friend: “Angus Scrimm passed away peacefully tonight surrounded by his friends and loved ones. He was 89 years old. His performance as the Tall Man is a towering achievement in horror film history. He was the last in a long line of classic horror movie stars. Angus was a terrific actor and an even better friend. He will be missed.”
2015 saw the passing of far too many horror heroes, whom Angus has now left us to join. As the Tall Man once said: “You think when you die, you go to heaven. You come to us!”
It must be one hell of a party.