Sunday, June 26, 2016

New Ravager Cast Members Revealed

A quick look at the Phantasm Ravager IMDb page reveals the addition of two new cast members, one of whom has a connection to the original film. Visual effects artist and sometimes actor Jonathan Sims has been credited with the role of "Steampunk Graver," which may be who we see sporting goggles in the film's original 2014 trailer.

The second cast reveal is Cean Okada as "Nurse," presumably at the psychiatric hospital where Reggie is known to be admitted at in the story. Okada previously played a nurse in Don Coscarelli's 2004 cult-darling Bubba Ho-Tep. If that last name sounds familiar, you may be thinking of her husband - renowned cinematographer Daryn Okada who served as director of photography on Phantasm II. Daryn's first-ever crew gig was as a grip on the original Phantasm. He also helped on some second unit photography for Phantasm III.

(If you're unfamiliar with Daryn and his contributions to the franchise, I interviewed him for my book, Phantasm Exhumed, which you can now download on the Amazon Kindle platform as of this week in addition to the standard paperback.)

Phantasm Exhumed Now on Amazon Kindle

Two years after release, my book, Phantasm Exhumed, has finally come to Amazon's Kindle. I've been pretty reluctant to release an e-Book edition, but finally gave in after numerous requests. Many readers had understandably complained that the paperback's type was simply too small to decipher while others simply wanted an edition they could read on the go. This Amazon Kindle release means you can read Exhumed on your Kindle, smart phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. In this lead-up to Phantasm Ravager's debut, there is perhaps no better time to revisit the making of the first four films.

This "Standard Text Edition" version of the book is $9.99 in the Amazon Kindle Store, except to those who've already purchased the paperback through Amazon. For those readers, the e-Edition will only cost $2.99.

If you haven't yet read Phantasm Exhumed, I'll leave you with Angus Scrimm's own Amazon review of the book. (He contributed an introduction, interview and personal set journals to Exhumed, so perhaps he's not the most appropriate person to review it, but he did. So here ya go.)
It's like a brimming over bowlful hot-buttered popcorn fresh from the popper, a deeply gratifying entertainment with something to chuckle over, marvel at or cheer on every page. The fifty or sixty-odd interviewees obviously had a blast working on Coscarelli's films and their affectionate, often humorous reminiscences glow out from the paragraphs of Dustin McNeill's skillful prose. I've read the book all through but can't resist picking it up and re -reading again and random for fresh enjoyment.. If I do have one single objection,, it's that the 260 photos the book boasts of may include an excess of one tall, gaunt, scowling personage clad in black. . Of course, being an actor, he'd probably be the last to complain.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Humor: The Tall Man Rap Battles Slenderman!

From the FTB Producciones YouTube channel comes this hilarious Spanish-language rap battle between the Tall Man and the Slenderman. If you don't know who that latter character is, he's a chilling horror icon partly inspired by the Tall Man. The video below has English subtitles so you can laugh along even if your Spanish is a little rusty. The lyrics are positively side-splitting as the Tall Man mocks his opponent for not having a face while Slenderman goes after the Tall Man for transforming into a woman to lure his victims. 

I especially love when the Tall Man starts with "I rarely speak, but now the occasion demands it," before spitting a wicked rhyme. My vote is that the Tall Man wins, hands down. Word to your mother.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Rue Moruge 166 features Phantasm Ravager Cover Story

The latest issue (#166) of Rue Morgue Magazine features a three-part cover story on all things Phantasm. Written by master scribe John Bowen, the issue has stories on Phantasm Ravager, Phantasm: Remastered and memorial tributes to Angus Scrimm by the phamily.

If what I write here holds any sway with whoever is reading it, hear these words: Go out and buy this issue! You'll be glad you did. Sure, you should not only support Rue Morgue and all things Phantasm, but this is just plain a great cover story on the series. Don Coscarelli and David Hartman are more open and candid here about Ravager than they've ever been in the project's seven year history. 

The ordinarily secretive filmmakers openly and honestly discuss how this new sequel first began and progressed. They talk storylines, new characters, deleted scenes, how they kept it a secret and more. Don also provides comment on the possible future of the franchise and - perhaps most importantly - plans for the upcoming premiere and theatrical roll-out of the sequel.

Issue #166 is officially the May installment of Rue Morgue Magazine and available on newsstands everywhere and their website, but you can also nab a copy on the digital app on the iTunes store.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Another Phantasm Location Demolished

Well, folks.... first came the destruction of the Pearson House last year and now it seems we've lost another classic Phantasm location. It would appear that the Fortuneteller's House that stood at 22840 Calvert Street in Woodland Hills has been completely torn down. The Google Satellite image you see to your right shows that the acre lot has been cleared of the house and trees that long stood there.

Built in 1937, the single family home retained the white/green paint scheme seen in the first Phantasm nearly forty years ago up until its recent demolition. There were concerns last year that the property might be on the chopping block after the yard was cleared and a construction fence erected around the perimeter. LA Magazine reported that the lot had sold for upwards of $900,000. With the pending Warner Center Village Project revving up, this turn of events surely comes as a surprise no one in the area. The neighbors are likely glad this finally happened.

To be perfectly honest, the deserted home and sorely neglected yard stood out badly in the otherwise nice neighborhood. You can see just how out-of-place the abandoned lot feels in the crappy cell phone video below that I shot during my 2009 visit.

In such times, we should remember the immortal words of the Fortuneteller herself. "Fear is the killer." That's what Grandmother wants you to learn. Now please let's hope everything is okay with the Dunsmuir Estate in Oakland.