- Phantasm Remastered - When I was a kid, I had this VHS copy of Phantasm that I'd watch, er, often. It was the bad old days of 4:3 TVs and pan-and-scan movies, but I feel in love with the film nonetheless. So it was a bit of a shock when it came out on DVD and I began noticing all sorts of stuff. Not just stuff that had been cropped out, but it turns out that the VHS copy wasn't exactly a great transfer either. In particular, and I know this is a really bizarre detail to fixate on, the scene where the Morningside groundskeeper gets silver sphered to death and falls to the ground, you actually see that he, er, lost bladder control. So when I heard that J.J. Abrams was a big fan of the film and worked with Phantasm director Don Coscarelli to do a 4K restoration for the Butt-Numb-A-Thon marathon, I wondered what new details I would pick up on this time. Well, not much, but damn, that urine sure comes through crisp and clear! In all seriousness, though, the film has never looked better.
- JJ Abrams talks Phantasm Remastered @SXSW2016 (interview)
- Phantasmagoria (documentary)
- A Nightmare on Elm Street (trailer)
- Phantasm II - The lone "big budget" studio entry in the series, this one has a distinctly less dreamlike quality to it and Coscarelli was forced to recast the Mike role with a real actor, James Le Gros (who famously beat out Brad Pitt for the role), but this film still represents straight horror comfort food for me. It's got the best Checkov's gun ever, literally, a four-barrel shotgun, one of the key, beloved components of the sequels (It takes a while before Reg gets the chance to use it, but when he does...)
- Masters of Horror: Incident On and Off A Mountain Road (trailer)
- Werewolf Women of the SS (fake trailer)
- John Dies at the End (trailer)
- Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead - So we're back in independent film territory, and it feels like Coscarelli went for an overcorrection with this one. More gore, more nudity, more silliness. I mean, this is really silly. You've got that annoying tyke, you've got Rocky, an Army vet who uses nunchucks... that don't ever really do anything for her, you've got these three mooks who keep coming back as villains. It's all a bit too zany, but fun in its own way.
- The Exorcist (amazing unreleased trailer)
- Unedited Footage of a Bear (Adult Swim)
- Videodrome (trailer)
- Phantasm IV: Oblivion - AKA, OblIVion, which I always pronounce Oh-bli-four-ee-on, this one picks up where III left off. The Mike bits continue the interesting revelations, but the Reggie bits remain tacky and kinda boring (I mean, in as much as silver sphere tits can be boring, I guess). The most memorable part are these quasi-flashbacks with Dr. Jebediah Morningside, aka the Tall Man before he was an interdimensional monster. Angus Scrimm feels completely different in the role, it's an interesting opportunity for him to show some range (which he's not given in the rest of the series).
- Screamers (trailer)
- Hell No (fake trailer)
- Bubba Ho-tep (trailer)
- Phantasm: Ravager - (aka Ra-five-ager?) This newest installment comes a decade after the previous entry and comports itself very well. The film has three threads to it, all focused around Reggie, the true hero of the series.
6WH: Week 4 - Phantasm
I have an inexplicable love for the movie Phantasm. It's goofy and its low-budget origins really show, but it's also undeniably creepy. It's one of a handful of movies that I would just constantly throw in the VCR when I was a kid (see also: The Terminator, Star Wars), and I've seen it a ton of times. When I first started goofing around on the internet, I used the name "tallman" as my handle, not because I was tall, but because I loved this movie so much. This week marks the release of the newest entry in the series and along with that, all the other movies have been released in HD streaming for the first time (some even remastered), so I figured it was time I revisited the series. Let's get to it: