Another new year, and now another passing of a great icon in the Horror & Sci-Fi genre world. Like many other fans this morning, I woke up reading the news that Angus Scrimm had passed away. Not sure how to even start with this eulogy, since anybody that had ever met Scrimm at one of the many conventions that he appeared at over the years, knew that he was as far opposite as the sinister character he was known for. While he might not have appeared in hundreds of movies, the ones that he did, he always made an impact, even in the smallest of roles. But of course, we all knew him as the evil Tall Man from the Phantasm series, where he really shined. But then seeing this man at a show, such a kind-hearted old gentleman, so happy, excited, and even thrilled, to meet fans of his work, treating each and every one of them with respect and kindness…it always left a strong impact for me to see this, each and every time.
If you haven’t seen some of Scrimm’s other work besides the Phantasm films, then I would strongly suggest you checking them out. Two that I thought really showcased his talent, even though he didn’t have large parts in them, were Coscarelli’s Masters of Horror episode Incident On and Off a Mountain Road (2005), and the indie film called Off Season (2004).
As big of a following that he had because of his film work, I bet a lot of them would be amazed at the work he did with Capital Records, writing the liner notes for an unbelievable list of talent, such as Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, and Nat King Cole. He even won a Grammy in 1974 for his work doing this. Hell…I didn’t even know they gave Grammys for liner notes!
But as another year goes by, we know the inevitable is going to happen, and we’re going to lose more of our horror heroes to the great beyond. I also know that even though Mr. Scrimm has gone through those metal tuning rods for the last time, I know that I can see him again, anytime I want/need to by busting out one of the Phantasm movies, having him put a chill once more up my spine upon hearing “BOOOOYYYY!”.
You played a good game, Angus. You will be greatly missed. But never, ever, forgotten. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family.