This ‘Star Wars’ character is bringing a dose of horror to ‘The Force Awakens’

We are digging deep on “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” here at HitFix, and here's a tidbit you probably haven't heard: the name of Gwendoline Christie's shiny chrome-suited villain Captain Phasma was inspired by a beloved cult horror film. Can you guess what it is? Can you can you can you?

First, here's an image of Christie's character, as revealed live at this weekend's D23 Convention:

Photo Credit: IGN

Stumped on which film I'm talking about? Here's a clue: we had a real ball watching this movie. A real…ball. (I hate myself for writing that and am so sorry.) Here's another Captain Phasma image to chew over while you think:

Photo Credit: IGN

Do you give up? Okay, I'll stop teasing. As revealed by director J.J. Abrams in an interview with EW, the inspiration is none other than Don Coscarelli's low-budget 1979 cult classic “Phantasm,” which featured floating, bladed silver spheres that performed the bidding of Angus Scrimm's fearsome undertaker, the Tall Man:

EW: “How about other members of the dark side: Captain Phasma and General Hux?”

Abrams: “Larry [Kasdan] and I would walk all over the place when we were breaking the story, and we would record our conversations.  We were walking through a cemetery that was near the Bad Robot offices, and we would often glance at names [on the tombstones] to see if any of them stuck.  I don”t believe that Hux came from there, but it may have.  Phasma I named because of the amazing chrome design from Michael Kaplan”s wardrobe team.  It reminded me of the ball in Phantasm.”

In case you needed a reminder (or an introduction, as the case may be):

Photo Credit: MGM

Photo Credit: MGM

[EW via Bloody-Disgusting]