Friday, July 15, 2016

Memorial Tribute to Phantasm II Sphere Master

I think we can all agree that while the sphere effects in the original Phantasm were impressive, they were wildly improved upon in the first sequel, Phantasm II. In that film, the balls now drilled, sliced, burrowed and shot lasers! Since Phantasm's original sphere-master passed away before that film's release, the tall task of bringing these effects to life on the sequel was given to effects maker Steve Patino.

By his own admission, Patino was a genuine phan. He was elated to be working on a sequel to the original Phantasm and had sincerely hoped to return for Phantasm III. In an interview with Fear Magazine, he later joked there would be a silver sphere on his grave when he died since he was now the keeper of the ball. Sadly, he passed away in 1994 with no such adornment.

One of Patino's Phantasm II assistants, Steve Cotroneo, has decided to make good on that with a memorial sphere tribute now two decades after his passing. Cotroneo writes in to the Archives with the following text and photos, "Well here it is, finally haha! The finished Steve Patino memorial! He always said that one day he would have a silver sphere on his grave, well I did the best could for him! This is a tribute to Patino and to the amazing sphere fx he did on Phantasm 2, which was the first movie I was lucky enough to work on with him! I hope you dig it!"

Personally, I think this is so much awesomeness. The sphere looks marvelous and the marble/flowers/holder are clearly in the style of Phantasm's first sequel. And it's worth mentioning that while Phantasm II was Cotroneo's first film, it certainly wasn't his last! Thanks for sharing, Steve!

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