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The Tall Man

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The Tall Man is the primary antagonist of the Phantasm horror film series and one of the main influences on the Slender Man mythos. Originally a human known as Jebediah Morningside, the Tall Man was a mysterious, malevolent entity disguised as a mortician, who would rob graveyards of their corpses to reanimate them into his vast interdimensional army. He was played by Angus Scrimm in all installments of the series. Victor Surge stated that he used images of the Tall Man to create the first Slender Man "sightings".

Relation to Slender ManEdit

SimilaritiesEdit

Like the Slender Man, the Tall Man is an abnormally tall humanoid formally dressed in an all black suit and tie whose abilities included immense strength, telepathy and telekinesis. The Tall Man can also seemingly appear out of nowhere, a trait similar to Slender Walking. Sightings of the Tall Man tend to be a bad omen, usually leaving ghost towns in his wake and causing disappearances just like the Slender Man.

CC-Phantasm Ending

Both seem to use disguises in order to conceal their alien nature. In the Tall Man's case, it reflected his status and cover as a mortician. The Tall Man may be an insectoid/arachnid alien masquerading as a human, as severed body parts of his will revert to these forms. A worm-like thing crawled out of a drill wound in the Tall Man's head. This is slightly similar to how Slender Man is shown as spider-like or with tentacles in some depictions.

Both characters are quite vague vague in their origins and physical nature. Both seem to thrive on the concepts of thoughts and dreams, seem to prey on people's fear of them. It was even implied in some of the films that it was Mike's belief and fear in the Tall Man that continued the latter's existence, meaning the Tall Man was an example of the Tulpa Effect, akin to Slender Man. However, the fourth film suggested that the Tall Man was a creature created by the effects of the spacegates, and thus actually a transdimensional entity, akin to the theory of Slender Man being a quantum being.

The Tall Man regularly refers to the struggles between him and his enemies (Mike Pearson and Reggie, Mike's appointed guardian and friend) as a game, and it is suggested that the Tall Man "chooses" his targets. This is another similarity with Slender Man, with Mike and Reggie potentially being the equivalent to runners.

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Two mortician servants

Like Slender Man, the Tall Man had his own version of proxies, sometimes nicknamed "Gravers" (gravediggers) who were living (albeit psychotic) humans who served the Tall Man for unknown reasons, akin to the cultists described in early versions of the mythos. Most of them would either hide their identity in gas masks and overalls, or they would work in the mortuary to prepare the corpse for conversion, acting as the front of the Tall Man's operations, in a similar manner to proxies. However he could also turn humans into more powerful beings in a similar manner to TribeTwelve's Collective. This transformation process was the ultimate fate of Mike Pearson, who became a being similar to the Tall Man (possibly the aim of the whole plan from the beginning), as well as Mike's brother Jody, who was turned into a more independent Sentinel sphere, and was used as a lure to get at Mike.

The Tall Man used to be a human mortician known as Jebediah Morningside, and he still uses the name for his false funeral service. While not a parallel with Slender Man, it is instead similar to the origin of Mark Slender.

Phantasm II - Tall Man best quote (Angus Scrimm)01:40

Phantasm II - Tall Man best quote (Angus Scrimm)

In early versions of the Mythos, the Slender Man would impale and then dissect his victims, placing their organs in strange plastic bags for unknown reasons. This could be another similarity to Tall Man, who would kill just to resurrect the bodies, amputate the brain to create a Sentinel and then place the shrunken corpses into plastic containers. Slender Man has also sometimes been nicknamed the "Tall Man" in some stories.

DifferencesEdit

Angus Scrimm as Tall Man - Phantasm (1979)03:56

Angus Scrimm as Tall Man - Phantasm (1979)

Unlike the Slender Man, the Tall Man's aims are mostly clear. He intends to create an army to conquer whole dimensions by stealing freshly-buried corpses to convert them into dwarf-like zombies and then place the brains in deadly "Sentinel" spheres that kill people by drilling into their foreheads and draining the victim of blood. He has a "base" realm where he transports the corpses, via his dimensional spacegates. He is scientifically gifted and prefers to use these undead and technological servants, as opposed to Slender Man's use of proxies, and has destroyed entire towns in the process.

Unlike Slender Man, the Tall Man's physical body has been destroyed many times - blown up in a car crash, crushed in a mine shaft, melted inside-out with acid, and frozen solid. Despite this, he has always managed to return due to his uncanny ability to create new versions of himself via his spacegates, with all his previous memories intact (possibly due to his mind being in another dimension). The Tall Man also has an averse reaction to cold temperatures, but can regenerate body parts that have been severed.

Slender Man is almost always silent, whilst the Tall Man, despite not being much of a talker, usually growls out threats to those he comes across. The only indication of his unnatural being are his tall height and stiff, abnormal body language, meaning he can at least pass as human, unlike the Slender Man

GalleryEdit

  • BOYYY!
  • Jebediah Morningside
  • A typical graver.
  • Unnamed caretaker who served the Tall Man
  • The Tall Man attacked by one of his own Sentinels.
  • Tall Man's home planet, the black containers contain the bodies he has stolen

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